Corporate officials who handle business insurance for their companies oppose federal regulation of the insurance industry by two to one, according to a survey released yesterday by Marsh & McLennan, a New York insurance broker.
In a version of the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" philosophy, a majority of 300 risk managers of major U.S. corporations said the current system of state regulation worked "very" or "fairly" well and should not be changed, although 29 percent of them added they would accept some type of federal/state regulation.
Current law, the McCarran-Ferguson Act, exempts the insurance industry from federal antitrust rules, but alleged abuses have convinced some legislators that the act should be repealed so that federal regulators can effect reforms. Those surveyed said they doubt the federal government can do a better job than the states. A White House report on McCarran-Ferguson is due in September.
On another subject, the risk managers were nearly unanimous in their opinion that insurance companies should be allowed to pool resources in order to write large or unusual risks such as on super tankers or atomic power plans.
Nine out of 10 also said that foreign insurers such as Lloyds of London should be permitted to compete freely and equally with licensed domestic companies.