As Congress moves towards a debate over sweeping reform of the nation’s financial regulations, we urge you to pay careful attention to public policy questions concerning insurance. Although we may differ on some of the details, all of us support the idea of a modern, streamlined, optional national regulatory system for property and casualty and life insurance. Through bureaucratic price controls, limits on innovation, and ill-considered regulations, the current system does not serve the needs of our national economy. An improved system, we believe, should give insurers and consumers the option of dealing with federal or state regulated entities. In so doing it would serve the needs of insurance consumers nationwide while improving our national economy.
As proposed in the National Insurance Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 1880), such a system of voluntary federal regulation—sometimes referred to as an optional federal charter—would have several advantages. We believe it would help American consumers, improve regulation of the insurance industry, and boost America’s international competitiveness. We address these arguments in order.