Financial Services Superintendent
In guidance issued today in consultation with DHR, DFS directed automobile insurers to ensure they are following applicable laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in the setting of insurance rates as newly licensed undocumented immigrants seek auto insurance. The Green
"DFS has been a national leader in investigating and prohibiting unfair and discriminatory practices in the setting of insurance rates, and we will continue to be vigilant as members of
"Discrimination against immigrants who are legally authorized to drive puts up an appalling roadblock to economic equality. It is unfair and it is against the law in
In the guidance issued today, DFS advised insurers that they should, among other things:
* Recognize that a licensed undocumented immigrant may have a driving history in his or her place of origin that could be considered for underwriting purposes;
* Not deny, due to his or her citizenship or legal status in
* Eliminate any bias, disparate impact or factor usage based on citizenship or legal status in
During the past several years, DFS also has taken action to prohibit unfair and discriminatory practices in the setting of insurance rates, including prohibiting the use of education and occupation in the setting of auto insurance rates. DFS promotes and supports responsible underwriting innovations to accurately rate risks and determine appropriate premiums. DFS has successfully enabled a number of insurance providers in
New York Insurance Law includes other important consumer protections against any discriminatory or unfair practices. Auto insurers may not refuse to issue a policy or terminate a policy because of the race, creed, color, national origin, disability, sex, marital status or advanced age of an insured or applicant.
Individuals who believe they may have been subjected to discrimination when applying for auto insurance should file a complaint at www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint. DFS and DHR will review filed complaints from New Yorkers.
A copy of the circular letter can be found on the DFS website (https://www.dfs.ny.gov/industry_guidance/circular_letters/cl2020_01).
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TO: All Authorized Property/Casualty Insurers and Licensed Insurance Producers
RE: Implementation of the Driver's License Access and Privacy Act or "Green
STATUTORY REFERENCES: Insurance Law Sec.Sec. 2303, 2321 and 2802 and Articles 23 and 26; Vehicle and Traffic Law Sec. 502(1); and Chapter 37 of the Laws of 2019
The purpose of this circular letter is to inform all authorized property/casualty insurers and licensed insurance producers (collectively, "Addressees") that the
The Department has taken action over the past years to prohibit unfair and discriminatory practices in the setting of motor vehicle insurance rates. For example, in
As you are aware, the Department promotes and supports responsible underwriting innovations to accurately rate risks and determine appropriate premiums. The Department has successfully enabled a number of insurance providers in
All Addressees are on notice that holders of learner's permits and licenses obtained under the Green
* recognize that a Licensed Person may have a driving history in his or her place of origin that could be considered for underwriting purposes;
* not deny, due to his or her citizenship or lawful status in
* eliminate any bias, disparate impact or factor usage based on an insured's citizenship or lawful status in
* recognize that Insurance Law Sec. 2802 prohibits any adverse underwriting or rating action for personal lines insurance due to a Licensed Person having an absence of credit information; and
* recognize that Insurance Law Sec. 2303 does not permit unfair discrimination in the making of rates.
None of the above limits the Addressees' obligations to abide by other protections afforded under the Insurance Law and regulations promulgated thereunder ("Insurance Law") or any other law. For example, Insurance Law Article 26 prohibits a motor vehicle insurer from refusing to issue, renew, or sell a policy because of the applicant's or insured's race, creed, color, national origin, disability, sex, marital status, or advanced age. The violation of those obligations may result in fines or other disciplinary actions, but the Department encourages Addressees to do more than the minimum required.
The Department supports the purpose of the Green
In furtherance of that purpose, the Department reserves the right to audit and examine an insurer's underwriting criteria, programs, records, algorithms, and models, including within the scope of regular market conduct examinations, and to take disciplinary action, including fines, revocation and suspension of a license, and require the withdrawal and suspension of rates pursuant to Insurance Law Sec. 2321.
Please direct any questions regarding this circular letter to
Deputy Superintendent -