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NAIC’s Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force to Establish Working Group for E-Commerce
Legal Development 23 April 2021 23 April 2021
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' E-Commerce Working Group will consider laws, regulations and regulatory guidance affecting e-commerce in insurance and and make recommendations to help the industry keep moving forward with the increased use of technology and innovation.
On April 9, 2021, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force (“Task Force”) met virtually at the NAIC’s Spring National Meeting. The Task Force voted unanimously to create a working group (the “E-Commerce Working Group”), which will consider laws, regulations and regulatory guidance affecting e-commerce in insurance and make recommendations to help the industry keep moving forward with the increased use of technology and innovation that have come about due to the limitations on in-person contact and communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Task Force had previously requested comments from interested parties regarding regulatory relief or accommodations related to innovation or technology that were put into effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2021 ahead of the NAIC’s Spring National Meeting, the Task Force sent a follow-up request asking commentators to provide more details on their comments and explain whether the necessary regulatory changes to help with technology use and innovation could be addressed via regulatory guidance or would require statutory changes in the states.
Responses to the Task Force’s requests were received from several industry participants. Commentators provided their views on issues such as regulatory actions which have allowed for broader use of e-signatures, e-delivery, and electronic notarization; made suggestions such as having e-delivery of documents be the default with an “opt-out” of e-delivery instead of the current approach of requiring “opt-in”; and addressed the use of innovation and technology in areas ranging from claims administration to telemedicine.
Looking ahead, the E-Commerce Working Group will, among other things, develop best practices recommendations for e-commerce in insurance such as with respect to electronic signatures, delivery and notarizations. Its efforts will include getting further input from industry participants to help develop regulatory guidance that would hopefully be more uniform across the states. The E-Commerce Working Group may consider drafting a model regulatory bulletin regarding the relevant issues, which the state regulators could issue in their states.