J. Robert Hunter

  • No one could deny that State insurance commissioners have a poor record when it comes to market conduct oversight of the insurance industry, and consumers have been abused as a result.
  • We could go through many examples.  (p13)

It is hard to fix a system that has not been analyzed.  (p14)

  • There should be suitability rules in place, particularly for cash value life insurance policies to assure that sales of proper products are made.  (p14)

2003 0506 - GOV (House) - Increasing the Effectiveness of State Consumer Protection - [PDF-123p,

  • 1986 0121 0122 - GOV (House) - The Liability Insurance Crisis - [PDF-553p-GoogIePIay

    • Testimony - J. Robert Hunter - p279-299

      • WHAT SHOULD CONGRESS DO?
      • First, it should subject the insurance industry to the anti- trust laws, thus preventing insurers from acting in concert to raise prices. Since 1944 , the McCarran-Ferguson Act has allowed insurance companies to fix prices , while price-fixing in other industries is punishable by three years in jail. We specifically propose a two- year sunset provision during which time the insurers, the states and the federal government can prepare for the change.
      • Second, it should create a federal office of insurance to monitor the industry and establish standards for state regulators to follow . Although insurance is a national, $310 billion business, accounting for 12% of our gross national product -- more than any other item except food and housing -- only the states regulate the insurance industry. Because state insurance commissions are often under-staffed (half the states have no actuaries to analyze rate filings) and have a "revolving door" relationship with the industry (state insurance commissioners typically come from and return to the industry), state regulation has not always protected the public.
      • Third, Congress should repeal the insurance industry's exemption from Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction . In 1979 , after the FTC published a study critical of the life insurance industry , Congress prohibited the FTC from ever again studying -- let alone prosecuting -- any sector of the industry. There is no principled justification for this exemption .
  • 2003 1022 - GOV - Federal Involvement in the Regulation of the Insurance Industry, aka Insurance Industry Regulation - [PDF-147VIDEO-CSPAN]

  • 2004 0331 - GOV (House) - Working with State Regulators to Increase Insurance Choices for Consumers - (PDF-205p
  • 2004 1116 - GOV (Senate) - Oversight Hearing on Insurance Brokerage Practices, including Potential Conflicts of Interest and the Adequacy of the Current Regulatory Framework, CSPAN (Insurance Brokerage and Regulation Practices) - [PDF - 166pVIDEO-CSPAN

  • 2006 0620 - GOV (Senate) - The Mccarran-Ferguson Act: Implications of Repealing the Insurers' Antitrust Exemption, S. Hrg. 109-557 - [PDF-160p,

  • 2007 1030 - GOV (House) - Additional Perspectives on the Need for Insurance Regulatory Reform - [PDF-180p,

  • 2009 0317 - GOV (Senate) - Perspectives on Modernizing Insurance Regulation - [PDF-160p,
    • J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America - Testimony - 47p
  • 2004 0331 - GOV (House) - Working with State Regulators to Increase Insurance Choices for Consumers
    • (PDF-205p, No VIDEO)
    • House - Committee on Financial Services - Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises 
    •  J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America
      • One would be, for example, term life insurance, I think you could totally deregulate.
      • And people understand term life insurance and so on.
      • You get into some of the cash value products, people are very confused.
        • They need help.
        • They need information.
        • It is a very difficult product.
  • 2006 0626 - GOV (Senate) - The Mccarran-Ferguson Act: Implications of Repealing the Insurers' Antitrust Exemption, S. Hrg. 109-557 - [PDF-160p, No Video]
    • Hunter, J. Robert, Insurance Director, Consumer Federation of America, Washington, D.C
    • Michael McRaith, as Illinois Director of Insurance, Chair, Broker Activities Task Force
    • (p23) - Hunter: I would like to comment on one thing.
      • There were huge life insurance market conduct violations with billions of dollars paid by MET Life, Prudential and others a few years ago.
      • I do not think there were any criminal charges brought in any of that.
      • I really do think that that Chairman Specter’s idea of calling for what has happened in terms of actual numbers of criminal charges is very important information, and I hope the NAIC would help with that as well.
    • Senate - Committee on the Judiciary

There are problems waiting to emerge that will be uncovered by lawsuits, not the regulators, or by the media.

  • Consider life insurance market conduct abuses of a decade ago.
  • The largest life insurers told people their premiums would disappear, and confused them into believing their life insurance was an investment.
  •  It took lawsuits to uncover these problems.  (p10-11)

-- Statement of J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America

2007 1030 - GOV (House) - Additional Perspectives on the Need for Insurance Regulatory Reform - [PDF-180p,

  • It is ironic, for example, that state regulators are boasting in Congress about the effectiveness of their capital and reserve requirements in stabilizing insurers even as several states act quietly at the individual state level to loosen those requirements.  (p4)
  • Meanwhile, the state guaranty funds may create the illusion of safety where it does not exist.
  • While the funds might be able to absorb the failure of a single large insurer, it is almost certain that they would not be able to handle the simultaneous failure of several large insurers in a timely fashion. (p4)

--  J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America - Testimony - 47p

2009 0317 - GOV (Senate) - Perspectives on Modernizing Insurance Regulation - [PDF-160p,