Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House Committee Passes Federal Insurance Office Act

Posted by Quang Nguyen

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee has passed a measure to create a scaled-back federal office that would be a national insurance information agency with some authority in the area of international insurance agreements.

The new federal office would not have any regulatory authority over the business of insurance and would not be able to override state insurance laws.

The key committee passed H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009, by a voice vote today.

The bill would create the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the U.S. Treasury Department to address two major areas that have been the focus of criticisms of state insurance regulation. First is the lack of a knowledge base or informational source in Washington, D.C. (something especially evident following the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina). Second, is the challenge state insurance regulators occasionally face in representing the United States in multilateral insurance discussions or entering into binding international agreements.

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