Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NAPSLO encouraged by planned reintroduction of NRRA in Senate

NAPSLO officials said they are encouraged by the planned early reintroduction of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2009 in the Senate and hope that the bill will be approved by the 111th Congress.

Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Mel Martinez (R-FL), members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, announced today that they will introduce a version of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) of 2009.

"We are thrilled to have garnered the leadership of Senator Bayh, a senior Democratic member of the Senate Banking Committee, to help lead the effort on surplus lines reform this year along with the continued excellent leadership of Senator Martinez," said Maria Berthoud of B&D Consulting, who represents NAPSLO in Washington, D.C.

"The new leadership of Senator Bayh shows the momentum the NRRA has this year. With the leadership of Senators Bayh and Martinez, we are optimistic about the bill's chances for passage." said NAPSLO President John Wood. “This bill was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives the past two sessions and the early introduction in the Senate offers encouragement that the bill will be approved by the 111th Congress and signed into law.”

The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) measure is aimed specifically at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. It would create a uniform system, while preserving the role of the state regulator.

In February, Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) of the House Committee on Financial Services announced that they would take the lead in introducing the NRRA in the House. The NRRA is similar to bills passed by the House in the 109th and 110th Congress. The NRRA was also introduced in the Senate in the 110th Congress and the Senate Banking Committee reviewed the bill during hearings on insurance regulation in late July of 2008. The bill received a favorable hearing however legislation regarding the financial crisis prevented further consideration of the bill by the Senate in 2008.

NAPSLO officials said they hope to see the bill introduced soon and believe there is continued strong industry support for the bill, as was stated during the Senate Banking Committee hearings in 2008.

“The bill enjoys broad support within the industry and we believe it will solve a number of regulatory problems by establishing federal standards for state regulation, yet will retain state regulation which avoided many of the problems seen in the recent crisis,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan.

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