NCIGF Leaders Address Global Resolution Experts in Taiwan

NCIGF Vice Chair Chad Anderson (WGFS) and NCIGF CEO Roger Schmelzer recently returned from the Asian International Forum of Insurance Guarantee Schemes (IFIGS) meeting held in Taipei, Taiwan. Both spoke to a roomful of 150 Public officials and academics from throughout Asia about the value of insurance guaranty funds.

Chad Anderson presents to the group.

Anderson delivered a robust briefing on how the U.S. property and casualty safety net works and the system’s place in state-based insurance regulation. It was an important presentation because most of the audience was not familiar with consumer protection for casualty products. Nearly all the topics addressed in the two-day meeting involved life mechanisms with an emphasis on avoiding failure altogether and efforts to assist regulators in achieving that end.

Delivering the keynote speech as chairman of IFIGS, Schmelzer outlined common objectives for all nations with policyholder protection laws; early involvement, prioritizing insurance customers and making sure regulators had a full and accurate understanding of how guaranty programs work, concluding by saying that meeting these elements will help to stabilize economies around the world.

Schmelzer pointed to deliberations anticipated later this year by international regulators (including representatives from the United States) on the ideal future state of guaranty systems worldwide. He cited these talks as a critical opportunity to help regulators generate a comprehensive body of knowledge and realistic expectations of insurance safety nets and their missions. Schmelzer also asserted that it was equally important to create an understanding that there is no single best way to protect consumers.

Roger Schmelzer gives his keynote address.

Kopp Named New Executive Director of Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations

Update provided by the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations

Jefferson City, MO: Tamara W. Kopp has been named the new Executive Director of the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations by the Associations’ Executive Committee. Kopp takes the helm on October 1, 2019, when Chuck Renn retires after managing the Associations since 1992.

Kopp has spent her legal career with the Missouri Department of Insurance, most recently as receivership counsel representing the receiver for failed insurance companies. Kopp brings an understanding of government, insurance regulation, and company resolutions. She has served on the boards of directors for the International Association of Insurance Receivers (IAIR) and the Women Lawyers’ Association of Mid-Missouri (WLAMM). Kopp also represented the Missouri Department of Insurance on various National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Committees, Task Forces, and Working Groups. As Executive Director, Kopp will continue her involvement with NAIC and IAIR while adding the National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds (NCIGF) and the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA) to her schedule.

“On behalf of the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations, we want to thank Chuck for his 27 years of outstanding service to the guaranty associations and to Missouri consumers,” said Mike Voiles, Missouri Farm Bureau and Chair of the property and casualty guaranty association.

Tamara Kopp said, “Chuck has built a solid organization. I’m looking forward to continuing his level of excellent service for Missouri insureds to keep promises made.”

Kopp earned her law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University.

The Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations provide protection within limits to insureds, beneficiaries, and claimants who are disadvantaged due to the insolvency of a member insurance company. Not all companies are member companies and not all types of insurance policies and coverage are subject to the protection provided by the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations. There are two insurance guaranty associations in Missouri that are jointly administered from one office. However, they have distinct responsibilities under their respective statutes. One association is responsible for insurance company insolvencies among the member life and health insurance companies, and the other association is responsible for insolvencies occurring among the member property and casualty insurance companies.

For more information, visit mo-iga.org

 

D. Keith Bell Tapped as NCIGF Board Chairman

The Board of Directors of the National Conference of Guaranty Funds (NCIGF) has elected D. Keith Bell of The Travelers Companies, Inc., as the NCIGF’s new board chairman.

Bell assumed the two-year board chairmanship at the NCIGF’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Chicago on May 1. He has served on the NCIGF board since 2003. He was the NCIGF board’s vice chair from 2016 to 2018. Keith Bell is Senior Vice President, Accounting Policy, Corporate Finance at The Travelers Companies, Inc. He is responsible for setting accounting policy, monitoring the development of accounting standards, and interacting with insurance accounting standard setters. Prior to joining Travelers, he held similar responsibilities for Aetna, Inc. (formerly Aetna Life & Casualty). Bell has worked in the insurance and financial services industry for over twenty-five years. He has a B.S. degree in accounting from Illinois State University and is a certified public accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Rhode Island Society of CPAs. He has co-chaired the insurance industry committee on statutory accounting for the last ten years. Bell is a contributing author to the IASA Property-Casualty Insurance Accounting textbook and has authored several articles in insurance trade publications. Additionally, he has been active on several NAIC advisory committees, the American Council of Life Insurance’s Accounting Committees, and is currently chairman of the American Insurance Association Committee on Financial Management Issues.

