CUNA Mutual Joins Group Lobbying For Federal Insurance Regulator

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CUNA Mutual Group has joined a group of national insurance companies lobbying Congress to create a federal regulatory structure and charter for insurers, who are now governed by 50 different state regulatory systems. The burden of having to comply with rules from 56 separate (the states and U.S. territories) insurance regulators is too inefficient for companies, agents and consumers to manage, especially those whose interests are national in scope, says a letter the group plans to send to congressional leaders next week.

Larry Blanchard, chief lobbyist for CUNA Mutual, said the effort to create a national framework for insurance regulations is something that has been going on for years but has gained momentum since 9/11 when differences between individual states' insurance systems came to light. "There are no standards from state-to-state. We deal in all 50 states; we have legal staffs in all 50 states. A single regulator would bring some efficiencies and bring rates down," Blanchard told The Credit Union Journal. "For companies like us who deal in every state, it's a challenge, and very costly."

Blanchard said they hope to work towards creation of a dual chartering system, like the one enjoyed by credit unions and banks, giving them the choice between a national charter or a state charter.

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