The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on April 30, 2001, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Notices Under N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.3 (Reg. 169)
Do the notices required under N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420 (2001) (Reg. 169) have to be sent to a beneficiary or claimant under a policy?
No, provided that the licensee is not disclosing nonpublic personal information about the individual, other than as permitted by the regulation.
No facts were presented. The inquiry is of a general nature.
In the most recent emergency adoption of the above stated regulation, the definition of "Customer relationship" contained in N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.3(i) (2001) provides that there is "no continuing relationship" if the consumer is a beneficiary or claimant under a policy. Accordingly, because there is no continuing relationship, the claimant or beneficiary is not a customer, but rather is a consumer. Pursuant to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.4(b) (2001) a licensee is not required to provide an initial notice to a consumer if there is no disclosure of any nonpublic personal financial information about the consumer to any nonaffiliated third party, other than as authorized by sections 420.14 and 420.15 of the regulation.
With respect to nonpublic personal health information, unless one of the enumerated exceptions are applicable, a licensee is prohibited from disclosing any nonpublic personal health information about a consumer or a customer unless an authorization is first obtained from the individual whose personal health information is sought to be disclosed. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.17 (2001).
For further information, you may contact Associate Attorney Joan Siegel at the New York City Office.