Circular Letter No. 7 (1999)

March 16, 1999


All Insurers Authorized To Write Life Insurance and Annuities, Including Life Insurers, Fraternal Benefit Societies, Charitable Annuity Societies, Savings Bank Life Insurance Departments, and All Licensed Viatical Settlement Companies


Life Insurance And Annuity Product Outlines Designed To Assist Insurers In Making Form And Rate Filings With The Department

We are pleased to announce that the first two Life Bureau product outlines for Individual Whole Life Insurance and Group Annuity Contracts Subject to Section 4223 are now available on the Department's website at Insurers submitting such products should review the appropriate outline to ensure that the products comply with all applicable requirements and that the submission is complete with all required copies and supporting material.

In May 1998, the New York Insurance Department convened a joint Department/Industry working group to discuss ways in which to improve the form and rate filing process applicable to life insurance and annuity products. One recommendation of the working group to improve the form and rate filing process was to develop product outlines describing the procedural and substantive requirements for each type of life insurance and annuity product subject to the Department's prior approval requirement in Section 3201(b) of the Insurance Law.

It was recognized that detailed product outlines would assist both the Department and submitting insurers in the following ways:

- The overall quality of submissions would improve since the outlines would describe the procedural and substantive requirements applicable to a particular product submission.

- The number of incomplete and inaccurate submissions would be reduced because insurers would review the product outlines prior to making a submission to the Department.

- Needless delays for both the Department and insurers attributable to incomplete and inaccurate submission would be avoided.

- The length of time between initial submission and product approval would decrease because there should be fewer objections or comments from the Department.

- The product outlines would also help to maintain the consistent and fair treatment among all insurers.

The Department will advise insurers as additional product outlines become available on our website. We expect to complete work on over thirty product outlines this year. Once all outlines are placed on the website, the outlines will be periodically updated as required to reflect changes in the law, regulations, rules and new product designs. We also plan to hold regional seminars for insurers to explain the form and rate filing process and the use of the product outlines.

Please direct all inquiries concerning this Circular Letter to Kathleen Nelligan, Chief Insurance Policy Examiner, New York State Insurance Department, Agency Building One, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12257.

Very truly yours,

Martin F. Carus
Assistant Deputy Superintendent and
Chief Examiner
Life Bureau