The 2010 Congressional session will feature a bevy of issues that impact the property/casualty industry directly.

The establishment of the Federal Office of Insurance (FIO) and efforts aimed at stopping systemic risk by granting regulators broader resolution authority are chief concerns, says Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Insurance Association.

“Our priorities will remain focused on ensuring that the unique nature of the property/casualty industry is recognized in the reforms being considered in Congress,” Pusey says. “Specifically, we will be working on how any new heightened prudential supervision standards would impact insurance companies and the treatment of insurers in any accompanying resolution authority provisions. In any of the reforms being considered, policymakers need to account for the level of risk our industry poses to the broader financial system, the nature of our business and regulatory standards, and our existing resolution and guaranty processes.”

Pusey also holds out hope for the establishment of an optional federal charter for insurance companies. "The current state-based insurance regulatory system is not well-suited to bridge information or regulatory gaps that may arise in today’s complex and global economy. AIA believes regulatory modernization is needed in the wake of the financial crisis and we look forward to working with Congressional leaders to enact legislation that will provide a pathway towards a safe, healthy and competitive insurance marketplace.”

Pusey adds that other items high on the legislative agenda for 2010 include reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program and safety issues such as distracted driving bans.

“It is essential that programs like the National Flood Program and Federal highway program be reauthorized,” concluded Ms. Pusey. “AIA has been a strong proponent of comprehensive flood insurance reform and our industry has made great strides in protecting policyholders and ensuring that our nation’s roadways continue to reduce accidents and deaths, but more must be done.”

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