Federal Legislative Update – April 2023

As we approach the Big “I” s Legislative Conference we are preparing to speak with our federal representatives about some of the major issues impacting agents at the national level. Advocacy is a major component of what we do here at OIA and having our members join us in those efforts makes it incredibly more effective. 

In our industry, insurance regulation is mainly handled at the state level. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t federal issues that could impact our industry. Federal regulations such as Data Privacy Standards and the national flood insurance program have major impacts on our industry.  

Knowing these issues when you speak to your federal representatives is essential to advocacy work. For those attending the legislative conference and even those who aren’t able to this year; knowing these issues can help equip you for advocacy whenever you may have the opportunity.  

Some of the current federal issues are: 

  • Federal Data Privacy Standards- These standards were established in 1999 under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. That statute requires financial entities to disclose information-sharing policies and inform consumers of their ability to stop the sharing of confidential information with specified third parties. Congress has been considering revisions to these regulations, and we believe it is essential to leave implementation and enforcement of federal privacy standards in our industry to state insurance regulators.  
  • Small Business Fairness- We along with our partners at the Big “I” support making permanent the 20% small business deduction that was passed with the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. This deduction is counted on by small business owners across the state of Ohio. If it were to expire in 2025, small businesses would see a substantial tax increase. We also would support tax credits to businesses that strengthen their property against damage from natural disasters.  
  • FTC Non-Compete- The FTC has proposed a national prohibition on the use of most non-compete agreements. This broad proposal is unprecedented and would preempt the laws of nearly every state. This would be detrimental to small and large businesses alike.  
  • National Flood Insurance Program- With the NFIP extended through September 30 of this year we support a long-term reauthorization of NFIP. We support legislation which would allow for private flood insurance to satisfy continuous coverage requirements and ensures that if consumers leave the NFIP for the private market and later must return, they can do so without penalty. 
  • Federal Crop Insurance Program- With the current Farm bill expiring on September 30th of this year it is critically important that we support policies that strengthen the FCIP. Crop insurance has been a boon to farmers throughout the years and we need to ensure it continues to do that.  

The interworking’s of our government can seem incredibly complicated, but we are here to help you navigate those uncertain waters and ensure a bright future for independent agents in Ohio.  

If you have any questions regarding these issues or questions about how to get involved in our advocacy efforts, please reach out to John Wells at john@ohioinsuranceagents.com.

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