Insight Columns

Date shown is the issue date of the Insurance Advocate magazine in which the column appears.

2016 Columns

“Unhealthy Plans”  January 25, 2016  (A review of the NY Senate’s forum on the failure of Health Republic Insurance Company)

“The Multiple faces of Transparency”  January 11, 2016  (A look at what’s really behind the Governor’s recent veto of legislation intended to enhance NY’s Freedom of Information Law)

2015 Columns

“Hope for the New Year”  December 21, 2015  (Exploring the optimism of the NAIC in the face of Federal preemption of its regulatory role)

“Past is Prologue”  November 30, 2015  (Addressing misconceptions about the security fund of the original New York Insurance Exchange)

“Reap What You Sow”  November 16, 2015  (Cover article about the choices facing New York’s governor in selecting a new superintendent of financial services)

“Quo Vadis, NARAB?”  October 12, 2015  (A look at the federal legislation authorizing the establishment of the National Association of Agents and Brokers (NARAB) and what it may or may not accomplish for the brokerage community)

“Regulatory Kudzu”  September 28, 2015  (How repetitive, overlapping regulations stifle business and obscure any genuine underlying regulatory objective)

“Disconnection”  August 24, 2015  (Examining the growing disconnection between regulators and the businesses they regulate)

Summer Refreshments”  July 27, 2015 (Third annual semi-serious review of the world of state, federal and international insurance regulatory actions)

Reflections”  June 29, 2015 (Reflections on the effectiveness – or ineffectiveness – of the reports and releases of NY’s Department of Financial Services).

Go Figure”  June 15, 2015 (A look at the NAIC’s 2014 Insurance Department Resources Report – Volume 1)

“End of the Trail”  May 25, 2015 (Thoughts on the resignation of New York Superintendent of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, and his final DFS Annual Report)

“Egads Charlie Brown!”  May 11, 2015 (How the business of insurance is being diminished by regulators at all levels: Nationally, Internationally and in New York)

“Cyber Insecurity”  April 27, 2015 (A look at the role of insurance regulators in the evolving world of cyber security and cyber risk)

“Mixed Messages”  April 13, 2015 (Trying again to understand the action of the NY Receiver of Executive Life Insurance Company of NY to suppress efforts to hold accountable those responsible for its failure)

“Start Up, New York!”  March 31, 2015  (A review of missed opportunities for NY’s DFS to “encourage, support and assist” the insurance industry as required by its statutory mandate)

“News Flash: Tail Wags Dog!”  March 16, 2015 (A look at the dominance of banks and Wall Street over insurance at NY’s Department of Financial Services)

“The Sausage Factory”  February 18, 2015  (Updating New York’s decades old regulatory/legislative attempts to address insurance certificate abuse)

“Report Cards – The Sequel”  February 9, 2015  (A new look at insurance industry report cards, their purposes, objectives and effectiveness)

“Too Big . . . To Succeed!”  January 26, 2015  (Why ’Too Big to Fail’ translates to ‘Too Big to Succeed.’  Plus a look at the recent FIO report on reinsurance)

“Safe Again!”  January 12, 2015  (A review of the recent changes to New York’s life insurance guaranty fund statute)

2014 Columns

“A View from the Far Side”  December 22, 2014 (What are the complaints of regulators about their counterparts representing industry?)

“Forecast: Cloudy With Lack of Clarification”  November 17, 2014 (A review of the latest New York Department of Financial Services fine and consent agreement with AIG and what it means for the industry)

“How About Free? Free Would be Nice!”  October 26, 2014 (A discussion of free access to public information, with a focus on the websites of  insurance regulators in the Tri-State area)

“A Golden Opportunity” October 13, 2014 (A celebration of my 50th Insight Column and the “golden” opportunity the column has provided to explore the tensions between regulators and regulatees)

“Controlling Information” September 29, 2014 (A look at limitations on access to insurance industry data by NY’s regulators, some understandable but not excusable, and some that are neither excusable nor understandable)

“A Man of Letters” September 8, 2014 (A look at New York’s Superintendent Lawsky’s use of letters to advance his aggressive regulatory agenda)

“Alphabet Soup” August 18, 2014 (A review of what have the National and International insurance regulatory organizations have been up to these past 12-months)

“Christmas in July” July 21, 2014 (A critical review of the 2013 Annual Report of the NY Superintendent of Financial Services to the Governor and Legislature)

“Certificates of Reliability”  June 23, 2014 (A review of the decades-long effort to enforce the requirement that certificates of insurance reflect the terms of coverage and nothing more, particularly where public agencies are involved, including a look at the current proposed legislative cure)

“Regulatory Paranoia”  June 9, 2014 (A look at NY’s amended regulation making significant and consequential changes to the criteria for the acquisition of control of an insurance company)

“Extra! Extra! Read it Here First!”  May 26, 2014  (Unpublished information about the NY Free Zone Business)

“Encore! Encore!”  May 12, 2014  (A look at the 2013 annual report of the NY Liquidation Bureau)

“Motivational Misdirection”  April 28, 2014  (Possible hidden motives behind DFS enforcement actions)

“Pension Stripping and De-Risking”  April 14, 2014  (Regulatory issues relating to the conversion of pension obligations into annuities)

“Tea Leaves and Press Releases”  March 31, 2014  (What we can learn about the motives of the DFS through its press releases)

