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Legislative Positions

Here are our legislative team's priorities for the year ahead in Albany and Washington, DC.

Want to help us push these issues?

 

 Contact

 
Kathy Weinheimer, CPCU,AAI
Kathleen Weinheimer
Senior Vice President of Industry Relations
P: 800-962-7950
F: 888-432-0510
E: kweinheimer@iiabny.org

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Additional Priorities Outlined in the 2014 Legislative Position Paper:
 
Hea​lth Insurance

IIABNY supports agent involvement in the state’s health benefit exchange
and receipt of fair compensation for their services.

Excess & Surplus Lines Market

IIABNY supports changes to the Excess Lines law to facilitate the ease of doing business.

Modernization of Outdated Insurance Law & Regulation

IIABNY supports changes to insurance regulations that allow producers to maintain premium trust accounts in out-of-state banks.

IIABNY supports changes to the rules requiring specific approval from insurance companies for agents and brokers to hold fiduciary funds in an interest-bearing account.

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Agent Licensing Reform
  • The Big “I” strongly supports legislation to streamline the nonresident licensing of agents and brokers to allow them to better serve the insurance consumer. This
    legislation, the “National Association of Registered Agents & Brokers Reform Act” (NARAB II), was introduced by Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) in the Senate, S. 534, and
    Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) in the House, H.R. 1155. The legislation has passed the House by a voice vote in two previous Congresses and has been endorsed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

    NARAB II would increase consumer access to insurance markets and allow agents and brokers operating on a multi-state level to avoid duplicative licensing requirements while maintaining important consumer protections.
Terrorism Insurance
  • The current authorization for the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Act” (TRIA) expires on Dec. 31, 2014. IIABA urges Congress to work toward enacting an extension of this program as soon as possible in order to continue protecting our country’s economic security against the threat of terrorism.

    As such, the Big “I” supports H.R. 508, the “TRIA Reauthorization Act of 2013,” by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), which would provide for a five-year reauthorization of this important program.
Health Care
  • In just a few short years, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) has already begun to create a sea change in the health insurance marketplace. Unfortunately, the law has created an extremely challenging environment for Big “I” members both as small businesses and as health insurance advisors. IIABA urges Members of Congress to keep agent and consumer issues in mind as the implementation dates of the major provisions of the law approach.

    Into the year 2014 and beyond, ensuring a strong agent and broker role in health insurance exchanges is of great importance. With the major changes in the marketplace caused by the PPACA, consumers will need professional guidance more than ever. In tandem with this issue, proper regulation, training and oversight of so-called “navigators” or other similar government-funded entities operating within the exchanges will be a vital consumer protection issue.

    Lastly, a focus for IIABA has been to gain relief for agents, brokers and the consumers they serve from the detrimental Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) regulations. As a result, the Big “I” supports bills in both the Senate and House that would preserve consumer access to agents and brokers by excluding agent compensation from the MLR calculation.
Flood Insurance
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is an important public-private partnership that protects 5.7 million consumers and 22,000 participating communities from the dangers of floods. In July 2012, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law, the “Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012” (FIRA). This legislation provided a five-year extension of the program and enacted needed measures meant to decrease subsidies and help make the program more fiscally sound. Unfortunately, before a single major provision of FIRA was implemented, Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast resulting in approximately $8-12 billion in NFIP covered losses. As a result, one of the first actions of the 113th Congress was to grant the NFIP an additional $9.7 billion to help pay Sandy claims.

    The Big “I” expects additional scrutiny of the NFIP and looks forward to working with Congress on ways to ensure that the flood insurance program works effectively to protect the millions of consumers who rely on it without adversely affecting U.S. taxpayers. However, the Big “I” believes that the provisions from FIRA that will help the program become more actuarially sound should be given a chance to work before wholesale changes are made. Additionally, it is important that any reforms to the program take into account the historical inability of the private sector to underwrite flood risk as well as the need of millions of homeowners and small businesses to have such flood protection.