Monday, March 2, 2009

IIABNY Asked for Alternative Disclosure Proposal

At a recent meeting between executives of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York Inc. and New York State Insurance Department, the department officials asked IIABNY to provide an alternative producer compensation disclosure proposal that the trade association believes would be more workable for producers. IIABNY was the first producer trade group to meet with the department regarding the NYSID's compensation draft proposal.

The meeting, described by IIABNY Chair Neal Sullivan, as "open and positive," tackled the department’s compensation proposal on Feb. 19. Sullivan and Kermit Brooks, first deputy superintendent, NYSID, led their respective teams during the discussions aimed at conveying IIABNY’s concerns about the controversial draft regulation.

During the NYSID-IIABNY meeting, Brooks indicated that a working group representing industry stakeholders would begin its review of the proposal in March. “It appears that the department is not in support of simply a voluntary disclosure, and IIABNY is engaged with them to rework the language,” says Sullivan.

“As a result of our conversation, we have been asked to develop an alternate proposal and submit it to the department for consideration,” states IIABNY President & CEO Richard Poppa, in a Feb. 26 e-mail broadcast to its member agencies and posted at

However, the e-mail message pointed out that, “It is quite apparent that the department intends to issue a regulation requiring mandatory disclosure.” IIABNY’s intent is to create an alternate proposal whose “requirements are general in nature and don’t impose unnecessary costs or burdens upon agents or brokers and, ultimately, consumers.”

Although the Insurance Department’s draft does not restrict profit sharing or other compensation, IIABNY and others are particularly concerned with the broad definition of compensation and the form and method of disclosure.

IIABNY is also working with a broad range of life, health and property and casualty industry groups on this issue, which includes the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc., New York Insurance Association Inc. and the American Insurance Association, to name a few.

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