Officials in a state known for strict life insurance and annuity marketing regulations say they are trying to loosen up while continuing to protect consumers.

The New York State Insurance Department has proposed an amendment to state Regulation 34-A that could encourage life insurers to run “joint advertisements.”

Many life insurers have responded to the distinctive nature of New York insurance regulation by setting up special subsidiaries or affiliates to handle sales in that state.

In New York, joint advertisements are ads that promote the policies of insurance companies authorized to operate in New York along with the policies of those companies’ parent companies or sister companies, state insurance department officials write in a regulatory impact statement.

Today, New York prohibits joint ads. The proposed amendment would allow joint ads.

The proposal “provides life insurers with increased flexibility in advertising while applying appropriate standards governing such advertisements to protect New York consumers,” officials write in the regulatory impact statement.

The proposal would lessen “certain advertising restrictions on life insurers and, according to industry representatives, should reduce certain advertising and related administrative costs of many life insurers,” officials predict.

Under the proposal, a joint ad could include the name of an “unauthorized insurer” as well as the name of a subsidiary or affiliate with the authority to do business in New York if “the advertisement contains a clear and conspicuous disclaimer indicating the licensing status of the entities relative to New York,” according to the text of the proposed amendment.

“An acceptable disclaimer could either state that the unauthorized insurer is not authorized in New York and does not do an insurance business in New York or name the insurer that is authorized to sell insurance in New York,” according to the amendment text.

An ad could not make the name of the unauthorized insurer “more prominent than the name of the authorized insurer,” according to the amendment text.

A copy of the proposed regulation is on the Web at Document Link