Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Heartland Institute Calls NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin a “true change agent”

Conservative, Free-Market Organization Invites Tar Heel Insurance Regulator to Address Texas Leaders Next Month

Next month The Heartland Institute and other partners will host a forum in Austin, Texas brought about, in part, because the 2011 Texas legislature faces a daunting insurance environment for taxpayers and industry alike.

“Out of the Storm News”, a new web publication of the institute’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate launched five months ago, invited NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to be a primary speaker for the estimated 300+ leaders who will gather in the Texas Capitol Auditorium.

Here is the public announcement:

In 2011, the Texas legislature will confront an insurance environment characterized by high rates, serious risks to taxpayers, and inadequate investment in disaster mitigation.

On January 27, The Heartland Institute, in cooperation with its partners, including the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, will present a half-day program to clarify the nature of the state’s insurance environment and offer solutions from similarly situated states. The program – which will include panel discussions, speeches, and the opportunity for questions from attendees – will be held from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm, at the Texas Capitol Auditorium in Austin, Texas.

Wayne Goodwin, commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Insurance will be a special guest at the program, to share his experience with consumer advocacy through fair rate-making, injury prevention efforts, and close regulation of insurance company solvency and industry practices.

“We’re very excited to have Commissioner Goodwin joining us. He’s been a true change agent in North Carolina and we think that his actions offer a lot of lessons for Texas,” says Eli Lehrer, Heartland Institute senior fellow and national director of the Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.Other panelists include David Marlett, chair of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University, Daniel Sutter, affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center and Associate Professor of economics at the University of Texas – Pan American, Lars Powell, an associate professor who holds the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Dennis Burke, the Reinsurance Association of America’s vice president of state relations, Bill Peacock, the vp of research and director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Economic Freedom, Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, former Texas senator Babe Schwartz, and John Colyandro, executive director of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute.

“Texas has a seriously flawed and troubled property insurance environment,” says Lehrer. “A lot of the problems stem from an inadequate or simply incorrect understanding of the way insurance works. We’re hoping to correct that through a broad, objective overview of the insurance environment.
This is not the first time that free market and conservative thinkers have lauded NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin, a North Carolina Democrat, for his efforts at reform: In 2009 he addressed a group of southern business leaders, insurance professionals, and fellow insurance regulators in New Orleans on his successful efforts to maintain coastal insurance for Tar Heels. Goodwin received praise from the John Locke Foundation and The Heartland Institute (separate from the above) earlier in 2010. And, Goodwin has also been recognized and endorsed by former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr., son of the late GOP icon, U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.

"I'm honored and humbled to have the support and confidence of so many folks from across the ideological spectrum and from members and leaders of both major political parties," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.
Goodwin continued, "I believe that fact is the result of keeping an open mind, focusing on common sensical and reasonable regulation, protecting State-based solutions and State-based authority, watching out for consumers always, and being ever mindful of how important a solvent insurance marketplace is for consumer and industry alike
Goodwin was elected to his first term as state Insurance Commissioner in 2008. He is up for re-election in 2012.

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