This will be my last post of 2014, and I thought it would be a good time to make some wishes for 2015. First, I wish the Insurance Commissioner’s Office will address the issues that have arisen regarding insurance certificates since the passage of the statute and the issuance of its regulation. There is still a lot of uncertainty among agents over what information can and cannot be included on a certificate and what law applies when a request for a certificate comes from outside Georgia.
A related wish is for insurance companies in Georgia to take more responsibility for the issuance of insurance certificates in their name. They need to let their agents know what procedures should be followed and establish systems for making sure they are followed, so those agents who try to “play by the rules” are not put at a disadvantage by others who are not as concerned with doing so.
Nationally, I wish the new Congress will quickly pass the terrorism reinsurance bill (known as TRIA) and the agent reciprocal licensing bill (known as NARAB II). Both bills had significant bipartisan support and were poised for passage in the recently completed lame duck session of Congress, but were derailed by Senator Coburn of Oklahoma. Fortunately, he has retired and with the support of the IIABA, which has made quick passage of these two bills a top priority, this wish may actually come true.
I also wish that the economic recovery, which now seems to be reaching Main Street as well as Wall Street, continues its accelerated pace (5% in the third quarter) and that all the insurance agencies and other businesses in Georgia have a happy and prosperous New Year as a result.
If that happens, the job of the new executive director of IIAG, Michael T. Walsh, will be a little easier. I wish him the best of luck in his new job. He has some big shoes to fill, but he has a strong resume and a good staff, so the transition should go well.
Finally, I wish that the spirit of the Holiday Season, especially the peace on Earth and goodwill toward men (and women) part, will continue throughout 2015. If everyone would just show a greater tolerance and respect for others who are different from them, I think that would go a long way toward achieving my last and most important wish.