Statement on the Introduction of the Bill "National Insurance Act of 2006"(May 12, 2006

Tadashi Kodama, Chairman of the General Insurance Association of Japan, issues a statement to express the support for the introduction of "National Insurance Act (NIA) of 2006" by Senator John Sununu and Senator Tim Johnson to improve regulation of property / casualty insurance as well as life insurance in the United States. Text of the statement is as follows. Mr. Tadashi Kodama, Chairman
Mr. Tadashi Kodama, Chairman
The General Insurance Association of Japan (GIAJ) welcomes the initiative taken by Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) introducing federal regulation of insurance on April 5, 2006.

For one decade after the Japan-US insurance agreement was concluded in 1994, the Japanese non-life insurance industry has called for regulatory uniformity among the different states on as many occasions as possible, including the Japan - U.S. Insurance Consultation and the WTO Financial Services negotiation.

Last year, through the dialogue of the "Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative" between the US and Japan, the Government of Japan urged both the Government of the United States and NAIC "to realize to harmonize and unify the State-based insurance supervisory systems, or to shift to the federal regulatory system."

As a number of US insurers have stated, regulations which vary from state to state impose on all insurers, including non-US insurers, who operate in the United States significant costs and burdens, and hamper the efficiency of their operations. State regulations require insurers to obtain a license in every state in which they wish to do business and to comply with the respective (and often contradictory) regulatory requirements of all of them. This has caused various inefficiencies in the market, such as preventing insurers from timely marketing of new products to consumers throughout the United States and increasing operational costs due to multiple filings, applications and reporting requirements.

We applaud the current initiatives to introduce a federal regulatory structure into the U.S. insurance market. It must allow consumers to have opportunities to obtain insurance products without unnecessary delay. We sincerely hope that a forward-looking discussion on this issue will take place among the concerned parties, including the private sector, to realize truly effective federal regulation. We, the GIAJ, will maintain our support for this important initiative together with our US colleagues, including the American Insurance Association and other concerned Associations.

Statement (PDF File : 36KB)