Certification Procedure Under Circular Letter No. 6 (2004)

Effective September 1, 2004

Please see Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) announcing the Department's new streamlined certification procedure which replaces the current Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) certification procedure effective September 1, 2004. On September 1, 2004 you will have the choice of one of the following three (3) filing procedures:

  1. Certification procedure (Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) (New)
  2. Prior approval procedure (Section 3201(b)(6))
  3. Alternative prior approval ("deemer") (Section 3201(b)(6))

Please note that we will accept policy form filings submitted under the new certification procedure prior to the September 1, 2004 effective date but such files will not be processed until that date.

What is the New Filing Procedure?

The new filing procedure involves the use of a certification of compliance completed by an officer of the insurer. The new procedure can be utilized for both individual and group products. Each submission must include a certification of compliance in the format provided in Attachment 1 to Circular Letter No. 6 (2004). The Department will rely entirely on the certification of compliance for the processing of the submission.

The new filing procedure holds insurers to a high standard in the preparation and submission of their policy forms to the Department. The certification of compliance provides that the submission is in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and circular letters and that the filing is complete and contains all the material required by the applicable laws, regulations and circular letters.

Why Should I Select This New Process?

  1. Forms submitted under this new process will be given the highest priority for filings. The submission will be placed in a separate queue.
  2. Insurers, who have certified to preparing submissions that are in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and circular letters will receive an expedited processing of their policy forms.
  3. Please note that the Department reserves the right to perform a full review of any forms submitted under Circular Letter No. 6 (2004).

What Do I Need to do to Participate?

  1. Include a statement in bold print in the "Re" or caption of the submission letter "Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) Prior Approval With Certification". This will enable your submission to be placed in a separate queue.
  2. Make sure the "Re" line of the submission letter complies with the requirements of Circular Letter No. 8 (1999). Filings that do not comply with Circular Letter No. 8 (1999) will not be accepted.
  3. Attach the general certification form completed by an officer of your Company who is familiar with the type of product being submitted and who is knowledgeable with the applicable laws, regulations and circular letters. See Attachment 1 to Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) for the proper format.
  4. The certification cannot be altered, modified or qualified in any way by information you provide in the submission letter or by attaching a product checklist. However, please note that this does not mean that you should not provide information about your product filing in your submission letter.
  5. The form number(s) of the policy forms(s) to which the certification pertains must appear on the certification form.
  6. Make sure the submission letter sets forth the information required by Circular Letter No. 4 (1963) and Circular Letter No. 6 (1963) and the product outline(s) applicable to the policy forms being submitted.
  7. Make sure that your submission is complete and contains all necessary material, for example, Flesch score certification, statement of self-support (if applicable), Regulation 74 certification (if applicable), a nonforfeiture certification from your Company's actuary (if applicable), a letter of authorization from the insurer if you are submitting the filing on behalf of the insurer, etc. Please be sure to check the requirements of the appropriate product outline.

How Does the New Process differ from the Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) Process?

  1. The attachment of a product checklist to the submission is not required. Insurers may choose to complete such documents for the company's internal compliance purposes. The product checklists are available on the Department website at http://www.ins.state.ny.us.
  2. Comment letters from the Department should not be expected.
  3. All approval letters will be in a new standardized format.

What About my Pending Submissions? Can I use the New Process?

If you have a submission currently pending in the Department, please contact us to determine its status.

  1. If your submission is not currently under review and you want to use the new procedure it will be necessary to withdraw the pending submission and re-file under the new procedure. Please contact the Department by telephone to determine the status of your current filing. Please be prepared to advise the Department that you wish to withdraw the submission during that telephone conversation. It will be necessary to follow-up in writing on the same day by fax to the Department requesting the withdrawal. We will withdraw submissions from review only upon your written request. A letter confirming your withdrawal request will be sent to your attention.
  2. Re-submit the form under the new certified process. As noted above, policy forms filed under the new process will be given the highest priority.
  3. Please do not file forms under both the new certified process and the prior approval process or deemer process. This would serve only to increase the current inventory of pending forms and hinder the speed to market initiatives for all insurers.

What About my Pending Files that were submitted under the Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) Procedure?

The Department will continue to process all Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) submissions received by close of business on August 31, 2004. However, such filings as of September 1, 2004 will no longer have the highest priority in the review process. If your pending certified file has not yet been reviewed you may want to convert the filing and request that it be reviewed under the new Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) certified submission procedure. The above directions for using the new procedure for pending submissions are applicable to the conversion of a Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) pending certified submission except that you will not need to make a resubmission of the certified filing. Please be sure however to include a new certification in the format required by Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) when submitting your letter withdrawing the Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) filing and requesting that the file be converted to the Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) procedure. The existing Circular Letter No. 27 (2000) file will then be closed and a new Department file number will be assigned to the converted Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) file.