Community Development Innovation Review

February 2009

What Lessons Does the CRA Offer the Insurance Industry?


In light of the $150 billion bailout of AIG, there has been a renewed call for increased federal involvement in the insurance industry, including a proposal to extend something similar to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to insurance providers. Although that seems fair at first glance, simply applying the banking model to insurance is problematic for several reasons: (1) it contradicts the core business model of insurance; (2) it would not address the existing deficiencies in serving the low- to moderate-income market; and (3) the current fractured regulatory structure has no capacity to administer, uniformly and cogently, a national program such as a new CRA-like requirement. A greater opportunity exists in leveraging what insurance does best: mitigating risk to encourage investment and innovation and smooth unpredictable losses.

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Other articles in this issue

A Framework for Revisiting the CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Recent Mortgage Crisis

The 30th Anniversary of the CRA: Restructuring the CRA to Address the Mortgage Finance Revolution

The CRA within a Changing Financial Landscape

The Community Reinvestment Act: Outstanding, and Needs to Improve

It’s the Rating, Stupid: A Banker’s Perspective on the CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act at 30 Years

A Tradable Obligation Approach to the Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act: Past Successes and Future Opportunities

A More Modern CRA for Consumers

CRA Lending During the Subprime Meltdown

Expanding the CRA to All Financial Institutions

CRA 2.0: Communities 2.0

The Community Reinvestment Act: 30 Years of Wealth Building and What We Must Do to Finish the Job

The CRA as a Means to Provide Public Goods

Putting Race Explicitly into the CRA

Community Reinvestment Emerging from the Housing Crisis

A Principle-Based Redesign of HMDA and CRA Data

The Community Reinvestment Act: Good Goals, Flawed Concept

A Banker’s Quick Reference Guide to CRA