December 29, 2010

Missouri insurance director elected as officer of interstate compact

Jefferson City, Mo. - Missouri insurance director John M. Huff has been elected treasurer of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission. The commission on Dec. 20 elected new officers for 2011.

The Interstate Insurance Compact is a partnership among state insurance regulators that reviews certain types of insurance policies, ensuring they meet certain standards before they are sold to consumers. Because insurers are able to file their forms with one regulator, the review and approval process is faster and more efficient, allowing quality insurance products to be available sooner to Missouri consumers.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 577 in 2009, which made Missouri a member of the compact. Insurance policies that can be filed with the compact include annuities, life, long-term care and disability insurance.

Because the compact handles policy review and approval, Missouri and other partner states are able to focus on solvency oversight, enforcement and consumer protection.

"Since our becoming a member of the compact in 2009, we have already seen improvements in filing time over states that are not members," said Huff. "Missouri is an enthusiastic supporter of the compact, and I look forward to making this interstate partnership even stronger."

Huff says the compact leverages technology, reduces unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy, and makes insurance regulation more efficient. He says because insurers no longer have to file identical documents in multiple states, they can enter the Missouri market sooner, leading to more competition.

The Missouri Department of Insurance and other member states play a role in deciding the standards that are enforced under the compact, and each state has the right to opt out of any standard it finds unacceptable. Consumer advocate groups are also involved in developing standards, including AARP and the Center for Insurance Research.

The Interstate Insurance Compact was created in 2004 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which consists of insurance regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories. More information is available at