FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEVIN ANNOUNCES NEW PROCEDURES TO
STREAMLINE PRODUCT APPROVAL PROCESS
Department Launches Major Step Improving Speed to Market,
Consumer Choice, and Consumer Protection
Superintendent Neil D. Levin today announced new procedures expediting the review process for product filings made with the Department as a part of an overall initiative to reform the insurance regulatory process in New York. The Departments re-structuring is a crucial addition to the continuum of New Yorks regulatory reform effort, spearheaded by Governor Pataki, to better protect New Yorks consumers and to improve the operating environment for businesses in New York State.
"Governor Pataki has made regulatory reform one of the cornerstones of his administration and the Departments "speed to market" initiative represents the core spirit behind this regulatory reform process," said Levin. "These new procedures will assist in streamlining current review and approval processes so that the Department can re-direct resources to make it more responsive to the needs of a rapidly changing financial services marketplace and enhancing consumer choice of insurance coverages available in this state."
The new "fast track" procedures include:
- Use of standard transmittal forms and certifications of compliance by insurers;
- Simplified procedures for product development and marketing of new products; and
- Utilization of advances in technology to better enter, track, and monitor a submissions progress throughout the approval process.
"It is more important than ever, given that the current marketplace is being shaped by the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, that insurers get innovative financial services products to the marketplace in a more timely manner," said Levin.
The new procedures developed by the Department for accident and health insurers, life insurers, and property/casualty insurers are also part of an overall NAIC initiative in response to the needs of this changing marketplace. Details of all of the new procedures are outlined in various Circular Letters and templates that are posted on the Departments Web site at www.ins.state.ny.us.
The Department also, as a part of this initiative, is increasing resources focused on consumer protection. "We must ensure that consumer protection is not left behind as we improve the Departments approval process," said Levin. "This new initiative strikes a proper balance by ensuring that products reach the market in a timely fashion, increasing consumers choice, and providing that consumers are adequately protected."
Insurers are reminded that the Department also participates in SERFF, the NAICs electronic filing system. Current information on lines of insurance being processed via SERFF is available at www.serffcentral.com.