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Surplus lines reform bill introduced


WASHINGTON—A bill introduced Thursday in Congress to streamline the regulation of reinsurers and nonadmitted insurers has won the support of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.

RIMS opposed an earlier version of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act, which the U.S. House passed last year, because of its stringent definition of a "qualified risk manager." The earlier version would have imposed the requirement before a broker representing a policyholder could access the nonadmitted market directly without first seeking coverage in the admitted market. However, a revised bill introduced Thursday in the House by Reps. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., and Virginia Brown-Waite, R-Fla., contains a much more flexible definition.

Last year's bill required, among other things, that a qualified risk manager meet at least two of three criteria: have an undefined "advanced degree" in risk management, one of several specified professional designations or five years' experience in specific areas of insurance.

The new version of the bill provides five ways to meet that portion of the definition of "qualified risk manager," said Terry Fleming, a director of New York-based RIMS.

Risk managers could meet the requirement by having a bachelor's degree in specific academic disciplines plus three years' experience in insurance; a bachelor's degree plus one of the listed professional designations; a professional designation plus seven years' experience; 10 years of experience in the industry; or a graduate degree in risk management.

"We were prepared to oppose this until they made the change," said Mr. Fleming, who is also director-division of risk management for Montgomery County, Md., in Rockville. "We're satisfied; we negotiated with staffers on the Hill. The language that is in the bill now is acceptable to RIMS."