STATE OF NEW YORK
25 BEAVER STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10004
|Circular Letter No. 19 (2000)
June 5, 2000
|TO:||All Licensed Life Insurers and Fraternal Benefit Societies|
|The Department is currently investigating allegations of race-based
underwriting of life insurance by its licensees. Race-based underwriting may be evidenced
by different premium rates, compensation rates and risk classifications (standard vs.
substandard), and unequal treatment with regard to dividends, benefits or other policy
terms or conditions based solely on an insureds race. It has come to the
Departments attention that past race-based underwriting practices may not have been
addressed in an appropriate manner.
The Department has already met with a number of life insurers with substantial writings in New York to discuss past and current practices with regard to race-based underwriting.
To address the Departments concerns, in the near future each domestic and foreign life insurer and fraternal benefit society will be required, pursuant to Section 308 of the New York Insurance Law, to review its past and current underwriting practices regarding race-based underwriting and to report its findings to the Department. Filing specifications for the report will be announced shortly.
The purpose of this circular letter is to alert life insurers and fraternal benefit societies of the Departments intention to request this information, so that they will begin to review their past and current underwriting practices in order to ensure a timely response to the Departments request.
Very truly yours,