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Insurance Industry Gathers for IRES National School on Market Regulation

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In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit to bringing no small amount of bias to my appreciation for the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society Foundation (IRES Foundation). As a member of the IRESF Board, it is a privilege to be connected to such a strong group of insurance industry compliance professionals.

The 2022 National School on Market Regulation was once again held in April. For over 25 years the IRES Foundation, a non-profit which supports the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society (IRES) has operated an educational event that brings U.S. insurance industry compliance professionals together with regulators to support greater compliance cooperation and add value for the consumer. It did just that in April, drawing regulators, providers and vendors together for a valuable 3-day industry event.

For its part, IRESF offered another tremendous program, the first in-person one in two years. As noted by the planners, “This year’s School faculty included senior insurance regulators from across the United States. The faculty, along with a vast array of industry experts, participated on panels providing insight into a variety of regulatory topics, including artificial intelligence, robotics and automation compliance, data forensics and market regulation, assignment of benefits, and much more. Additionally, school attendees had the opportunity to sign up for appointments with state market conduct regulators.”

There were a wide range of sessions covering pertinent issues impacting the industry today. Each of the following tracks provided a wealth of useful, actionable insights and information that served as a one-stop-shop of resourceful knowledge:

Property & Casualty

Health & Life

Hot Topics

Claims

Private Appointments

One of the most interesting sessions focused on insurtech marketing. New distribution and marketing methods for insurance bump up against old regulatory issues like lead generation, referral programs, licensing, and compensation for unlicensed persons. This session helped participants to better understand the risks and how to mitigate them. Another related session addressed the increased volume of insurtech firms.The panel of experts covered navigating insurance regulation, challenges faced, and how regulators are monitoring and adapting to new ways of approaching insurance.

With the growth of InsureTechs, the industry is undergoing significant change as customers search for, research, and buy insurance through non-traditional channels. At Naehas, we help insurers to compliantly assemble the right disclosure, for the right product, in the right channel, per state regulations. Using a proprietary disclosure repository customers are reporting getting disclosures out in half the time enabling important marketing and regulatory notices to get into the market faster.

Focused on regulations and actionable insights, the session on Best Interest Standards offered valuable information. State and federal regulators have implemented a Best Interest Standard for the sale of annuity products. This session provided an overview of the regulatory framework, addressed recent regulatory and industry implementation efforts, and offered proactive steps insurers may wish to consider going forward.

ESG 101 was another information-packed panel that focused on corporate citizenship and the industry’s need to understand and embrace the factors involved. It asked: What are Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programs and criteria? Why does it matter for insurance companies? Those attending were able to learn the basics and discover what companies are doing to promote their environmental, social, and governance standards, and why ESG is becoming increasingly relevant for insurance companies. At Naehas, we are able to support the work of companies in meeting voluntary and mandatory regulations, and are eager to provide resources and industry insights toward these efforts.

Clearly, this is only a few of the large number of sessions and presenter insights offered during the IRES 2022 National School on Market Regulation. In follow-up feature articles, I’ll do a deeper dive into the ways that emerging technology and industry innovations are impacting the market today, specifically addressing how automation, Artificial Intelligence and purposely-built insurance industry platforms can complement compliance and regulated content.

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