News and Events from CCS - June 2019
The NY DFS has been keeping me very busy this spring with Reg. 187 education and preparation, as well as ongoing issues related to Reg. 210 compliance. In fact, a copy of those two regulations live on my desk and another copy in my briefcase ready to grab at any time! In addition to numerous consultations with clients, I am also busy creating tutorials for our Standard of Care Center, speaking on Reg. 187 on a regular basis, and preparing for our own Reg. 187 symposium in October. There was a very lively discussion at the IAdCA session that Pete Rock and I co-presented in April and at LHCA last month. A few people commented that my presentation at LHCA was the clearest presentation they had heard on the issues. That feedback meant a great deal to me because it is so easy to go down the many rabbit holes that NY’s regulation offers, which sometimes makes me wonder if it is too much information. I also found this interesting: during a recent meeting with several DFS attorneys on Reg. 187, one of the most senior attorneys in the Life Bureau said they could hear a well-known attorney in the Office of General Counsel as I spoke. Apparently, I was channeling some of his concerns about the significance of specific language in the final regulation. He and I both failed to move the Life Bureau on the importance of using defined terms in the regulation’s mandates.
Next up in our busy schedule are two AICP E-days – the New England and Mid-Atlantic Chapters. As I imagine many of you are, I am living and breathing Regulation 187 as we move rapidly toward the first effective date of August 1, 2019 for annuities. Are you ready?
We are pleased to announce that Mandy Bain, CCS Regulatory and Compliance Project Manager, has completed her MBA. She worked long hours to complete her studies while working full-time. We are quite proud of her and this accomplishment.
We are also very excited to share that Alexandra Smith, CCS Legal and Compliance Analyst, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Delaney, in January and Delaney has already joined our ranks as the newest (and cutest) compliance hero!
Our chief companion officer, Sasha, recovering well after knee surgery!
As many of you know, Sasha accompanies me just about everywhere, including to and from the office every day. She’s not fond of the long hours that I put in and by the time we arrive home in the evening, Sasha is beside herself with hunger. On a day in late March, Sasha was making her mad dash for the food upon arriving home only to discover that there was an unexpected obstacle in her way – an Amazon box. She jumped over it and immediately went lame. When I learned that she had torn her CCL (similar to an ACL in human knees) I hoped we could avoid surgery. However, the brace suggested by the vet was very difficult to keep on due to the amount of fur Sasha has and the brace’s reliance on Velcro. So, on April 26th, Sasha had knee surgery. Since then she has been on extremely limited activity – absolutely NO stairs are permitted and no non-“business” related walking. I worked from home for the first few days that Sasha was recovering, then split days and finally we both returned to the office. Sasha made it back in time to wish our long-term FedEx driver a happy retirement, which made him very happy. She had him very well-trained to bring extra biscuits with every delivery!
Sasha returns to the surgeon in two weeks and we are all hopeful that she will be cleared to return to her walks around Greenwich at lunch. Both Sasha and I are quite fond of that time to get a little exercise and I find it very helpful to clear my head for a short time and enjoy being outside for a walk. Life in the office feels like it is getting back to normal. Finally.
*UPDATE* As we prepare to publish this newsletter, my poor girl has had a blip in her recovery. She had a frightening episode of staggering / falling last night and our fear was she had had a stroke. We rushed her off to the ER. It’s believed she is suffering from Vestibular Syndrome, which is common in older dogs. So now we will continue her recovery with extra close care due to this new situation and her needs.
Manifestation of Application Frustration
By Suzanne Seay
I am writing this on a computer. You’ll get it, most likely, in an electronic version. I do virtually all my work either on the computer or the telephone. I deal with the NY Department of Financial Services through the SERFF electronic filing system, email, or on the telephone.
We live in an electronic and telephonic world. Who would disagree with that?
Why then, do NY regulators seem to treat
electronic and telephonic insurance applications as being a completely different beast than filings of applications that will be used on paper?
For example, the Individual Life Insurance Application Outline seems to be somewhat reasonable, in that it requires we “…provide screenshots of the application process as it appears on the screen…”
While screenshots of the paper versions of the application forms used to suffice, the Department has decided to require that the screenshots include all consumer-facing documents. Apparently, the requirement now includes forms that don’t have to filed, such as the Definition of Replacement, various authorizations, HIPPA forms, automatic withdrawal payments forms, and on and on. I haven’t seen the Buyer’s Guide required to be shown, but that would certainly be consumer-facing.
NY does not require that these forms be submitted with paper applications, why do we have to submit them when they are in electronic format?
For a parallel example, in a review of an electronic application filing, a NY attorney will usually ask how Reg. 60 replacement is handled. But I have never had this question asked on a paper application filing (which, ironically, is submitted to NY in electronic format).
It feels like the Department is expanding its reviews of form filings to look at every step in the insurance application process, but only when the forms are used in the electronic or telephonic environment. We have no idea what the interactions between an agent and a consumer will be when they are talking in person and using a pen to fill out a paper form. But the Department does not seem concerned about this when I file a paper application. It does seem to have concerns, however, when a computer screen is interacting with a consumer, and wants to see every screen the consumer sees. Does it not want to know every word spoken to the consumer by an agent?
Maybe the Department would like to know, but because it’s not realistic to monitor thousands upon thousands of conversations, it doesn’t ask. But it seems it can ask to review what screens consumers will see, and so it will. I find this frustrating.
I would like to see my home state of New York, known in so many ways to be progressive and forward-thinking, to work with insurers to make the transition to living in our overwhelmingly electronic world easier, not harder.
Are you unsure where advertising must be filed?
Our 50-State Survey: Advertising Filing Requirements for Non-Variable Life & Annuities, Long Term Care, and Medicare Supplement provides guidance on which products’ advertising need to be filed, as well as what filing type is required. Our survey also contains links to applicable insurance codes, regulations, bulletins, and filing checklists, where available.
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When NY compliance gets complicated, turn to Currin Compliance Services – the NY compliance experts!
We understand, because of our long-term unique experience and focus on compliance in NY, how Regulation 187 impacts and is impacted by Regulation 60 and Regulation 210. Join us Oct. 28 & 29 in Chicago for training and detailed discussions on Regulation 187 at . . .
This symposium is a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Reg. 187 and how this regulation will impact your work.
We have scheduled this event to fall in between the two effective dates for the new best interest and suitability regulation in NY. By meeting in October 2019, we will have some preliminary feedback about the implementation experience for annuities and still have time before the life rules go into effect to learn from the annuity experience. The structure of the event and its limitation on the number of attendees allows for discussion among participants as well as presentations with information that can be brought back to your office and shared with others working on implementation of this enormously important regulation. Click here for more information, general meeting schedule, venue info, and registration.