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Iowa Issues Anti-Rebating Bulletin

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Hawkeye State insurance regulators have come out with new guidance on handling concerns about rebates.

The Iowa Insurance Division has addressed anti-rebating rules in Iowa Bulletin 08-15.

Bulletin 08-15, which applies to insurers and producers in the individual life and health markets as well as in the individual property-casualty market, upholds a portion of an earlier anti-rebating bulletin, Bulletin 08-13, but rescinds another portion of Bulletin 08-13.

Iowa officials note that they will continue to permit insurers and producers to engage in many traditional marketing activities without accusing them of violating anti-rebating rules.

Marketers can continue to sponsor events and to treat existing clients to meals or sporting events, officials write in the bulletin.

Marketers also can offer free educational seminars, without or without food, as long as they do not make any actual sales at the seminars, officials write.

The division will treat specific reductions in commissions or premiums at the point of sale or renewal as rebates.

Iowa officials say they will look at “value-added services” provided along with insurance products on a case-by-case basis.

An insurer that provided a newsletter in an effort to reduce claims would not be violating the anti-rebating rules, and an insurer that provided an unrelated product or service along with a product would be violating the rules, officials write.

“The division has observed a trend whereby companies are including items other than insurance in new filings of insurance contracts,” officials write. “The division is concerned that this trend is an attempt to circumvent the spirit of the law.”


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