“State of Inflexibility”  March 17, 2014  (A look at the inflexibility of the receivership process in NY, including a comparison to Texas of all places)

“Show Us the Numbers!”  February 24, 2014  (The ongoing search for meaningful information about the NY Free Zone business)

“Budget Balancing (And Other Magic Tricks)”  February 10, 2014  (The taking of State Insurance Fund assets to balance NY’s budget)

“Joy of Ownership”  January 27, 2014  (A look at the regulatory maze facing potential purchasers of an interest in an insurance company)

“Warning Shots”  January 13. 2014  (Commenting on the part of the FIO report on the modernization of the insurance business relating to the “resolution” of insolvent insurers)

2013 Columns:

“Resolutionary Wars”  December 2013  (A year-end somewhat humorous look at our industry)

“User Unfriendly”  November 25, 2013  (Exploring the poor record of regulators in disseminating industry information)

“Imaginary Games”  November 11, 2013  (Commenting on the use of misstated historical facts to justify Federal and International incursion into the regulation of insurance — plus a tribute to legendary sports analyst Bill Mazer)

“Ethics, Conflicts and Justice Stewart”  October 27, 2013  (Exploring the use of ethical and conflict of interest rules as regulatory hammers rather than as codes of conduct)

“The Wonderful World of Annuities”  October 14, 2013  (Commenting on excessive regulation of many annuity transactions)

“State Producer Licensing: Going, Going, . . .?”  September 23, 2013  (Discussing the history of seeking National uniformity of producer licensing, and the prospects for enactment of NARAB II)

“Gone But Not Forgotten!”  September 9, 2013  (Refuting certain myths used to justify actions taken by the receiver and his agents in light of the final liquidation of ELNY)

“Late Summer Delight: Fishing for Acronyms”  August 19, 2013 (A semi-serious look at National and International regulatory developments)

“Less is Not More”  July 22, 2013 (A critical review of the 2012 Annual Report of NY’s Superintendent of Financial Services)

“Beauty is Skin Deep!”  June 17, 2013 (A critical review of the 2012 Annual Report of the NY Liquidation Bureau)

“FOILRedux”  June 3, 2013 (Following-up on the quest to obtain detailed information about NY Free Trade Zone writings)

“Disappearing Act”  May 20, 2013 (How public information about the insurance business in NY is disappearing)

“Healthy Competition”  May 6, 2013 (Superintendent Lawsky’s view of the insurance business as seen through his speech to an Economic Forum)

“Reality Check”  April 22, 2013  (A look at the IFNY sponsored Summer Intern Program and the amazing Mary Lanning who makes it all happen)

“Rehab the Rehabilitator!”  April 8, 2013 (A look at why regulators should get out of the business of trying to rehabilitate insurers)

“Time Out”  March 18, 2013 (Discussing the important role of the regulatory in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, such as Superstorm Sandy)

“A Truer Course” March 4, 2013 (A look at a better way to deal with insolvent insurers in New York)

“The Final Straw” February 18, 2013  (COVER STORY) (How the Executive Life Ins. Co. of NY – ELNY – debacle exposes deep flaws in the NY receivership process)

“A Matter of Opinion” February 4, 2013 (Discussing the loss of yet another valuable regulatory resource in NY: the Office of General Counsel opinion)

“Desert Flower” January 21, 2013 (Why regulators and industry should pursue reviving the concept of a syndicated US insurance risk exchange.  Plus a Sandy report card update)

“All About Report Cards”  January 7, 2013  (A look at the NY Department of Financial Services report card on insurer responses to Sandy)

2012 Columns:

“Wrapped in FOIL!” December 17, 2012 (How to use the Freedom of Information Law to loosen a regulator’s reluctance to share information)

“Rethinking Insurance Guaranty Funds” November 26, 2012 (Shortcomings of the state life insurance guaranty funds exposed by the Executive Life of NY debacle)

“Insurance Solvency Regulation: Quo Vadis?” November 12, 2012 (A dialogue with Conning & Co. on the differences in insurance solvency regulation in the US and Europe)

“A Primer for Agencies: Understanding the Arbitration Clause” October 29, 2012 (Discussing the growing use of arbitration clauses in producer contracts with insurers, and the dangers of these clauses for the producer)

“When is a Release Not a Release?” October 15, 2012 (Analysis of the efforts by the NY Department of Financial Services to narrow the ability of insurers to use releases in the settlement of claims)

“Immunity For [All] Some!”  September 24, 2012 (Looks at the growing practice of providing judicial immunity protection for receivers and their agents in the absence of statutory immunity)

“Domestic Excess Line Carrier — An Oxymoron?”  September 10, 2012 (Discussing the pros and cons of legislation permitting licensure of domestic surplus lines insurers)

“Remembering Fred Perrotta”  August 20, 2012

“Let the Free Zone Ring!” July 23, 2012  (Urging the DFS to be more expansive in sharing information about  NY Free Zone business)

“Annual Report of the Department of Financial Services,” June 18, 2012 (A look at the first annual report of the new DFS)

“A billion here, a billion there . . .” June 4, 2012 (A look at the cost of the Executive Life of NY debacle to the industry and guaranty funds, as well as to claimants)

“By Way of Introduction,” May 21, 2012