Today, we achieved a monumental victory for independent insurance agents with a unanimous ruling that the controversial “best interest” standard (the first amendment to Regulation 187) for life insurance and annuities imposed by the NYSDFS is unconstitutionally vague. While other member associations backed down over the course of this fight, Big I New York has continuously challenged the amendment since November 2018.
[Read the complete text of the ruling]
“Today’s ruling is a victory, not just for the state’s independent insurance agents and brokers, but for our customers,” said David MacLachlan, CPCU, Big I NY Chair of the Board. “This regulation has been virtually impossible for brokers to meaningfully comply with, raising concerns that many would stop selling life insurance and leave customers without the trusted advice they need.”
While the trial court initially ruled in favor of the NYSDFS, we remained concerned and appealed the ruling in March.
Lisa Lounsbury, CAE, President and CEO of Big I New York, said, “As advocates for their customers, independent insurance agents share the NYSDFS’s interest in protecting consumers; but the so-called ‘best interest’ regulation did the opposite. It provided little if any protection beyond the already robust laws of conduct and accountability for insurance agents, and actually harmed consumers by reducing access to affordable life insurance products and the trusted advice of an agent.”
Big I New York is represented by the firm of Keidel, Weldon, and Cunningham of White Plains. Jim Keidel, the association’s counsel, said, “I am very pleased with the court’s unanimous decision finding that the amended Insurance Regulation 187 is unconstitutional. It is apparent from reading the decision that the judges took the time to understand the serious issues and problems that this regulation creates.”
When it comes to standing up for you and your customers, Big I NY always has your back.