The National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC") Social Media Working Group of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs (D) Committee issued on September 29, 2011 a revised draft of its July 29, 2011 original memorandum ("Whitepaper") titled "The Use of Social Media in Insurance." The revised Whitepaper incorporates a number of important changes from the original, including the following:

  • Includes a definition of social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that allow for the creation and exchange of user-generated content." (p. 3)
  • Removes reference to particular popular social media cites and instead stresses that social media sites and usage "are in a constant state of evolution with dominant sites changing and new platforms being introduced at regular intervals." (p. 3)
  • Clarifies that with regard to social media communications, "the type of insurer-producer relationship (captive v. independent) is irrelevant. If the appointed producer’s social media communications can be attributed to the appointing carrier, regulators will also attribute the communications to the carrier." (p. 5)
  • Clarifies that insurers are responsible for all social media content it posts to or on "any of its own directly sponsored sites/spaces and may be responsible for posts of 3rd parties." (p. 7)
  • Clarifies that "when an insurer and/or producer is responsible for the content of a specific social media communication, then the insurer and/or producer is also responsible for complying with state record retention regulations relative to the subject communication." (p. 8)

The NAIC is soliciting written comments to the revised document through 10 AM Pacific time, Friday, October 14, 2011. Comments should be submitted directly to the NAIC’s Craig Leonard at cleonard@naic.org