D. Keith Bell (Travelers) and Chad Anderson (WGFS) – incoming chair and vice chair of the NCIGF board of directors

Keith Bell has served with NCIGF for many years and, along with his role on the NCIGF board, he is currently an active member of the Accounting, Finance, and Public Policy Committees and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee. During his presentation at the 2019 Annual Conference where he was voted in as the new chairman, Bell highlighted the history of the guaranty fund system as well as where he believes the system is headed in the future and how the community will continue to achieve its top priority of keeping the insurance promise.

NCIGF Hosts 2019 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL

The 2019 NCIGF Annual Conference was held in May at the historical and centrally located Intercontinental Chicago. The hotel, situated along the famous Magnificent Mile, was a great spot for NCIGF’s 90+ attendees, special speakers and exhibitors.

The conference opened with a welcome from the Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, Robert Muriel, and the first day saw presentations representing the passing of the torch from the outgoing board chairman, Chuck Renn, Executive Director of the Missouri P&C Insurance Guaranty Association, to his successor, D. Keith Bell, from The Travelers Company, Inc. Both men made comments regarding the ever-important issues that the guaranty fund community continues to face, noting specifically the importance of the continued funding of the system, cyber security and relationships with receivers. The first day of the conference also included panels on important topics such as operational readiness, international issues and IT security.

Panels and presentations on staffing, media relations and the challenges and discoveries of being a newer fund manager rounded out the second day of the conference.

Survey satisfaction ratings of both Chicago and The Intercontinental were high and several

May 1, 2019 – NCIGF Annual Conference

comments were made about taking the information from the educational program back to offices and teams for review. When asked, ‘What ideas did you hear from the presentations that you are most excited to take back to the office?’, the responses were a great testimony that the educational event gets the wheels turning on important issues:

“Several great ideas on cyber security.”

“Claims training to be prepared for the future, and how claims are the most integral part of operations for all guaranty fund offices.”

“Different ways funds hire and train employees and use outside temps or vendors.”

 “Communication best practices for media relations.”

 “Great takeaways for staffing issues and solutions.”

 

Registration for the next NCIGF educational event, the 2019 Fall Workshop, will open in a few months. This conference historically focuses on the issues specific to IT, Accounting and HR. For more information on NCIGF events, click here.

NCIGF CEO ELECTED CHAIR OF GLOBAL POLICYHOLDER PROTECTION GROUP

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, January 14, 2019 – Roger H. Schmelzer, president of the National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds (NCIGF), has been selected to serve as chairman of the International Forum of Insurance Guarantee Schemes (IFIGS). 

Schmelzer, along with Peter Gallanis, president of the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA), NCIGF’s life and health counterpart, together have represented the United States as members of IFIGS since 2012.

Schmelzer, who has led the NCIGF since 2006, will be joined on the IFIGS Management and Support Committees by representatives from Canada, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Greece, Korea, Kenya, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.  He has served as IFIGS secretary for the past year.

“Insurance customers, industry and the economy are best-served when the insurance promise is secured,” said Schmelzer upon his election. “I’m enthusiastic about working with our global partners to further advance that objective.”

IFIGS facilitates and promotes international cooperation between insurance guarantee schemes and other stakeholder organizations with an interest in policyholder protection. The IFIGS is made up of 25 full and associate members, 22 of which are Insurance Guarantee Schemes (IGS) from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. There are more than 30 IGS worldwide.

IGS protect policyholders of insurance companies that fail. Many IGS provide expertise in stabilization or restructuring resolutions, and all IGS can provide expertise and some form of insurance protection and/or financial support to assist in the liquidation of an insolvent insurer.

An international platform will elevate the U.S. guaranty system’s value to domestic solvency regulators, according to Schmelzer. “This is timely because the NAIC is undertaking its own initiatives that could affect the U.S. system,” he said.  “The broader our expertise, the more impactful we can be on behalf of the state guaranty funds, the carriers who belong to the state associations and most importantly to individual policyholders and claimants.”

Schmelzer noted the efforts of the NCIGF and NOLHGA as part of IFIGS have already made a difference, citing recent changes to international regulatory drafts which underscore the primacy of policyholder protection, the importance of pre-insolvency cooperation, collaboration between the guaranty system and regulators as well as clearing up any misconceptions that a guaranty association could spread financial risk.

NCIGF and NOLHGA will host the IFIGS annual conference in late 2019.