WASHINGTON — Rick Means, president and CEO of Shelter Insurance Companies and member of the board of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) testified today before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing entitled “The Federal Government’s Role in the Insurance Industry.” The hearing focused on two bipartisan bills sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA). H.R. 3861 would refocus the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) on international matters and require FIO to coordinate more closely with the states. H.R. 3762 would place guardrails on federal negotiators in international insurance discussion to ensure they represent the interests of the U.S. marketplace and its regulators, the state insurance commissioners. PCI strongly supports these bills.
“PCI applauds Chairman Duffy, Ranking Member Cleaver, and the members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing on two important bills,” said Nat Wienecke, PCI’s senior vice president, federal government relations. “These bills recognize and uphold the U.S. system of state-based regulation that has helped create the largest, most competitive, and financially strong insurance market in the world for the benefit of insurance consumers.”
“Since enactment of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, Congress has repeatedly reviewed and reaffirmed the success of state-based regulation of insurance,” continued Wienecke. “FIO was created under the Dodd-Frank Act, however, it was not intended to intrude on state regulation.”
In his testimony, Means said, “Instead of focusing on developing strong Team USA positions, FIO has spent considerable resources second guessing the states on their core activities and threatening state regulators with federal intrusion. FIO has imposed multiple data calls on insurers on subjects well within state authority, such as auto insurance and terrorism insurance.”
Means continued, “We need FIO and the states working together, not in conflict. And we need FIO to focus on its international mission, with appropriate safeguards and close supervision by Congress.”
“These bills, together, will assure that federal efforts will be focused not on duplicating effective domestic insurance regulation, but on improving the representation of U.S. interests in international insurance regulatory discussions,” said Wienecke.
“PCI strongly supports H.R. 3861, the Federal Insurance Office Reform Act of 2017, and H.R. 3762, the International Insurance Standards Act of 2017, and urges members of the committee to do the same,” concluded Wienecke.
PCI’s letters of support are attached. Means' written testimony can be found here.