The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on May 9, 2001, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Reg. 169: Mailing of Notices
Is a licensee required to send its privacy notices via First Class Mail?
No. This is not required by N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.9 (2001) (Reg. 169).
No facts were presented. The inquiry is general in nature.
N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 420.9 (2001) (Reg. 169) contains the delivery requirements for any notices required under that regulation. Section 420.9(a) requires that notices be sent "so that each consumer can reasonably be expected to receive actual notice in writing or, if the consumer agrees, electronically." Section 420.9(b)(1) provides examples of reasonable expectation of actual notice and includes: (ii) "mails a printed copy of the notice to the last known address of the consumer separately, or in a policy, billing or other written communication." This section does not require that the mailing be via First Class Mail. However, the Department would caution that the licensee is responsible for choosing a mailing method that will result in a reasonable expectation that the consumer will receive the actual notice.
For further information you may contact Associate Attorney Joan Siegel at the New York City Office.