Insurance mostly dodges financial reform

Federal Insurance Office
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Federal Insurance Office

The financial reform act creates the Federal Insurance Office. Housed in the Treasury Department, its mission is to monitor the insurance industry for systemic risks, oversee the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and participate in international insurance agreements. It will cover all types of insurance -- except health insurance.

But the office lacks regulatory authority. The insurance industry fought hard to prevent it, fearing that any federal encroachment on the state system was a step toward Optional Federal Charter.

Vaughan prefers to see the Federal Insurance Office as a potential resource. "I think we all agree that having a source of federal expertise in insurance can be a very good thing. It just depends on how it gets used," she says.

Impact on consumers: It is too soon to tell.




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