House Passes Surplus Lines Reform Legislation
The House of Representatives passed HR 2571, the Non-Admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2009 on Wednesday, September 9, 2009.
The bill, authored by Reps. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., and Scott Garrett, R-N.J, will simplify the tax remittance and compliance responsibilities surplus lines brokers must discharge, says the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO). "We are very pleased to see the strong support the House members gave the bill and we hope the Senate will follow suit," said NAPSLO President John Wood. "This is an important piece of regulatory reform that will help both consumers and the industry."
The NRRA (HR 2571, S 1363) is aimed at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. It would create a uniform regulatory system, while preserving the role of the state regulator.
The House overwhelmingly passed similar versions of the bill in the last two sessions of Congress. The Senate considered a similar bill in 2008 but it took no action prior to the end of the 110th Congress, requiring that the bill be reintroduced in the 111th Congress.
"This is the third time the House has passed this legislation. We are hoping the third time is the charm and the bill will be signed into law," said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. "These reforms and efficiencies are needed now."
Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) introduced the Senate companion to the House-approved NRRA in early June. NAPSLO representatives have been working closely with these leaders and other members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to encourage Senate action on the bill.
"We are encouraged by our discussions and look forward to the Senate passing the bill soon, whether as a stand-alone bill or in connection with other financial services and insurance reform proposals," said Maria Berthoud, Partner, B and D Consulting, a Washington, D.C. firm working with NAPSLO. "A number of proposals are being considered by the Senate and we believe the NRRA will be included as part of these reforms. Senate leaders know how important this bill is and recognize that it has broad industry support and the unanimous endorsement of the House."