With the significant changes that have occurred in insurance industry regulation as a result of the financial crisis of 2008, market conduct regulation and regulatory compliance have become critical issues for insurance firms of all sizes.
An essential component of insurance regulation is the appropriate oversight of how insurance companies distribute their products in the marketplace – something known as market conduct regulation, or simply market regulation. Market conduct—a term commonly used in the insurance industry to describe problems associated with the distribution and sale of insurance—has become a key insurance regulatory focus over the last decade. Insurance regulators view market conduct as critical to ensuring the welfare of consumers and maintaining public confidence in the insurance industry.
Market conduct regulation attempts to ensure that consumers:
- are charged fair and reasonable insurance prices
- have access to beneficial and compliant insurance products
- are protected against insurers that fail to operate in ways that are legal and fair
Understanding the numerous market conduct regulations now affecting the insurance industry and enforcing compliance is key to organizational success.
The market conduct examination process is changing rapidly. In response to the evolving regulatory environment, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) developed the Market Conduct Annual Statement (MCAS) in 2002 to provide regulators with a uniform system of collecting market-related information to help states monitor the market conduct of companies. Currently, the MCAS is used to collect claims and underwriting data on the Private Passenger Auto, Homeowners, Life, Annuity, Long-Term Care, Health, Disability and Lender-Placed (Auto and Homeowners) lines of business (LOBs).
At Lou Penn & Associates we’ve developed a new market conduct regulation tool, the Market Conduct Auditor, to help insurance companies respond to the MCAS and other regulatory tools and requirements. It focuses on organizing market conduct data so that the user doesn’t have to wade through lists of compliance violations to find the issues relevant for answering a particular question or to develop your compliance plan. The Market Conduct Auditor can be used to monitor market conduct compliance and create custom self-audits which you can download on your own systems. Everything has been done to keep the process simple, enabling you to avoid time-consuming audits and tedious hunts in lists of information.
Our Market Conduct Auditor helps firms undertake market conduct reviews and identify, organize, and analyze market conduct data more easily and efficiently. This is crucial because problems spotted during a market conduct review can be a precursor to financial solvency concerns. Market regulation also evaluates companies’ fulfillment of contractual obligations to their policyholders and claimants.
To learn more about market conduct regulation and schedule a customized seminar for your business and state, contact the insurance regulatory compliance experts here at Lou Penn & Associates.