Thursday, May 12, 2011

Treasury Department Announces Formation of Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance

The U.S. Treasury Department this week announced the formation of a Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI) to inform and counsel the department and recently named Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith on all matters related to insurance. This announcement comes on the heels of significant protest from industry and state regulators about the lack of insurance expertise and representation on the new Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the federal body charged with monitoring the U.S. financial system for potential systemic threats similar to those that brought the economy to the brink of collapse in 2008.

The FACI will include up to 15 members chosen from the spectrum of insurance expertise who will serve two year terms. Half of the committee will consist of state insurance regulators. The remaining members will be chosen from applicants to an upcoming Federal Register notice  (a release date has not been announced). Submissions are required within 15 days of the notice’s posting. A Treasury press release suggests that the committee will include representatives from the “property and casualty insurance industry, the life insurance industry, the reinsurance industry, the agent and broker community, public advocates, and academia.”

The FACI is expected to meet with Director McRaith on a regular basis, and will likely advise him as he fulfills his duties on the FSOC, represents U.S. insurance interests internationally, and conducts what is expected to be a far-reaching study on the modernization of insurance regulation. A large number of applications can be expected, as this Committee will have direct access and influence on the decisions of the federal government’s primary source for insurance expertise and policy guidance.

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