Federal Insurance Office (FIO) Director Michael McRaith’s first appearance before a Congressional hearing could provide some needed reassurance for those concerned about the prospect of dual regulatory layers for insurance. Some had expressed concerns that the FIO, whose mandate includes sending a report to Congress early next year on how to improve state insurance regulation—including how federal regulation could help—could add another layer of regulation for insurers, increasing the burden on the industry.
While McRaith’s prepared testimony paid tribute to state regulation, including his six years as Illinois Insurance Director, what might have been most striking to those viewing the hearing was the deference the federal legislators granted to state regulators. With few exceptions, the legislators noted the strength of state insurance regulation and how well insurance companies did during the last fiscal crisis under that regime.
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