Policy Documents

Insurance Regulation and the Dodd-Frank Act

Scott E. Harrington –
March 1, 2011

This paper discusses a number of key issues regarding implementation by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) of the Dodd-Frank Act’s provisions affecting insurance. The paper emphasizes the fundamental differences between insurance and banking, including much lower potential for systemic risk and substantial market discipline in insurance, and how those differences favor solvency regulation and guaranty systems that reflect the distinctive features of each sector. The FSOC and FIO should carefully consider those differences in their analyses of possibly systemically important insurance companies and in the FIO’s study and report to Congress on insurance regulation. Particular attention should be paid to the relatively low systemic risk and relatively strong market discipline in insurance compared with banking.