Even if one discounts the calamitous months that ended the year preceding it, 2009 was already shaping up to be an eventful year for insurance companies. Long-standing regulatory disputes regarding issues such as agent licensing, and the establishment of an optional federal charter were already percolating. So it's not much of a stretch to assume that given the subsequent meltdown of the financial services market - and the proclivity of politicians to pass sweeping legislation in the wake of such events - that such issues will likely come to a full boil in 2009.
While insurance regulation has traditionally focused solely on solvency - the concern was that companies had the financial wherewithal to make good on claims - new regulations will likely take a more holistic, enterprisewide approach. In light of recent events, in addition to protecting consumers from misconduct by insurers, insurance regulators will now be charged with protecting insurers from themselves.
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