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April 24, 2012

Johanns Introduces Bill to Increase Insurance Options

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today introduced legislation aimed at increasing options and consumer protections in the insurance market while also cutting insurance costs. The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB) Reform Act would enable insurance brokers to more easily register across state lines, expand the market for consumers and could lead to lower prices due to increased competition.

"Cutting bureaucratic red tape is a common sense reform that will dramatically cut compliance costs for agents," Johanns said. "This bill will improve consumer protections and increase competition, which often leads to lower premiums. It retains authority for states while streamlining the process."

The bill makes the NARAB a reality, first conceived in Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation, but never instituted. The NARAB would be a non-profit independent board comprised of state insurance commissioners and insurance market representatives. Insurance agents who have passed background checks in their home state could apply for NARAB membership, which would enable them to sell insurance in other states. The bill includes provisions to ensure transparency and consumer protection while also empowering NARAB to levy disciplinary measures on agents who do not adhere to guidelines.

Johanns is introducing the bill, S. 2342, along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

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