MIAMI–The National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting here will focus in the coming month on a strategic direction for this year that will likely include work on a product regulation group, one regulator said.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based NAIC will also be concerned with organizing new committees with its cadre of veteran commissioners considerably reduced, explained Roger Sevigny, NAIC vice president and New Hampshire insurance commissioner.

Assignments of commissioners to committees are based on expressions of interest and on background, Mr. Sevigny said.

Concerning strategic planning for the coming year, one possible area of importance is the continued development of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (IIPRC) and the potential to use that kind of structure to advance other areas of regulatory oversight, he said.

Even as commissioners meet, the IIPRC, Washington, continues its work on developing product standards and on enlisting consumer advocates and industry members to participate in respective advisory committees of eight members each.

The Consumer Advisory Committee is to be comprised of persons representing national, state or local consumer nonprofit organizations with a membership of at least 25 members, according to the IIPRC.

The Industry Advisory Committee is to be comprised of insurers, producers and industry organizations.

According to the NAIC, industry organizations should represent members that have expressed interest in using the commission for making product filings, and an insurer should express intent to utilize the commission to file applicable insurance products.

Applications for positions on these advisory committees must be received by Jan. 31, 2007.

Mr. Sevigny said the NAIC is challenged this year because in the wake of post-election administrative shifts in the states, “the ranks of the seasoned commissioners have been thinned pretty dramatically.” So far, 13 commissioners have left their posts and the number could reach up to 20 over the next few months, he noted.

This weekend leadership of the organization under Walter Bell, NAIC president and Alabama commissioner, will make 2007 committee assignments. The NAIC regional zone chairs also participate in the selection.

Following the meeting to determine committee assignments, all commissioners will meet Feb. 4-7 in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the 2007 NAIC Commissioners’ Conference.