WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is urging the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to consider issuing a model bulletin or model guidance to give businesses confidence that operating in the modern world is consistent with their regulatory obligations.
IRI said that the bulletin or guidance should address the areas of electronic delivery, electronic applications, electronic signatures, and remote notarization and lend support for modernization and support of certain technologies.
IRI provided input to the NAIC’s E-Commerce Working Group in response to the Working Group’s summary and analysis following a state laws survey. IRI outlined three principal recommendations to the Working Group.
- Modernize or revise the affirmative consumer consent and reasonable demonstration requirements in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign).
Receiving electronic documents has become the preferred and expected method for many consumers. IRI believes that current requirements should optimize consumer experiences through default e-delivery of documents with an opt-out for consumers who prefer paper documents.
- Support electronic signatures vs. “wet signatures” whenever possible as a default method.
Like traditional “wet signatures,” several guardrails and consumer protections are built into an e-signature process when a consumer consciously decides to e-sign a document, even though the format is different. E-signatures may have tools, like an audit trail and a time and location stamp, that help identify or deter fraud.
- Clarify that all annuity-related disclosures and notices under NAIC model regulations do not require wet signatures or initials and may be delivered electronically.
Technology has evolved since the adoption of some model regulations. Therefore, IRI supports modernizing model regulations that address annuity-related disclosures and notices to keep them current. IRI also requested that the Working Group ensure that any Market Conduct Guidelines appropriately indicate that electronic delivery and signatures are sufficient to meet these requirements.
“We’d also like to reiterate our appreciation for the Working Group’s efforts to gather this information and examine what recommendations will be most meaningful for regulators, the industry, and consumers,” wrote Sarah Wood, IRI Director, State Policy & Regulatory Affairs.
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Contact: Dan Zielinski
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