January 30, 2008 11:01 ET

IMSA Launches Suitability Certification Clearinghouse

New Industry Utility Will Increase Compliance Efficiencies, Improve Consumer Protections

BETHESDA, MD--(Marketwire - January 30, 2008) - This week the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) launches a new Clearinghouse system for life insurance companies to help them efficiently gather certifications of supervision of annuity suitability from third-party distributors.

Required by regulations in more than 30 states, the Clearinghouse will provide electronic storage and transfer of these certifications. Services will be available to all U.S. insurance companies, whether or not they are IMSA-certified, as well as third-party distributors.

Gathering and distributing suitability certifications can be a significant administrative task for both life companies and third-party distributors. Many companies have hundreds of distribution partners from which they will need to obtain these certifications. Similarly, third-party distributors are being contacted by many life insurance companies requesting these certifications.

"This valuable solution introduces a significantly more efficient approach to satisfying the requirement," said Scott Curtis, Senior Vice President, Raymond James & Associates and IMSA Chair-Elect. "The Clearinghouse is an important development in response to the suitability regulations being enforced in many states -- it will help both the insurance product manufacturers and the distributors."

IMSA is the premier standard-setting organization for the life insurance, annuity and long-term insurance marketplace. IMSA developed the Clearinghouse in response to its member companies and major distributors.

"This state-of-the-art service helps companies comply with regulations in a uniform way nationally. In the end, that's a real benefit to annuity consumers through enhanced protections," said IMSA President & CEO Brian Atchinson. "The Clearinghouse is just one of the important ways IMSA is helping companies, distributors, consumers and regulators."

IMSA will host a webinar for the news media on February 15, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. EST to demonstrate the Clearinghouse and its features. The webinar will be free but participants must register. To receive an invitation to register for the webinar, send your email address to Susan Beach at or contact Susan Beach at 240-744-3021 by the close of business on February 11, 2007. For additional information on the Clearinghouse and IMSA, visit the IMSA website at

Contact Information

  • For information, contact
    Susan Beach