By Karen Machamer, SILA-A, Insurance Licensing and Compliance Manager at VUE Software
I attended the first Insurance Summit on May 16-17, 2016 in Kansas City, MO. This Summit replaced the annual NIPR E-Reg Conference and combined it with the NAIC. There were various tracks; I attended the Licensing Track.
The key benefit for attending was to have access to the state department of insurance regulators. A lot can be accomplished by talking face to face with them and discussing issues they may not even be aware of. It is also a good way to build relationships and exchange business cards in case of any future issues.
The Executive Director of the NIPR, Karen Stakem Hornig, shared some of her thoughts about industry trends that need to be considered for the future. She suggested that State regulators should stop viewing the internet as an industry disruptor and see it as an opportunity to change, become more cohesive and offer their customers a better user experience. She pointed out that the online buying trend continues to grow as people enjoy the convenience of online shopping. They value the freedom of buying at their convenience while having the option of requesting personal service when “they” want it. There is evidence baby boomers are accessing the web more than ever, and are even using mobile apps. The average age of a consumer is now 59 years old.
My one disappointment from the conference was the Producer Licensing Regulator Panel Discussions. We, industry licensing administrators, put a lot of credence in receiving valuable information from each of the state regulators during these discussions. In these sessions, the regulators were asked to sit on one side of the room and the industry attendees sit on the other. Because of this set up, it was unclear which state was making which comment even though they were supposed to identify themselves. The moderator would ask to see a show of hands when a topic was open for discussion. In my opinion we don’t need a consensus; we need state-specifics information.