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NAIC President: International Cap Standard Calls for Flexibility

Eric Cioppa discusses the challenges of adapting to an international regulation.
  • Timothy Darragh
  • September 2019
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Eric Cioppa, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Maine's insurance commissioner, said ongoing work on the international capital standard is “sucking up all the oxygen at the moment” for regulators. “It would be very nice to move past that, get that resolved” to focus on other issues, he said at the NAIC summer meeting in New York City.

The NAIC's work on the capital calculation stems from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors' attempt to implement a global insurance capital standard intended to bridge differences between jurisdictions in valuation regimes.

The international capital standard is sucking up all the oxygen at the moment.

Eric Cioppa
National Association
of Insurance Commissioners

Developing an international capital standard is one of your frustrations. Why?

That's a tough one because ... we've got a system that works for our country ... I have a market, and with the notable exception of health insurance—and that's really about health care, not insurance—it's competitive. That to me is part of what my job is as a regulator. And to expect us to change from a market-based evaluation approach and come up with a system that could inhibit the companies that are offering a long-term longevity process ... there needs to be flexibility.

We have so much more in common (climate change and cybercrime, among others) we all are trying to get our arms around.

The international capital standard is sucking up all the oxygen at the moment. It would be very nice to move past that, get that resolved so that we can use our energies to [say] OK what do we have in common? Let's work together.

Aside from the struggle with health insurance and affordability, how are things in Maine?

Our auto market is, I think, third-lowest in the country and we have the highest limits of liability. It reflects the underlying costs. In homeowners, we are in the top 10 in terms of lowest cost. We have an older stock of housing in Maine. We have strong consumer protections as well. So we have strong consumer protections, lower rates and high limits, which is a trifecta.

What are your thoughts on being NAIC president?

It's like anything else. You think you know what you're getting into when you start running for office and by the time you're president, you realize you really didn't know. But that's not a bad thing. It's been very interesting and challenging.

Timothy Darragh is an associate editor, BestWeek. He can be reached at

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