The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on February 28, 2000, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Agent licensing and legal services insurance.
1. May a licensed life or accident and health insurance agent sell legal services insurance?
2. Where is a list maintained of insurers currently licensed to write legal services insurance?
3. What is the federal tax treatment of legal services insurance, when such insurance is marketed to employers?
1. Yes, a licensed life or accident and health insurance agent may sell legal services insurance, if the agent is an agent for an insurer licensed to write such insurance.
2. The Department does not maintain a separate list of insurers licensed to write legal services insurance.
3. This inquiry is outside of the province of this Department.
A licensed life, accident and health insurance agent raised certain questions about legal services insurance.
The agent requested confirmation that Circular Letter No. 8 (2000) states that, as a licensed life and accident and health insurer, you are licensed to sell legal services insurance. So long as one is a life or accident and health agent for an insurer licensed to write legal services instance, one may sell legal services insurance on behalf of such an insurer. The Circular Letter may be viewed on the Department's website at http://www.ins.state.ny.us.
The agent also inquired as to the Department's view of the federal tax treatment of legal services insurance under the Internal Revenue Code, when the insurance is being offered as a fringe benefit to the employees of an employer. We advised that the inquiry was outside the province of the Department and suggested that the agent contact the Internal Revenue Service.
The agent also requested a list of all insurers licensed to write legal services insurance. The Department does not maintain a separate list of such insurers. The Department does maintain on its website a list of all currently licensed insurers, and the kinds of insurance for which they are licensed to write.
For further information you may contact Supervising Attorney Paul Zuckerman at the New York City Office.