Senate Banking Committee To Hold Hearing On Optional Federal Insurance Charter
July 7, 2006
The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold a hearing on a proposed optional federal insurance charter on July 11, 2006. A witness list has not been finalized at this time. On April 5, 2006, Senators John Sununu (R-NH) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced the National Insurance Act (S. 2509). This bill would let life and property/casualty insurers opt for a federal regulator, rather than state insurance commissioner. The bill would create the Office of National Insurance within the Treasury Department similar to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
This issue continues to be controversial with big banks and insurers supporting the optional charter, while smaller banks, insurers, and agents oppose the bill. Although ALTA has a position opposing a federal charter, our Government Affairs Committee is reviewing the details of the current bill to determine what modifications would be needed to ensure it does not adversely affect the title industry. The hearing next week is the only action expected on the bill for the remainder of this year.