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NY Sets Nation's First E-commerce Ad Guidelines

New York State Insurance Department has issued the insurance industry's first set of guidelines for online advertisements, referrals and solicitations.

""The department solicited some industry views to see what the key issues were,"" says Bidwell. ""Unlike many letters from other departments, this one made sense on the first read-through.""

In fact, Bidwell predicts, many other state insurance regulators will follow the New York department's lead on e-commerce guidelines. ""New York is the first to do this with any kind of clarity,"" he comments. ""Many other states will use this model. The New York department has one of the best infrastructures in the country and states commonly look to New York for guidance.""

The clarification of insurance law from the guidelines should help insurance companies take advantage of the Internet, says the insurance department's Samers. ""I don't think the guidelines will drastically change the way insurance companies use the Internet, but the ones that are being aggressive on the Web will have confidence that they are not in violation of the law. The companies that are not using the Internet may start to use the Internet now that the law is clearly defined.""

Shortly after the New York department released its guidelines in February, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC, Kan-sas City), released a model bulletin based on New York's guidelines, says Kristin Welschmeyer, NAIC spokes-person.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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