For decades, insurers have used their lobbying clout to remain the only major sector of the financial-services industry free from federal regulation. Now, large insurance companies are working with House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) on a plan that would give insurers a choice between federal or state regulation. If the measure -- which Dingell plans to introduce next year -- becomes law, large international companies may well opt for unified federal rules. Smaller insurers are likely to retain their comfortable relationship with state regulators.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE