Title V of the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) established the Federal Insurance Office (FIO).
Housed within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the FIO serves an important role by providing necessary expertise and advice regarding insurance matters to the U.S. Treasury Department and other federal agencies.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) sought the establishment of FIO, during Dodd-Frank deliberations, to offset a state regulatory insurance environment that was biased against collision shops and consumers.
The FIO’s role, after its establishment, has been a very contentious issue in the U.S. Congress with multiple efforts in the House and Senate to abolish it in previous congresses. It is important to note that, in the last Congress, the House passed a bill to eliminate FIO but the Senate blocked the legislation.
Opposition for FIO in the 116th Congress can be seen in the form of two bills:
- R. 1862, the Federal Insurance Office Abolishment Act of 2019 by U.S. Congressman Alexander Mooney (R-WV), and
- 1586, introduced by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and James Inhofe (R-OK).
In a news release, Sen. Cruz stated that this bill will “rein in bureaucratic overreach by the federal government and allow insurance regulation to be centered in the states.” ASA opposes these two bills.
Despite numerous attempts to abolish the FIO, including multiple efforts led by the former chair of the House Financial Services Committee, ASA has continued efforts to protect the FIO and enhance the scope of its authority.
ASA encourages collisions shops to go to TakingTheHill.com to send a letter to your congressman and senators in opposition of the bills.