BALTIMORE – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has selected Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane as one of three U.S. representatives on the Steering Committee of the European Union-United States Insurance Dialogue Project.
The NAIC, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Commission (EC) participate in the EU-U.S. Insurance Dialogue Project – an initiative started in 2012 to enhance cross-border cooperation and regulatory modernization. U.S. and EU regulators oversee approximately two-thirds of the global insurance market.
The Project is led by a Steering Committee that includes three top supervisory officials from the U.S. and three from the EU. The Steering Committee chooses key topics they consider to be fundamentally important to a sound regulatory regime that protects policyholders and financial stability.
“I am honored to be chosen as one of the three U.S. representatives to the U.S.-EU Dialogue Project’s Steering Committee,” Commissioner Birrane said. “Insurance is a global industry and it is important that U.S. and European regulators coordinate as much as reasonably possible in addressing issues that transcend borders. For example, the impact of climate change on the financial health of insurers, and the question of how financial risks are identified, measured, and reported are issues where coordination and consideration of the impact of varying regulatory regimes on global actors is important.”
Commissioner Birrane is a highly engaged member of the NAIC, the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. For 2021, Commissioner Birrane serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the NAIC’s Northeast Zone and is a member of the organization’s Executive Committee. She also will serve this year on three key NAIC policy committees -- the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee, the Property and Casualty Insurance Committee and the International Insurance Relations Committee. Commissioner Birrane has also been selected as the NAIC’s representative to the Board of URAC, a non-profit Washington, D.C.-based accreditation and certification service for health care organizations.
As a member of the NAIC Executive Committee, Commissioner Birrane is:
- Co-Vice Chair of the Climate and Resiliency Task Force, which is evaluating climate impact on the insurance sector, regulatory approaches to the issue and innovative solutions to mitigate risk.
- Vice-Chair of the Information Systems Task Force, which evaluates and provides recommendations for technical services or system used by U.S. insurance regulators.
- A member of the Special Committee on Race and Insurance, which conducts research and analysis on the level of diversity and inclusion within the insurance sector and identifies barriers in the industry that potentially disadvantage people of color and historically underrepresented groups.
- A member of the Innovation and Technology Task Force, which examines opportunities in innovation and technology in the insurance sector, monitors technology developments that affect the state insurance regulatory framework, and develops regulatory guidance.
Commissioner Birrane was also named this year to the Audit Committee of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, known as the Insurance Compact, which is a state-based agreement to modernize the regulatory approval of asset-based insurance products. Forty-six states currently are members of the Insurance Compact, which addresses the need for uniformity, speed-to-market, and regulatory consistency by allowing insurers to make a single rate and form filing for certain life insurance products with the Insurance Compact which, when approved, may be used in all member states. Maryland is a long-standing member of the Insurance Compact and also sits on the Product Standards Committee.
In addition, Commissioner Birrane and members of the senior staff of the Maryland Insurance Administration serve on the NAIC’s Financial Stability Task Force, Antifraud Task Force, Producer Licensing Task Force, Valuation of Securities Task Force and the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee, as well as multiple working groups.
"This is an ambitious year for the NAIC and, with respect to my part in it, I am grateful for the support that NAIC staff provide, as well as the invaluable assistance and expertise of the MIA's seasoned and professional staff,” Commissioner Birrane said. “Through our combined efforts, we are able to perform our primary work to enforce the insurance regulatory laws of our State, while also participating in a meaningful way in the development of national and global policies that impact the Maryland market."