Last month, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its Fall National Meeting. Here is a synopsis of the most notable aspects of the meeting.
Creation of New “Letter” Committee
First, some background on the NAIC’s structure may be helpful. The NAIC places its committees at the top, with subgroups, working groups, and task forces typically reporting up to the committees. Each committee is designated with a letter, and that letter appears after the name of the committee itself as well as each entity that reports up to it.
During the Fall National Meeting, the NAIC approved the creation of a new “letter” committee for the first time since 2004. Its new “H” Committee will be known as the Innovation, Cybersecurity and Technology (H) Committee. The H Committee will oversee a variety of issues previously spread across several of the NAIC’s other letter committees, including the adoption and implementation of the NAIC Insurance Data Security Model Act by the states, the survey currently underway on the use of e-commerce in the context of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), and the use of artificial intelligence in the insurance industry.
Announcement of New Leadership Team
The meeting also included the ascension of several of the NAIC’s existing officers and the election of its newest officer. The 2022 NAIC officers who ascended to their new positions last month are Idaho Director Dean Cameron as president, Missouri Director Chlora Lindley-Myers as president-elect, and Connecticut Commissioner Andrew Mais as vice president.
The newest member of the NAIC leadership team is Commissioner Jon Godfread of North Dakota, who was elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at the conclusion of the Fall Meeting. Commissioner Godfread is notable for his leadership of the Innovation and Technology Task Force, which has since disbanded and had its subgroups folded into the aforementioned H Committee. In 2019, Commissioner Godfread, who is 6 feet, 10 inches tall, distinguished himself in a different way when he was named the world’s tallest politician by Guinness World Records.
South Carolina Superintendent Ray Farmer and Pennsylvania Commissioner Jessica Altman were honored for their work in 2021. Outgoing NAIC president and Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier presented Superintendent Farmer with the NAIC President’s Award for Distinguished NAIC Leadership. In his remarks, Commissioner Altmaier highlighted Superintendent Farmer’s five decades of regulatory service, his leadership in the development of the Insurance Data Security Model Act, and his role as chair of the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance, among his many accomplishments. Commissioner Altmaier also announced that the NAIC’s leadership team had unanimously agreed to rename the President’s Award in honor of Superintendent Farmer; going forward, it will be known as the Raymond G. Farmer Award for Exceptional Leadership.
Commissioner Altman received the Consumer Representatives’ Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award, which was presented by the NAIC’s appointed consumer representatives. The consumer representatives honor one commissioner each year for their work on behalf of insurance consumers; the consumer representatives are selected each year by the NAIC’s Consumer Participation Board of Trustees. The award shone a spotlight on Commissioner Altman’s work on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the No Surprises Act, among others.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update
Finally, during the Fall National Meeting, the NAIC adopted its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Report, which outlined the actions the NAIC has taken in furtherance of its 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework. The DE&I framework set forth the NAIC’s goals of communicating respectfully and honestly in the workplace, cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce, creating an environment that ensures equal access to opportunities for growth, and offering employees and members DE&I trainings, among others.
The NAIC committees typically adopt a combination of new and recurring charges each year, and, as they pursue those charges, we will continue to work with the NAIC and state regulators to protect the interests of independent agents.