Tester, Lindeen team up to protect Montana insurance policyholders

(Cut Bank, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester and Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen are teaming up to ensure personal insurance policies are not raided to prop-up failing financial institutions.

Tester today introduced the bipartisan Policyholder Protection Act. His bill clarifies that state insurance regulators have authority to “wall off” insurance companies that are organized under thrift holding companies from being held financially responsible for an affiliated bank’s failure or financial stress.

Currently, state regulators could be kept out of the process if the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation orders the liquidation of a holding companies assets, putting policyholders at risk.

“Insurance is designed to protect customers against risk, and policyholders shouldn’t be on the hook for a failing bank that’s tied to their insurer,” Tester said. “This bill empowers state insurance regulators to protect insurance consumers.”

Lindeen, who serves as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, endorsed Tester’s bill.

“Insurance regulation is rarely simple and most people shy away from the details,” Lindeen said. “Thankfully, Senator Jon Tester is willing to take on the difficult jobs and understands the importance of giving state regulators the tools they need to protect consumers.”

Tester’s bill is also supported by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Tester’s bipartisan Policyholder Protection Act is available online HERE.