Mr. FINCHER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Claims Licensing Advancement for Interstate Matters Act, known as the CLAIM Act to help consumers save mil1ions of dollars in insurance costs and create more jobs.
Under current law, independent claims adjusters face a hodgepodge of inconsistent state regulations that only serve to delay the prompt adjustment of claims for natural disasters, car accident victims, and other tragedies in life. Independent claims adjusters must take a license examination in each state in which they work. This requires adjusters to take time off from their job and travel to each state in which they seek a license. This is a costly burden on the claims adjusters, the companies that employ them, and ultimately, the consumer. Sadly, it is the consumer who currently pays for these costs in higher premiums.
Today, it is my pleasure to re-introduce a bill that would end this costly burden. The CLAIM Act would lead to a process that would provide independent claims adjusters licensing reciprocity so their home-state license is valid in any other state.
The CLAIM Act would also provide specific relief during a natural disaster. In areas designated by the President of the United States as a ``Disaster Area,'' independent claims adjusters who meet certain criteria would be eligible to adjust claims for losses notwithstanding the state where the adjuster is licensed.
To be clear, the CLAIM Act does not create a new federal law and does not ``federalize'' the insurance industry. The CLAIM Act respects states' rights to continue to regulate insurance. Rather, the CLAIM Act would urge the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to adopt a model licensing standard for state regulation for independent claims adjusters that each individual state would adopt. The CLAIM Act would make sure that each state keeps its independence to adopt rules as they see fit and recognizes that state insurance regulators are best situated to address insurance licensing standards.
In the 112th Congress, I sponsored H.R. 6415, the CLAIM Act, a bill very similar to what I am introducing today. After working with stakeholders, I added a new Section 4 that clarifies the CLAIM Act will not interfere with State insurance regulation. I made this change at the request of State insurance regulators who felt the previous bill did not go far enough to protect State insurance regulation. Mr. Speaker, I am confident the CLAIM Act will further protect the State insurance industry and regulation.
The goal of this bill is to streamline the claims adjustment process so that individual claims adjusters can respond in the fastest possible and most cost-effective manner possible. I look forward to further discussing the issues of uniformity and reciprocity and the CLAIM Act as we move forward in the Committee process.