Protecting State Insurance Regulation
Defend the State Insurance Regulatory System
PIA supports our thriving state-based insurance regulatory system and opposes federal laws and regulations that threaten it. As such, PIA supports the repeal of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO).
PIA supports our successful system of state-based insurance regulation because it has effectively protected consumers for more than a century and has created and cultivated a competitive and diverse U.S. insurance market that has served policyholders’ needs for over 150 years.
The insurance industry is regulated by a supervisory system that provides for oversight by individual states, rather than by a federal bureaucracy. This structure helps to ensure fairness for policyholders by allowing state insurance commissioners to design a system of oversight that meets the needs of that state’s policyholders. Indeed, this state-based system has prevented major financial disasters; in fact, a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in June 2013 concluded that our state-based insurance regulatory system helped to mitigate the negative effect of the 2008 financial crisis on the insurance industry.
Repeal the Federal Insurance Office
In 2010, advocates of federal insurance regulation created the FIO as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank). PIA opposed the creation of the FIO from the outset. The very existence of the FIO threatens the primacy of state-based insurance regulation.
Many of FIO’s duties are examples of federal overreach and are duplicative of entities that already exist in our state-based insurance regulatory system. Additionally, like most federal offices, the power of the FIO has expanded since its 2010 creation. In its decade of existence, the FIO has sought to federally regulate mortgage insurance; to be included in international supervisory colleges; and to promulgate uniform national standards for state guaranty associations. In addition, over the years, it has been identified as a potential overseer of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB). Every one of these acts is well outside the FIO’s mandate.
In November 2016, PIA became the first national insurance association to publicly call for the repeal of the FIO. Since then, PIA has been working with members of Congress to develop legislation to repeal it. PIA supports the Federal Insurance Office Abolishment Act (S. 524/H.R. 4866) sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Reps. Ben Cline (R-VA) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI).
The mandate of the FIO has already been expanded by the Biden administration’s Executive Order (EO) on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which directed the Treasury Secretary to task the FIO with assessing “climate-related issues or gaps in the supervision and regulation of insurers.” More recently, ostensibly in response to the EO, the Treasury Secretary issued a Request for Information on the Insurance Sector and Climate-Related Financial Risks, and PIA registered its objections to this broadening in scope of the FIO’s mandate.
Complete repeal of the FIO is the only way to ensure the continued primacy of state insurance regulation and to protect it from further federal encroachment. We will continue to encourage support for the FIO repeal legislation.
See the one page fact sheet here on FIO repeal here.
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