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NAIC Honors Consumer Participation Program Participants
Program Marked 30th Anniversary in 2022
During its 2022 Fall National Meeting, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) honored the NAIC Consumer Participation Program’s participants and the former NAIC members who had the foresight to recognize a need and develop a solution to enhance consumer participation at the NAIC. In 2022, the program celebrated its 30th anniversary, with the first Consumer Representatives being selected and starting their terms in 1992. The program continues to be a model for other organizations wishing to improve consumer engagement.
NAIC’s Consumer Participation Program provides travel expense reimbursement to NAIC meetings for individuals selected to participate as funded consumer representatives. Other individuals, including those from organizations with sufficient resources to participate without financial assistance for travel expenses, are selected to participate as unfunded consumer representatives. The NAIC waives meeting registration fees for all NAIC Consumer Representatives. The NAIC Consumer Participation Board administers the program.
“Collaboration has always been at the heart of the NAIC’s approach, and I’m grateful for those who have shared their insights, perspectives, and priorities with us through our Consumer Participation program. For 30 years, NAIC Consumer Representatives have played an invaluable role in our state-based system,” said NAIC President and Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers.
“State insurance regulators work hard to put consumers first, and coordinating with the NAIC’s Consumer Representatives is essential to doing our jobs well and effectively. As we celebrate three decades of the program, I want to thank each representative and the members of the Consumer Board of Trustees for their dedication, advocacy, and passion for their mission,” said Colorado Division of Insurance Commissioner and 2022 Consumer Participation Board of Trustees Chair Michael Conway.
“While the NAIC’s Consumer Representatives are most visible at the National Meetings, they tirelessly serve all year through an ongoing dialogue with our Consumer Liaison Committee and other NAIC committees. It’s a privilege to work alongside them to protect consumers and help make our state-based system of insurance regulation more effective,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and Department of Consumer and Business Services Director Andrew R. Stolfi, Chair of the NAIC Consumer Liaison Committee and 2023 Consumer Participation Board of Trustees Chair.
The NAIC set the Consumer Participation program’s initial budget in 1992 at $50,000. The 2022 annual budget was $140,000, reflecting the program’s success and growth in the number of qualified consumer representatives over the last 30 years.
Bonnie Burns, a long-time member of the Consumer Participation Board of Trustees, is the only active NAIC Consumer Representative who was among the original group of Consumer Representatives. Brenda Cude, who completed her 26th year as an NAIC Consumer Representative, has the longest continuous tenure among the current Consumer Representatives and has served on the Board throughout her tenure with the NAIC. Birny Birnbaum, Brendan Bridgeland, and Karrol Kitt all have been NAIC Consumer Representatives for more than 20 years.
About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally.