Daily Record on November 30, 2012
by Jay Bradford
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), of which I am a member, recently named 29 consumer liaison representatives for 2013. Twenty of the positions are funded and the remaining nine are unfunded. Established in 1992, the liaison program promotes consumer interaction with the NAIC’s members, the insurance industry, and interested parties through these individuals’ dedication and commitment to serving the public interest.
I view this program as a hallmark of the consumer education and protection goals of the organization. The program recognizes the importance of consumer viewpoints in regulatory discussions and these representatives provide valuable insight that is instrumental in our united goal of improving the insurance regulatory system.
Some of the funded consumer liaisons represent diverse organizations such as the Center for Economic Justice, the Center for Insurance Research, Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, the Young Invincibles, and professors from the University of Texas, and Washington and Lee University.
Unfunded liaisons represent the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, First Focus, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, Autism Speaks, Community Catalyst, the American Heart Association, Voices for Utah Children, Consumer Advocates, and the Consumers Union.
In order to qualify as a representative, these individuals must have exhibited a commitment to representing consumer interests in insurance regulation; represent a non-profit organization; have shown a willingness to fully participate in NAIC national meetings and related conference calls; demonstrated expertise and experience on insurance-related issues; and not have obligations or commitments to an industry that conflicts with their responsibilities to represent consumer interests.
While these liaisons provide a perspective on national trends in the marketplace, the Arkansas Insurance Department also relies heavily on the complaint data we receive from our own Consumer Services Division (CSD). CSD is able to tell us more clearly what is happening here in the state and even in certain local areas, especially after a storm or other catastrophic event.
The Arkansas Insurance Department is located at 1200 West Third Street in downtown Little Rock. 1-800-852-5494. www.insurance.arkansas.gov
Jay Bradford was appointed Insurance Commissioner by Governor Mike Beebe on January 15, 2009.