Insurance regulators continue to sideline pet insurance model law aimed at protecting consumers

The Canine Review learned late yesterday that state insurance regulators on the Property and Casualty Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are no longer listing the Pet Insurance Working Group on its list of charges, or agenda items, for 2022. Here’s the new list:

We have been following these developments closely since a draft for what would be the first significant piece of pet insurance legislation was removed unexpectedly from the agenda of the final 2021 NAIC meeting where the law was to be considered and put up for a vote. The Pet Insurance Model Law has been in the works for more than two years.

The model law would require all kinds of disclosures from insurers that address many of the pitfalls we’ve addressed in past reporting amid unprecedented, historic growth for the pet insurance market in the U.S.

A non-answer answer

On December 27, a non-answer answer was issued from NAIC spokesperson Erica Chester more than a week after the a vote on the model law was removed without explanation:

The Pet Insurance Model was pulled from Plenary. We will continue working on the model act and present it for a vote at a later date most likely at the Spring National Meeting.  We have no additional information.

Even Kansas Commissioner Vicki Schmidt of the Property and Casualty Committee was apparently caught flat-footed. She was forced to note in her remarks that she needed to “improvise” because she had prepared remarks that expressed her pride in having “helped pass a Pet Insurance Model.”

On January 5, The Canine Review followed up with NAIC spokesperson Erica Chester who offered the following:

Several regulators asked for clarification on issues associated with implementation of the pet insurance model law. Since there was not enough time to adequately research and address their concerns around producer licensing before the plenary meeting, the decision was made to postpone the vote. The NAIC will hold a public call to discuss this issue and post additional information on soon,” she added.

Asked to explain what specifically Ms. Chester was referring to with regard to producer licensing, Kristen Lynch and Rick Faucher of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) have refused to comment. This may be because the NAPHIA is notably divided on the issue of producer licensing. Even so, if the insurance industry is unable to reach a consensus, what was stopping the regulators from moving forward–and is one insurance company most responsible for the delays?

More to follow.



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