The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on February 25, 2003 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Advertising Requirements for Accident and Health Insurance.
Must an advertisement for accident and health insurance that includes statistics provide the source of those statistics?
Yes. Pursuant to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, § 215.9 (1995) (Regulation 34) if the advertisement includes statistics, it must provide the source of those statistics.
Mr. A stated that ABC is a not for profit organization that currently represents five professional associations with a collective membership of well over 3200 insurance and financial service professionals and almost 300 business offices throughout the major metropolitan area.
One of ABCs members would like to run a long term care advertisement in a local newspaper. The advertisement will quote certain long term care statistics (i.e. approx. annual nursing home costs, the percentage of seniors who will require some form of long term care). Mr. A would like to know whether ABCs member must include the source of these statistics in the advertisement or whether, in the interests of keeping advertisement costs down, the member can omit the information from the advertisement (if in fact the member is using reliable sources and can document same).
Pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Laaw § 3217 (McKinney 2000), the Superintendent promulgated N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, Part 215 (1995) (Regulation 34), which governs the advertisements of accident and health insurance. 1 Its stated purpose is to assure the truthful and adequate disclosure of all material and relevant information in the advertising of accident and health insurance. Section 215.9(c), in regard to the use of statistics in accident and health insurance advertisements, requires that the source of any statistics used in an advertisement must be identified in the advertisement. Accordingly, if the advertisement includes statistics it must provide the source of those statistics.
For further information you may contact Senior Attorney Pascale Joasil at the New York City Office.
1 Please note that the Department considers long term care-type insurance policies to be a form of accident and health insurance. See N.Y. Ins. Law § 1117 (McKinney 2000) and N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, Part 52 (2001)(Regulation 62).