September 04, 2012

Missouri insurance director named chair of national solvency modernization initiative

Panel focuses on ever-changing role of solvency regulation

Jefferson City, Mo. - John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, has been appointed chair of a national task force focusing on insurance regulation. The Solvency Modernization Initiative was created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. NAIC President Kevin McCarty, Florida's insurance commissioner, named Huff chair during a recent meeting of the task force.

Launched in 2008, the Solvency Modernization Initiative is a critical self-examination of the United States' insurance solvency regulation framework and includes a review of international developments regarding insurance supervision, banking supervision, and international accounting standards and their potential use in U.S. insurance regulation. While U.S. insurance solvency regulation is updated on a continuous basis, the SMI will focus on five key solvency areas: capital requirements, international accounting, insurance valuation, reinsurance, and group regulatory issues.

NAIC's chief executive officer recently reported significant progress by the task force in the area of group supervision, where NAIC has amended its Holding Company Model Act and Regulation and introduced a new enterprise risk reporting requirement. NAIC has also adopted changes to the reinsurance model law and regulation.

"For state regulators, consumer protection begins with solvency - that is, making sure insurance companies are able to pay policyholder claims," said Huff. "Company investment practices become more complex each day, so it's vital that regulators continually update solvency requirements."

Huff's other leadership positions with the NAIC include:

  • Chair of the Midwest Zone, making him a member of the NAIC's Executive Committee
  • NAIC's representative on the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council
  • Vice chair of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission
  • Vice chair of the NAIC / Industry Liaison Committee
  • Vice chair of the Reinsurance Task Force

The Missouri Department of Insurance is a member of NAIC, as are the corresponding departments of 49 other states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.

The NAIC  is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S.