Federalism and Insurance Regulation-Basic Source Materials

Article excerpt

Federalism and Insurance Regulation-Basic Source Materials, by Spencer L. Kimball and Barbara P. Heaney (published by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 1995.)

Reviewer: James B. Ross, Ph.D., FSA, Professor of Finance, Radford University, Radford, Virginia.

This book is a special edition of the Journal of Insurance Regulation (JIR). The transmittal letter accompanying the distribution of this book provides an excellent summary: "This mini-casebook seeks to provide perspective on the way American insurance regulation is structured. It provides a historical overview of the development of insurance regulation and examines in detail, through selected cases and commentary, the manner and extent to which the United States supreme court has subsequently qualified and limited the power of the states by interpreting the language of the McCarran-Ferguson Act."

The approach is to provide framing commentary that sets the stage for the introduction of selected material quoted directly from primary sources: laws, acts, resolves, selected rules, and Supreme Court decisions (the opinion of the Court and, in some instances, both concurring and dissenting opinions.) The book is divided into two main sections: the shorter first section concerns itself with the origins of regulation, the second deals with the McCarran-Ferguson Act and its meaning as decided in significant subsequent Supreme Court decisions. The commentary provides references to articles and case notes in the JIR. The book concludes with a bibliography, a table of documents, and a table of cases cited.

The first section, tracing the origins of regulation, begins with special charters granted by the legislature, broadens to general incorporation statutes, quotes from Massachusetts Acts and Resolves as that state establishes an agency for the regulation of foreign insurance corporations, draws on Paul v. Virginia as that decision upholds the state system of insurance regulation, and notes the emergence of private regulatory systems as attempts to maintain solvent carriers and profitable business. …