Insurance regulators in the state of New York are holding four hearings to determine if they need to add more regulations for life insurance and annuity contract sales, as written by Jonathan D. Epstein of the Buffalo News. The article, “Insurance Department mulls more oversight”, says that the hearings will start in Buffalo on August 6 and follow in Albany, Long Island and New York City through the middle of September. The issue of “suitablity”, or the proper match of product and consumer, is the insurance regulators’ main focus. They want to make sure that companies are not improperly selling life insurance and/or annuities to people that the products do not suit.
The New York State Insurance Department seeks individuals and organizations alike to come to these hearings and voice comments or concerns. Whether in the field of academics, aiding senior citizens, or average Joe citizen, they want to collect information from you. They are also accepting comments by mail, email and the state’s website.
NAIC, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has what they call their “model regulation”. Although 30 states follow this model, New York is not one of them. Currently there is no law in New York that bans selling life insurance or annuity contracts that are not in the consumer’s best interest. The insurance regulators will decide after these hearings whether the state will adopt the NAIC guidelines or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules governing variable annuities. Another pending decision is whether or not the new policies will be a blanket rule for all life insurance and annuity sales. There’s a lot of discussion to be had.