High time to address inequality, says NAIC's Ray Farmer

Published in: Risk, Risk management, USA focus

Companies: NAIC

“Prejudice of any kind has no place in the insurance sector,” said Ray Farmer, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC), in his keynote address on day two of InsuranceERM’s 2020 Americas virtual conference.

Farmer said the pandemic and death of George Floyd has once more highlighted the issue of racial inequality in the US and it is something insurance commissioners and industry participants need to continue to work to address.

“[I have] seen changes but there is an awful lot more we need to and can do,” he said. “Sometimes these discussions are hard to do … but it is our time to address this issue.”

The NAIC made racial equality the focus of its recent summer meeting and appointed Evelyn Boswell as its newly created diversity, equity, and inclusion director in September.

It has also formed a special committee to look into the issues of race, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Farmer said “everything is on the table to reform” and vowed to make sure the insurance industry and its regulators are represented by a diverse membership.

The director of South Carolina’s Department of Insurance also spoke on the forthcoming US election, stating that political changes at the highest level would not stop the work of the national insurance regulator.

“Whatever happens in the election … we will be flexible enough to handle it,” he said.

“Yes, if Congress changes one way or another it may bring more attention to some parts of the sector. But from the NAIC itself, we will be able to address any insurance issue that come up.”


Sarfraz Thind