New York State Seal
STATE OF NEW YORK
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
25 BEAVER STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10004

George E. Pataki
Governor

Howard Mills
Superintendent

The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on November 15, 2006 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Personal meeting between the insurance producer and the insured

Issue

Must an insurance producer meet in person with a prospective insured before selling that person an assigned risk insurance policy over the internet?

Conclusion

Although there is no statutory requirement for an insurance agent or broker to personally meet the individual to whom an insurance policy is being sold, individual insurers may require it, and, in fact, the New York Automobile Insurance Plan, (hereinafter NYAIP), requires a producer to meet in person with the individual to whom an insurance policy is being sold.

Facts

None were provided.

Analysis

The inquirer is an insurance agent or broker, and wants to know whether he or she must meet in person with a prospective insured before selling such person an assigned risk insurance policy over the internet. Although there is no statutory requirement for an insurance agent or broker to personally meet the individual to whom an insurance policy is being sold, individual insurers may require it, and, in fact NYAIP requires a producer to meet in person with the individual to whom an insurance policy is being sold.

NYAIP states in pertinent part in Section 15(A)(1)(c):

Each application must be accompanied by a photocopy of the front side of the operator’s license of the owner/applicant that is applying for insurance. . . The producer must personally compare the face and other descriptive features of the owner/applicant . . . with the photograph and descriptive information of the owner/applicant’s or . . . driver’s license. . . .

For further information one may contact Senior Attorney Susan Dess at the New York City Office.