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.