Overview

 Our Insurance Regulatory & Enforcement team provides informed, practical advice on all manner of sophisticated regulatory matters. We manage financial regulatory agency relationships, assess legal, regulatory, enforcement and reputational risks, and resolve complex legal, financial, operational and strategic issues. Our comprehensive understanding of our clients’ businesses enables us to alert clients to risks or opportunities in other areas of their operations. In addition to our regulatory guidance, we develop strategies to reduce the risks of litigation and governmental investigation. However, when it becomes necessary, our experience and industry knowledge, combined with the diverse skills of our lawyers, allow us to vigorously represent our clients before trial and appellate tribunals, arbitration panels and regulatory bodies.

We have a 50-state insurance regulatory practice and advise clients on all aspects of state and federal insurance regulation, including licensing, holding-company systems regulation, underwriting and rating of commercial insurance, policy wording, financial and solvency regulation, state insurance receivership and insolvency proceedings, insurer and broker relationships, reinsurance and surplus lines eligibility, captive insurers, offshore insurers, alternative risk-transfer products, mergers, acquisitions and changes of control, and conducting discrete internal reviews of complaints.

We ensure that our clients remain up-to-date on the numerous regulatory changes around the world, including, in the European Union: group supervision and capital adequacy issues; in the United States, on the federal and state levels: Solvency II, the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on the insurance industry and the NAIC’s Solvency Modernization Initiative, Own Risk and Solvency Assessment initiative, revisions to credit for reinsurance requirements and revisions to insurance holding company regulations. We also monitor developments relating to the US Federal Insurance Office, the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, and we develop creative solutions for clients in achieving their business objectives in the face of this changing regulatory landscape.

Our clients include life insurers, property and casualty insurers, financial guaranty insurers and mortgage guaranty insurers. We frequently work with clients in the preparation, filing and proceedings relating to “Form A” change-of-control statements, “Form D” affiliated transaction statements and bulk reinsurance filings associated with acquisitions of large blocks of insurance business. We negotiate with insurance regulators to overcome regulatory obstacles and develop creative solutions that enable our clients to gain regulatory approval for their proposed forms of business arrangements. We have represented clients in matters before many state insurance departments and numerous state attorneys general, and before federal administrative agencies, the US Congress and various state legislatures.

Praxis

Regulatory Enforcement

  • Responded to and negotiated a consent order in a targeted market conduct exam by the New York Department of Financial Services relating to systems conversion failures in connection with the acquisition of a block of life insurance policies; negotiating a resolution of the same issues with the California Department of Insurance.
  • Advising a life insurer on its response to the New York Department of Financial Services inquiry into replacements of deferred annuities with single premium immediate annuities (SPIA).Advising a New York life insurer on a New York Department of Financial Services targeted market conduct exam relating to rollovers from traditional variable annuities to managed investment accounts.
  • Responded to a regulatory inquiry from the New York Department of Financial Services regarding whether a particular group insurance policy covering users of an internet platform was properly written on a group basis.
  • Responded to a regulatory inquiry from the New York Department of Financial Services regarding whether the insurance component of an online service platform constituted an unlawful sale of insurance.
  • Responded to and negotiated a resolution of a regulatory enforcement action by the Missouri Department of Insurance regarding the maintenance of underwriting files required by applicable regulations.
  • Responded to and negotiated a resolution of a regulatory enforcement action against a surplus line insurer by the Texas Department of Insurance and Texas Comptroller arising out of the misappropriation of surplus line taxes by a surplus line broker.
  • Represented a client in an adversarial hearing before the Delaware Department of Insurance regarding an alleged violation of the terms of a disclaimer of control in the context of a contested election for directors of the insurance company’s parent.

Strategic and Tactical Legal Advice

  • Advised The Hartford on regulatory due diligence and filing work with regard to its acquisition of Aetna’s US group life and disability business and its acquisition of The Navigators Group.
  • Advised WMIH Corp., as regulatory counsel, in the $3.8 billion merger with Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., the Texas-based mortgage servicing company.
  • Advised the US branch of Nipponkoa Insurance Company, as special regulatory counsel, in its preparation for domestication into its affiliate, Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America in connection with the $23 billion merger of Nipponkoa Insurance Company, Ltd. into Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.
  • Advising a New York medical malpractice insurer on various restructuring issues, regulatory approvals and the New York legislative “moratorium” on insolvency-based rehabilitation or liquidation of medical malpractice insurers.
  • Advised a New York life insurer on regulatory impact of potential name change and rebranding effort.
  • Represented a transportation network company before the New York Department of Financial Services as it drafted new regulations for TNC insurance policies.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advised several major insurance broker clients on regulatory requirements and disclosure best practices related to broker compensation.
  • For a major US property and casualty insurer, we created a 50-state user guide for conducting insurance business over the Internet, covering all aspects of the insurance business relationship from advertising to policy issuance to claims payment, including citations to all relevant state statutes and regulations.
  • Advised multiple insurance and non-insurance clients on joint ventures involving the referral of non-insurance customers to platforms for receiving quotes on and purchasing insurance products.
  • Advised a life insurer on permissibility in various states of an incentive program involving gifts and prizes for current policyholders who sign up for e-delivery of account statements and communications.