Senate Banking Committee moves insurance producer licensing bill to full Senate

170px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Senate.svgThe Senate Banking Committee voted unanimously by voice vote on Thursday to move the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act—or NARAB II—to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill, which was introduced by Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), has 14 original co-sponsors and 23 bipartisan sponsors. The legislation seeks to streamline agent and agency licensing, as well as ensure consistency in non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing, Insurance Journal reports.

NARAB II will also establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, a non-profit, independent board to provide multi-state licensing for insurance providers. Agents will be able to apply for NARAB membership and become licensed to sell insurance across multiple states, though state will retain full authority in regulating the insurance industry.

“This bill has secured broad bipartisan support from this Committee,” Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo said.  “By reducing costs and increasing competition among insurance producers, we will generate lower costs and better service for consumers.”

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America—known as Big “I”—also praised the committee’s vote to push the legislation through.

“NARAB II is vitally important for tens of thousands of Big ‘I’ members who operate on a multi-state basis,” Big “I” President and CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt said, adding that the bill would “ease consumer access to insurance markets while also leaving important consumer protections in the capable hands of state insurance regulators,” according to Insurance Journal.

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