The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform bill, also known as the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013 (NARAB II), by a 397-6 vote.

Both the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and the Insured Retirement Institute praised the passage of NARAB II.

The bill would create a national insurance licensing clearinghouse for financial professionals operating in multiple states, according to IRI. Specifically, it would enable non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections. According to IIABA, this bill would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among agents and brokers and giving consumers greater choices.

House Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) introduced the bill in March with 42 original cosponsors. The bill currently boasts the support of 86 bipartisan sponsors.

“NARAB II is vitally important for tens of thousands of members who operate on a multi-state basis,” said Robert Rusbuldt, IIABA president and CEO. IIABA points to the bill’s ability to build on regulatory experience at the state level, as well as promote consistency in agent and agency licensing and improve marketplace responsiveness.

IRI also released a statement from IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford following the bill’s passage, saying, “With the House passage of this bill, and with companion legislation already advanced by the Senate Banking Committee, there is unprecedented momentum to get this bipartisan legislation. This bill maintains important consumer protections, retains states’ authority to regulate the marketplace, and ultimately removes a barrier that is impeding broker-dealers’ ability and financial advisors’ willingness to sell lifetime income products.”

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