Experts from around the globe will gather in Des Moines this week to talk about the world-wide insurance industry. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will kick things off on Tuesday, May 20.
“We’ve assembled some thought-leaders from the insurance industry and also the regulatory community both at the state level, the federal level and international, and have other 300 people coming to this event,” Gerhart says.
The inaugural Global Insurance Symposium will run through Thursday. The director of the Federal Insurance Office will be among the keynote speakers. Gerhart says not only will the top U.S. insurance regulator attend, but regulators from India, Germany and Japan will be here, too.
“So we have some regulators coming from all over the world to come talk about their system of supervision of insurers and also how to do business in their country,” Gerhart says.
Property and casualty insurance experts at the event are likely to discuss a federal law that shields insurance companies from huge pay-outs for the man-made disasters of terrorism. The law was originally passed in 2002, but it is set to expire at the end of the year. Gerhart says a number of roundtable discussions are scheduled during the event.
“I’m hoping for several things,” Gerhart says. “One is showcasing that Des Moines is an insurance hub not only in the United States, but across the world, but also to have a real dialogue about how the state-based regulatory system has protected consumers for over 150 years.”
According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, about 42,000 people work in Iowa’s insurance industry. An Iowa State University study found over 400 insurance carriers are doing business in the state and the ISU researchers estimated 88,000 Iowans work in insurance or an insurance-related business.