Under a second Obama administration, P&C insurers are likely to see the pace of change begin to accelerate, says Jimi Grande, SVP of federal and political affairs at the National Association of Mutual Insurers.

“For better or for worse, as a second-term president, [President Obama] is going to be a different guy. He comes in now with four years’ experience,” Grande says. “A lot of these rules that have been drafted have been on hold because of the election.”

However, the fiscal cliff, tax reform and the replacement of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will likely take priority.

“We are going to have a new chairman and ranking member of the Financial Services Committee; new chairman and ranking member of the Insurance Sub Committee in the House; new ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee,” Grande says, adding that Senator Mike Crapo, the Republican Senator from Idaho, who is joining the Senate Banking Committee, has shown willingness to work with Democrats. “We are going to have a new Treasury Secretary,” Grande says. “Until we see who that is, and until we find out what their views are on this stuff, we won’t know what the range of possibilities will be.”

The major items facing the P&C industry, Grande says, could be the Federal Insurance Office report, which was scheduled for release in January of 2012, and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which expires at the end of 2014.

“[FIO Director Michael] McRaith will release a paper that is comprehensive and correctly points out the strengths of the current state insurance regulatory model in terms of the financial crisis and how insurance companies fared through it, and he will also use the opportunity to point out some of the weaknesses. What he concludes is the six million dollar question.”

Grande anticipates more federal involvement in all aspects of financial services in varying degrees. “There’s lots of speculation, but it’s all speculation,” Grande says. “Most of our industry would not like to see a new federal insurance regulatory regime, certainly not a duplicative one. If that is the conclusion and the direction, that will become the fight for the industry for the next few years.”

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access