State insurance regulators are forming a special committee to look at race and insurance.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced the special committee in a news release today. The new committee comes as insurance regulators on several committees and task forces continue to discuss whether "proxy discrimination" needs further attention.
The special committee will be co-chaired by Ray Farmer, NAIC president and director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, and David Altmaier, NAIC president-elect and commissioner of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Dean Cameron, NAIC vice president and director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, and Chlora Lindley-Myers, NAIC secretary-treasurer and director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance will serve as co-vice chairs for the committee.
“Within the NAIC, we’re seeing unprecedented discussions between our members and stakeholders on race and its role in the design and pricing of insurance products as well as our collective need to improve diversity in the insurance sector particularly in senior leadership roles,” Farmer said. “It is the duty of the insurance sector to address racial inequality while promoting diversity in the insurance sector. We welcome the public commitments of industry leaders to address these issues and I am excited by the strong and personal commitment of my fellow commissioners to take action on these important subjects. If not us, who? If not now, when?”
In addition to the formation of the committee, the NAIC will hold a special session on "Race and Insurance" during its summer national meeting next month. Information obtained from discussions and topics addressed during the session will support the committee with its near and long-term objectives, the release said.
“Our regulatory system and insurance in general is a reflection of the society it aims to protect, and while state insurance regulators have worked to eliminate overt discrimination and racism, we all have been increasingly aware that unconscious bias can be just as damaging to society,” said Mike Consedine NAIC CEO. “I applaud the commitment of our membership in their decision to embark on this important work.”
The committee is charged with the following:
- Conduct research and analyze the level of diversity and inclusion within the insurance sector.
Engage with a broad group of stakeholders on issues related to race, diversity, and inclusion in the insurance sector.
- Determine whether current practices exist in the insurance sector that potentially disadvantage minorities.
- Make recommendations to the Executive Committee and membership by year-end regarding steps: (a) both insurance regulators and the insurance industry can take to increase diversity and inclusion; (b) that should be taken to address practices that potentially disadvantage minorities; and (c) to ensure ongoing engagement of the NAIC on these issues through charges to existing committees, task forces and working groups.