Congressman May Want Global Capital for Flood, But Global Standards Not So Much

Congressman May Want Global Capital for Flood, But Global Standards Not So Much

Days after setting a privatization agenda for U.S. flood insurance program that piqued the interest of global insurers, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) passed legislation that looks to curtail international insurance standards in the U.S.

The Luetkemeyer-sponsored Transparent Insurance Standards Act, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday, which would allow states and Congress to block any standard issued by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) impacting U.S. domestic markets or insurers.

Arguing that the bill would “uphold Article I of the Constitution,” the bill states that any insurance standard issued by the IAIS would “not be self-executing” and Congress would he opportunity to reject any agreement.

In a statement, Luetkemeyer strikes a particularly protectionist tone when it comes to European insurance regulation.

“My bill maintains that international discussions should represent the state-based regulatory system and that United States should be in the position of exporting our standards, not importing them from Europe,” Luetkemeyer said in the statement. “On matters of importance to consumers, America will lead and not be led.”

The bills passage comes days after Luetkemeyer, in his role as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, issued a set of “principles” for the renewal of the U.S. flood insurance program that was quickly applauded by international insurers.

The principles include to increased privatization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), moving beyond the current reinsurance pilot program and possible entering into capital markets solutions, such as catastrophe bonds.

The NFIP principals were quickly applauded by global insurance representatives.

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