WASHINGTON BUREAU -- The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has sent a letter to all members of the new Congress warning them that a federal insurance charter could ultimately cost states up to $16 billion in annual revenue.
The letter was sent to all members of Congress Wednesday, the opening day of the 112th Congress.
The letter was signed by North Dakota state Rep. George Keiser, R-N.D., the NCOIL president.
Keiser writes on behalf of NCOIL that state lawmakers fear that "funds and jobs could be lost if the Congress authorizes a federal insurance charter and creates a new bureaucracy to regulate insurance."
Keiser notes that insurance fees, assessments, and premium taxes account for about $16 billion in state revenue nationwide.
"These monies fund key priorities, including education, infrastructure, and healthcare initiatives," Keiser says. "The insurance sector also provides thousands of jobs in state government, insurance enterprises, and medical offices that support families across the country."
NCOIL recognizes that insurance regulation must evolve, and members work to promote "uniform answers to national concerns," but "NCOIL believes that state regulation is the best way to protect state citizens and promote a healthy insurance marketplace," Keiser says.
Keiser cites NCOIL's efforts to promote the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact, which helps streamline the product filing process in participating states, and NCOIL's work on models in areas such as retained asset accounts and life settlements.