By

Andrew Holland

20 February 2019

New York Department of Financial Services Issues Guidance Regarding Life Insurers’ Use of External Consumer Data in Underwriting

On January 18, 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued Circular Letter 2019-1 (the Circular Letter), addressing insurers’ use of external consumer data and information sources in underwriting for life insurance. The Circular Letter follows an investigation commenced by NYDFS regarding life insurers’ use of external data, which was initiated in light of reports that insurers were using algorithms and predictive models that include unconventional sources or types of external data. Among other things, the Circular Letter provides guidance that when insurers use external data sources in connection with underwriting decisions, (1) the use of external data sources must not result in any unlawful discrimination, (2) the underwriting or rating guidelines must be based on sound actuarial principle; and (3) life insurers must have adequate consumer disclosures to notify insureds or potential insureds of the right to receive the specific reasons for any adverse underwriting decision based on such data. (more…)

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06 September 2017

Regulatory Update: NAIC Summer 2017 National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners held its Summer 2017 National Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from August 6 to 9, 2017. This Sidley Update summarizes the highlights from this meeting. (more…)

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05 October 2016

Impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation on the Insurance and Reinsurance Industry

After almost four years of negotiations, drafting and discussions, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force earlier this year. Businesses, including insurance companies, now have until May 25, 2018 to meet the new requirements under the GDPR. The GDPR aims to harmonize data protection legislation across the European Economic Area (EEA), making compliance for (re)insurance companies that operate in multiple EEA jurisdictions easier. However, in order to achieve this, the GDPR introduces a number of new requirements that will have a significant, and sometimes onerous, impact on (re)insurance companies. The GDPR is also likely to still be relevant to (re)insurance companies based in the UK despite Brexit, as the GDPR will become law in May 2018, which may be before the UK withdraws from the European Union, and even after withdrawal, the GDPR will continue to apply to UK companies that process data on EEA residents. Some of the key provisions of the GDPR that are of particular relevance for the insurance and reinsurance industry are summarized below.

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19 September 2016

New York State Department of Financial Services Proposes Regulations Imposing Detailed Cybersecurity Rules on Insurance, Banking and Other Licensed Financial Institutions

On September 13, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) proposed regulations outlining minimum requirements for NYDFS-regulated entities to address cybersecurity risk (“Proposed Regulations”). The NYDFS regulates entities and products that are subject to New York insurance, banking and financial services laws. Because the scope of the Proposed Regulations includes any entity “operating under or required to operate under a license, registration, charter, certificate, permit, accreditation or similar authorization under the banking law, the insurance law or the financial services law,” the Proposed Regulations will cover a broad range of entities in the banking, insurance and financial services industries, including insurance producers and premium finance companies.

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25 April 2016

Fourth Circuit Affirms Duty to Defend Online Data Breach Allegations

In Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, No. 14-1944 (4th Cir. Apr. 11, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed the judgment on the reasoning of the federal district court in Virginia (No. 1:13-cv-00917-GBL-IDD), holding that Travelers had a duty to defend Portal in an underlying class action alleging online publication by Portal of confidential patient medical information pursuant to two commercial general liability (CGL) policies Travelers issued to Portal in 2012 and 2013.

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17 November 2015

New York Department of Financial Services Considers New Cybersecurity Regulations and Seeks to Promote Federal-State Regulatory Convergence – Would Go Well Beyond Protecting Customer Information

In a November 9, 2015 letter to members of the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (“FBIIC”), the Acting Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (“NY DFS”) outlined key elements of potential new regulations by the NY DFS addressing cybersecurity risk (“Cybersecurity Proposal”) and encouraged FBIIC members to work with the NY DFS in developing a comprehensive cybersecurity framework for all regulated financial institutions. The NY DFS regulates entities and products that are subject to New York insurance, banking and financial services laws. The FBIIC is composed of state and federal agencies that regulate companies and products in the financial services sector, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”). The stated goal of the NY DFS is to stimulate dialogue among federal and state financial regulators to promote collaboration and, ultimately, regulatory convergence.

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23 October 2015

NAIC Task Force Adopts Cybersecurity “Bill of Rights” for Insurance Consumers

On October 14, 2015, the Cybersecurity Task Force (Cybersecurity Task Force) of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted a cybersecurity “Bill of Rights” that proposes certain rights for insurance consumers relating to the protection of their personal information by insurance companies, insurance producers and other entities regulated by state insurance departments.  The Bill of Rights also outlines specific notices, information and actions that consumers should  expect from such entities, particularly in the event of a data breach.  This Bill of Rights, if adopted by NAIC’s Executive/Plenary Committees, could ultimately be incorporated in NAIC Model Acts and Regulations, and could be adopted by insurance companies on their own initiative.

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