March 10, 2008                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton


      Morrison’s Years of Consumer Protection Experience Will Serve America’s Insurance Consumers Well
      Montana State Auditor John Morrison has been named chair of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Morrison will lead the committee’s oversight of the marketplace conduct of insurance companies and agents across the United States including multi-state investigations of some of the country’s largest insurance companies.
      “I’m honored that John Morrison has agreed to Chair the NAIC’s Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee and to lead the committee’s efforts to protect America’s insurance consumers,” said NAIC President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger. “John is recognized as a leading expert in consumer protection. His experience and knowledge will serve this committee and our nation’s consumers well.”
      One of the primary standing committees of the NAIC, the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee coordinates multi-state analysis and investigation of suspected wrongdoing in the insurance marketplace and leads collaborative state regulatory actions. The committee also develops uniform systems for collection of information and marketplace monitoring activities. In recent years, the multi-state actions overseen by the committee have imposed millions of dollars in fines and collected tens of millions in restitution from companies charged with improper claims handling and other violations. The committee has also developed national policies relating to consumer protection on such issues as credit scoring, discrimination, “red lining” and claims settlement practices.
      Morrison previously chaired the NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee, as well as the organization’s Consumer Protection Working Group and the emergency task force set up to address issues arising from the attacks on September 11, 2001. His NAIC work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Consumer Reports, Money Magazine, Best’s Review, Ladies Home Journal and other national publications.
      As chair of the Consumer Protection Working Group, Morrison launched a national website that makes complaint and financial information about insurance companies available to the public. Morrison also helped start NAIC’s consumer education effort that is now known as “Insure U.” As chair of the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee, Morrison led a national effort to crack down on phony health insurance and discount card plans that included passage in Montana of a new law to address the problem.
      “I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge,” said Morrison.  “Protecting America’s insurance consumers is the most important thing we do as regulators. I look forward to working with all of the members of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee on the many important strategic initiatives facing us in the coming year.”