OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- After a frantic session in which Congress was banging out major bills month after month, Capitol Hill is entering its customary transition period, leaving insurance lobbyists with fewer issues to keep an eye on as elections approach, according to the latest issue of BestWeek U.S./Canada. There is, however, one significant tension in the property/casualty industry regarding congressional work in this pre-election period: The sector worries that the National Flood Insurance Program might not get the fast attention it needs to avoid another lapse in service. “I don’t anticipate them letting it expire, but I’ve said that before and been wrong,” Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, told BestWeek.
In BestWeek Europe, Royal Bank of Scotland, the U.K. bank that was forced into government ownership by the international financial crisis, hopes to have sold its insurance business by 2013. Such a disposal might not be expected to be high on RBS’s list of priorities. RBS Insurance is a valuable asset, described by its parent as the “largest home insurance provider in the U.K.” The impetus for the sale is the result of pressure from the European Commission, which wants state aid returned from RBS to the taxpayer, and it wants to continue to foster competitive markets untainted by public money.
And in BestWeek U.S./Canada, Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado will ask voters on Nov. 2 whether they want to amend their state constitutions to prevent an individual mandate to buy health insurance—the controversial centerpiece of the massive U.S. health care reform law. Each of the ballot questions focuses on not accepting mandates—federal or state—that would require purchase of insurance by individuals or employers, and not imposing fines or penalties for those who fail to do so, said Dick Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. They would keep in-state health insurance optional and allow people to buy any type of health services or coverage they choose.
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Source: A.M. Best Company