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Bill to streamline insurer regulation readied


WASHINGTON—Two lawmakers are poised to introduce legislation in the U.S. House on Thursday that would streamline the regulation of reinsurers and nonadmitted insurers.

The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act that Reps. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., and Virginia Brown-Waite, R-Fla., are expected to introduce would subject nonadmitted insurers only to the premium taxes of the policyholder's home state. States would create a compact to allocate taxes among themselves.

In addition, a reinsurer would be subject to the solvency regulations only of its state of domicile.

The measure also seeks to streamline direct access to the nonadmitted market by qualified risk managers. The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. opposed a version of the bill passed by the House last year because of its stringent definition of a "qualified risk manager," which would have required an "advanced degree" in risk management. A late-draft version of the bill expected to be introduced Thursday contains a more liberal definition.

Supporters of the measure said the bill's introduction so early in the new Congress will enhance its chances of passage.

"I feel very confident this legislation will clear the House of Representatives," said Joel Wood, senior vp at the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers in Washington. He noted there also is interest in the bill in the Senate, which failed to take up last year's proposal.

He noted that the tight coastal property market could impact the bill's fate as well. Anything that eases access to coverage is "certainly welcome," Mr. Wood said.