June 4, 2008
Your letter of May 7, 2008, to Deputy Superintendent Regina Stone, has been referred to me for review and response. You ask for a legal opinion on Banking Law Section 576(l)(a); particularly, the required method for a licensee to provide notice of intent to cancel to an insurance agent due to the insured's failure to make premium payments.
You ask if notice by electronic transmission, to wit, by facsimile, coupled with an affidavit of electronic transmission, is sufficient. You feel electronic notice is "better" and more "efficient" than notice by mail.
It is the opinion of the New York State Banking Department (the "Department") that the statute is clear on its face, and requires service by mail. The Department is aware of New York State Court cases that expand U.S. mail to include personal service and courier delivery. However, as far as we are aware, the New York legislature and courts have yet to expand the statute to include notice by electronic transmission.
I hope that you find this opinion useful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to direct them to me in writing.
Very truly yours,
cc: Regina A. Stone, Deputy Superintendent