Levin Center expert takes part in panel on insurance oversight


State legislators from across the country learned about the importance of insurance oversight from a National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) panel entitled, “The Delicate Balance of Legislative Oversight.” One panelist was the Levin Center’s Ben Eikey, an expert on state legislative oversight.

“Oversight can play a critical role in state legislatures seeking to promote a healthy insurance sector and so that families and businesses can obtain effective insurance at a fair price,” said Eikey. “Legislative oversight can help identify and analyze problems, encourage best practices, and help make sure financial help is there if disaster strikes.”

Topics discussed by the panel included oversight opportunities and strategy, how to uncover facts, and where lawmakers with an insurance perspective could enhance legislative oversight within their own state. Possible issues include protecting businesses against ransomware, evaluating floodplain designations, and ensuring reasonable rates for car insurance.

The panel was moderated by NCOIL incoming President Assemblymember Ken Cooley of California. The other panelists were Michigan State Senator and Chair of the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee Ed McBroom, and John Sylvia, Director of the West Virginia Legislature’s Performance Evaluation and Research Division.

The diverse panel of experts from California, West Virginia, and Michigan discussed oversight challenges and opportunities. Lawmakers from multiple states asked questions, and several expressed interest in furthering their own oversight endeavors knowing a growing oversight community can assist their pursuits.

Recommendations to enhance state legislative oversight included establishing joint, bipartisan committees of equal membership from both major political parties focused solely on oversight, and developing an oversight agenda at the beginning of a legislative session.

The Levin Center at Wayne Law is named in honor of former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan’s longest-serving U.S. senator who retired in 2015 after 36 years in the Senate conducting fact-based, bipartisan oversight investigations. Levin serves as the chair of the center which is headquartered at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. The center’s mission is to promote high quality oversight in Congress and the 50 state legislatures through oversight workshops, research, events, and other activities.

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