Washington, D.C. - United States Senators John Sununu (R-N.H.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) have introduced the "National Insurance Act of 2006," legislation that would allow life and property/casualty insurers to choose federal rather than state charters under an "optional federal charter" regulatory system.Sununu and Johnson, both members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, introduced the legislation on Wednesday, April 5. The measure has been referred to the Banking Committee where hearings are expected later this spring.

"Unlike the modernization of banking and securities of the late 1990s under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the insurance industry remains subject to a patchwork of state regulations that have stifled competition, innovation, and growth," said Sununu. "The existing governing system spreads across more than 50 jurisdictions and has proven burdensome and expensive for all concerned. A more uniform regulatory environment mirroring the highly successful dual banking system is long overdue and stands to substantially improve the environment for those who buy, sell, and underwrite life and property and casualty insurance."

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