U.S. Signs Agreement with UK on Post-Brexit Insurance Regulation

January 7, 2019

The U.S. Treasury and U.S. Trade Representative have officially signed an agreement with the United Kingdom to provide insurance regulatory continuity after Britain exits the European Union.

The agreement is similar to one the U.S. signed with the European Union in 2017 and affirms the U.S. state-based system of insurance regulation and increases opportunities for U.S. insurers, according to the Trump Administration.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the deal “will allow U.S. insurers and reinsurers to maximize business opportunities and cut red tape for their cross-border operations.”

While the U.S insurance community is split over the wisdom of U.S. covered agreements with foreign countries, with state regulators worrying they infringe on their authority, critics have been somewhat muted since this latest pact mirrors the U.K.- EU agreement that is already in place.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which represents state insurance regulators and has been one of the strongest critics of covered agreements, did not object to this pact.

“As we have previously noted, the UK is an important market for the U.S. and is currently included in the existing U.S./EU covered agreement,” the group said in a statement.

“Given these unique circumstances, despite our concerns with the covered agreement mechanism, we do not object to its use in this instance to replicate consistent treatment for the UK,” the organization said.