In 2004, the New York Department of Financial Services (Department) issued Circular Letter No. 6 (CL 6), instituting a streamlined certification procedure process to improve “speed to market” for life insurance and annuity products. Submissions accompanied by the proper certification of compliance were given the highest priority. In a new initiative announced on March 12, 2013, forms submitted under the certification procedure will be randomly selected to receive a review prior to approval.

Effective April 1, 2013, the Department will begin to test, on a small-scale basis, the system developed to perform the random sampling. Forms submitted for approval under CL 6 will be randomly removed from the certified method and will be examined as if they had been filed under the prior approval procedure. The Department will notify the insurer whose files were selected for prior review within five to six business days after submission of their CL 6 filing.

The criteria used to select which filings will be subject to prior review are the following: (1) the type of policy being filed, i.e., base policy, rider, endorsement; (2) the complexity of the product; and (3) whether the insurer has included a certification attesting to compliance with the applicable product outline dated after January 1, 2010.

Prior to this bulletin, the Department had not provided a mechanism for insurers to certify to compliance with product outlines. Rather, CL 6 limited certification to applicable laws, regulations, and Circular Letters. Insurers wishing to certify to product outlines dated after January 1, 2010, should use the Supplemental Policy Form Compliance Certification Form attached to the March 12, 2013, bulletin on the Department’s website.