Regulatory updates affecting issuers of travel insurance

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has proposed to amend the NCOIL Limited Lines Travel Insurance Model Act. The Proposed Amendment was discussed before the P&C Committee during the annual NCOIL meeting on November 17. Greg Mitchell, in collaboration with John Fielding (with Steptoe & Johnson), presented background on the Model, information on the number of states that have adopted the original Model, which was limited to licensing, as well as commentary on the current regulatory environment and the critical need for regulatory/legislative modernization and guidance.

The Proposed Amendment’s purpose is to create a comprehensive legal framework to permit and regulate the sale of travel protection products in adopting states, while protecting consumers by encouraging fair and effective competition in the market. The Proposed Amendment expands on the prior Model Act that was intended to address licensing and establish a clear regulatory framework for the development and distribution of travel protection products. The Proposed Amendment also encourages innovation in the marketing and development of travel protection products, providing value to consumers and helping support the tourism industry—a major economic driver. Furthermore, the Proposed Amendment seeks to preserve the unique distribution channels utilized by travel protection products that have been developed to meet consumer demand, while protecting consumers and fostering an opportunity for compliance through a clear regulatory environment.

Following the NCOIL presentation, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Travel Insurance (C) Working Group has scheduled a session during the NAIC Fall National Meeting to discuss the Proposed Amendment to the NCOIL Travel Insurance Model Act and how the NAIC working group will collaborate with NCOIL on the Model going forward. The Working Group has requested preliminary written comments to be submitted by December 6. They will also hear comments from interested parties regarding the NCOIL Model Act during the NAIC session in Miami on December 10, 2016. Those wishing to provide verbal comments must indicate their interest to NAIC staff by Friday, December 2.