Regulators in a New England state say insurers and producers there can use gifts with a fair market value of less than $15 to promote themselves.

The Connecticut Insurance Department has followed the lead of Iowa and issued a bulletin stating that giving away pens, calendars and other small, inexpensive items to clients or prospective clients does not violate state anti-rebating rules

Insurers and producers also can give away inexpensive meals, officials write in Bulletin S-12.

To qualify for “gifts of nominal value” treatment,” the total value of the gifts must be less than $15 per year, and consumers must not have to buy insurance to get the gifts, officials write.

The state uses anti-rebating rules to create a “level playing field” for insurance professionals and protect members of the public from unfairly discriminatory rates and practices.

But the Connecticut department “realizes that it is impractical and unnecessary to prohibit inexpensive gifts that, because of their low market value, would be insufficient to promote the kind of conduct and negative results that the anti-rebating provisions intend to prevent,” officials write in the bulletin.