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2011 NAIC Annual Report Welcome Message

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Published on Feb 23, 2012

Susan E. Voss, 2011 NAIC President and Iowa Insurance Commissioner and Therese M. (Terri) Vaughan, Ph.D., NAIC Chief Executive Officer. Welcome users to the online home of the 2011 Annual Report for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or NAIC (http://www.naic.org). This electronic format builds a new structure for us to celebrate our one hundred forty-year old history. In many ways, the NAIC and our national system of state-based insurance regulation is like a house with many rooms. Its structure includes "windows" that open to give a view and viewpoint on regulatory issues around the world. The NAIC — home of U.S. insurance regulation — has a foundation strong enough for renovations to accommodate the changing insurance marketplace, allowing the principles of insurance regulation to both originate and thrive. The safety and comfort implied in the word "home" assumed particular significance in 2011. Catastrophic storms, wildfires, historic flooding and drought caused record losses. In our own neighborhoods, we witnessed wildfires in Texas, floods in the upper Midwest, while Hurricane Irene inundated the eastern seaboard and massive tornadoes struck Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Around the world, Christchurch, New Zealand was heavily damaged by a deadly earthquake followed by an even more deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan, while Thailand experienced major flooding. There's no doubt that the impact and immediacy of major insurance-related events are brought home and felt by everyone. And the tragedy and destruction of these events fundamentally change the regulatory landscape of insurance. Following disasters and recovery efforts, it is a natural instinct to plan for the possibility of future catastrophic loss. Nations, states, municipalities and families are typically guided to plan for future "what ifs." Fittingly, the NAIC put its resources behind a new tool to help consumers have better peace of mind in the event of disaster. The My Home Scrapbook app allows users to conveniently make a home inventory of their belongings so that in the event of a loss they will be able to quickly and more easily file an insurance claim. In another room of our regulatory house, work continued in earnest on the health care reform implementation. With changes in this marketplace, consumers are realizing how decisions made in Washington, D.C. have a direct impact on their lives. To bring the realities of the Affordable Care Act home to consumers, we focused some of our efforts on education. We answered frequently asked regulatory questions in a new video. We also shared easy-to-understand information on health care coverage to help consumers more easily compare plans and choose the right coverage for their family. The NAIC worked hard last year to develop regulations setting standards for states to implement health care exchanges for consumers. Addressing the plan management component of exchanges, integrating technology where applicable, and identifying areas to streamline regulatory efficiency was an important priority. All of that -- while ensuring state insurance departments are able to maintain their regulatory and consumer protection roles as the federal government enacts provisions of the health care reform. Beyond health care reform, the NAIC was busy enhancing the already strong system of solvency regulation in the U.S. As part of the NAIC's Solvency Modernization Initiative or SMI, we are strengthening group supervision, creating new reserving requirements for life companies through our principles-based reserving project, and modernizing our system of reinsurance regulation.

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