New Coalition to Dodd: Keep Us Out of Financial Reform

Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:02pm

Eleven CEOs from the largest property casualty insurance companies in the country have formed a new coalition to urge Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to leave them out of the financial services overhaul legislation.

State Farm Insurance, Allstate Corp., Travelers Companies Inc., Chubb Corp. and Zurich Financial Services Group were among the insurers to take the unusual step of forming the Property & Casualty Leaders Coalition. The last time the insurers joined in a coalition effort was in 2005 over asbestos legislation.

“There is no public policy justification for taking funds from companies in our industry, especially on a pre-event basis, to bail out other financial institutions deemed to be overexposed to failing ‘systemic’ companies,” wrote CEOs from the coalition companies, including the ACE Group, Nationwide Insurance and Liberty Mutual. “Recoupment payments made to companies should come from the benefitting companies.”

The coalition has not hired any outside lobby shops and does not have plans to embark on an advertising campaign, but that could change.

“As the situation warrants that will dictate the tactics,” said Leigh Ann Pusey, head of the American Insurance Association, which is working closely with the newly formed CEO contingent. “The message is the property casualty industry does not pose systemic risk, property casualty companies have not received TARP money and we don’t feel we should be in a system paying for the risks of other financial institutions.”

CEOs from several of the coalition members will be on Capitol Hill next week bringing their case to Congress, according to Pusey.