News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 17, 2013

Business dean: Insurance reform hot topic

Austin Arceo
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Two key congressional leaders from opposite sides of the aisle will be among those providing public policy insights for the insurance industry at an upcoming summit in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., will speak at Networks Financial Institute’s ninth annual Insurance Public Policy Summit on March 20 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. NFI is part of the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University.

The summit, with a theme of “Navigating U.S. and International Cross Currents,” will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature policy, industry and research experts discussing the latest analysis and updates on areas affecting the insurance industry.

“There are under discussion new rules for capital requirements, accounting standards and collateral that affect the global insurance industry, and there are efforts here and abroad to harmonize and improve these standards,” said John Tatom, director of research for NFI. “It’s not just affecting domestic insurers. It’s also affecting the international operations of domestic insurers, as well as international companies that are doing business in the U.S.”

The goal of the summit is to engage industry leaders and lawmakers in a forum that promotes an interchange of ideas on proposed regulatory reforms, said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business.

“An important outcome of the summit is that key policymakers are informed about the goals, the costs and the benefits associated with potential changes in the legal and regulatory environment,” Smith said.

John P. Nolan, senior policy adviser with the Federal Insurance Office, will provide an update. The FIO was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. The federal office “monitors all aspects of the insurance industry” and assists with negotiating certain international agreements, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury website.

The FIO is the first national level office of its kind, as insurance has typically been overseen at the state level, Smith said.

“The Federal Insurance Office will have an impact on the international insurance industry because there is no governing body for the United States,” said Smith, who also is the interim director of NFI. “The office can potentially provide significant guidance and support to the insurance industry, but there are still many questions about the impact the Federal Insurance Office will have in both the short- and long-term.”

State regulators will be represented by Monica Lindeen, commissioner of securities and insurance for the Montana State Auditor and vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, discussing that group’s perspective.

Three researchers will present their latest findings on domestic and international regulatory issues confronting policymakers and the industry.

The summit is free, though registration is required. For more information, visit www.networks