The National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) applauds the inclusion of the surplus lines reform language in the Senate Banking Committee’s Financial Services Reform legislation, entitled "American Financial Stability Act of 2009", which was released, today. NAPSLO thanks Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) and all of the members of the Committee for their work in incorporating the surplus lines reform language in this important financial services modernization legislation. NAPSLO also recognizes Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) as well as Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and former Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) for their leadership and support in sponsoring this surplus lines reform legislation in the Senate.
The surplus lines reform language has already passed the House three times, most recently on September 9, 2009, without a single negative vote. NAPSLO expects these provisions to become law, shortly.When enacted the surplus lines modernization language will make the payment of surplus lines taxes, particularly on multi-state risks, more efficient and less burdensome to the surplus lines broker and will benefit the insurance consumer who ultimately pays the price of the current dysfunctional and costly tax remittance system. In addition, multiple, duplicative and overlapping compliance requirements will be eliminated on surplus lines policies that insure risks across state lines. The legislation also allows many commercial buyers easier access to the surplus lines market where coverage for difficult and hard to insure risks can be found.
“The Senate Banking Committee’s action is a giant step toward realizing the goal of a more efficient process for transacting surplus lines business for both consumers and insurance professionals,” NAPSLO President Marshall Kath stated.
Richard Bouhan, NAPSLO Executive Director said, “NAPSLO has been in the forefront of the effort to streamline the surplus lines marketplace for a number of years and we are beginning to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ from this effort with today’s Banking Committee action.”
“We still have some distance to go, legislatively, before surplus lines regulatory reform is a reality, but we are well on the way to enacting this important insurance modernization legislation,” said Maria Berthoud of B&D Consulting who represents NAPSLO in Washington, D.C.
The bill contains a whole host of changes regarding the regulation of insurance and other financial services and NAPSLO will be reviewing those from the surplus lines perspective and commenting on them shortly.