The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big "I") yesterday praised the U.S. House of Representatives for overwhelmingly approving the bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform bill, H.R. 1155, the "National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013" (NARAB II) by a 397-6 vote.
The bipartisan bill was introduced by House Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) in March with 42 original cosponsors. The bill currently boasts the support of 86 bipartisan sponsors.
NARAB II would build upon regulatory experience at the state level, promote consistency in agent and agency licensing and improve marketplace responsiveness. The legislation would provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections. This pragmatic bill would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among agents and brokers and giving consumers greater choices.
"NARAB II is vitally important for tens of thousands of Big 'I' members who operate on a multi-state basis," says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big "I" president & CEO. "We would like to particularly thank Reps. Neugebauer and Scott and their incredible staff for their tireless work on this important legislation that will ease consumer access to insurance markets while also leaving important consumer protections in the capable hands of state insurance regulators."
NARAB II passed the full House in two previous Congresses by voice vote. It also received strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the 112th Congress. The Senate companion bill, S. 534 by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) was also introduced in March, currently has 24 bipartisan sponsors, and passed the Senate Banking Committee by voice vote in July.
"The Big 'I' is very encouraged by today's bipartisan action on NARAB II and would also like to thank House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for their support on this issue," says Charles E. Symington, Big "I" senior vice president for external and government affairs. "We hope the Senate will take up this legislation in the near future and we look forward to working with Senate leadership to move the bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible."