United States: National Association Of Insurance Commissioners Issues Insurance Data Security Model Law

Key Points

  • NAIC recently adopted an Insurance Data Security Model Law that follows the risk assessment-based approach of the New York DFS Cybersecurity Regulation. This signals the growing influence of the New York Regulation, including its 72-hour disclosure deadline. Compliance with the New York Regulation ensures compliance with the Model Law.
  • Reinsurers face new notification requirements under the Model Law, which require that they provide notice of any cybersecurity event to insurers and state departments of insurance.
  • Adoption of the Model Law could provide welcome encouragement for uniformity between states with regard to data security regulations in the insurance sphere. 

On October 24, 2017, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted the "Insurance Data Security Model Law" ("Model Law"), which signals the continued trend toward greater regulatory interest in data security issues within the insurance context and adopts the risk assessment-based approach first promulgated by New York regulators.

Origins and Purpose

NAIC promulgates model laws in an effort to, among other things, encourage uniformity in the regulation of insurance products. This issue is particularly important in the cyber context, given the expanding number of states adopting data security regulations. The recent wave of data security breaches has also heightened regulatory interest in data held by insurance-related entities, given the typically sensitive nature of that data and the volume of data at issue.

The Model Law creates model rules and standards for insurers, agents and other licensed entities related to data security, investigation, and notification of a breach of data security. Adoption of the Model Law is voluntary; some member states may choose to adopt only portions of it, some none of it, and others all of it. The authors solicited input from regulators as well as industry and consumer representatives during the drafting process.

The Model Law follows the pattern of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Cybersecurity Regulation, which went into effect on March 1, 2017. Details of the DFS statute can be found in earlier client alerts.

The DFS Superintendent recently "applaud[ed] the NAIC for recognizing the need for a national uniform cybersecurity standard for the insurance industry modeled on New York's trailblazing risk assessment-based approach."

Key Components

The Model Law takes as its starting place DFS's proactive approach that requires entities to undertake a risk assessment to use in creating their information security programs. Indeed, the drafters of the Model Law make clear that compliance with the DFS Cybersecurity Regulation (see 23 NYCRR 500) ensures compliance with the Model Law. Key components of the information security program required under the Model Law include:

  • maintaining an information security program based on a cybersecurity risk assessment, including, among other things, the proactive identification of threats, protection against unauthorized access and periodic destruction of data no longer necessary
  • requiring oversight by an entity's board of directors, including receipt of an annual written report from executive management concerning the status of the entity's program
  • evaluating and addressing cybersecurity risks posed by third-party service providers, including requiring implementation of appropriate security measures
  • establishing a written incident response plan that, among other things, identifies requirements for the remediation of any identified weakness in the system
  • providing an annual certification of compliance to departments of insurance.

Exceptions to the information security program requirements outlined above vary from the exemptions included in the DFS Cybersecurity Regulation. Unlike the DFS Regulation, the Model Law does not exempt companies that have under $5 million in gross annual revenue for each of the prior three years from in-state operations, or less than $10 million in year-end total assets. (See 23 NYCRR 500.19 (2) & (3).) Exceptions under the Model Law include:

  • a general exception for licensees with fewer than 10 employees
  • an exception for entities that have and maintain information security programs that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and all related statutes, rules, guidelines, etc.
  • an exception for employees or agents of a licensee, which are also themselves licensees.

The Model Law also outlines standards for the notification of departments of insurance, as well as consumers, regarding cybersecurity incidents. Highlights of those requirements include:

  • 72-hour deadline in which to provide electronic notice to departments of insurance regarding cybersecurity events if certain requirements are met
  • list of standard criteria to include in department notices and requirement that consumer notice letter be attached, standard criteria include whether police report filed, identity of source of event, copy of licensee's privacy policy, name of contact person, etc.
  • continuing obligation on licensee to update and supplement notifications
  • obligation on reinsurers to provide notice of cybersecurity events to insurers and departments, which marks a departure from the DFS statute that did not address this issue

Looking Forward

Although the Model Law is not mandatory, it will likely lead to increased adoption of the risk assessment-based approach to cybersecurity. The proactive, preparation-focused approach espoused by both the DFS Cybersecurity Regulation and the Model Law is fast becoming industry best practice.

Similarly, the Model Law adopts and lends added importance to DFS's expansive definition of "non-public information" (NPI). That definition encompasses three types of data: (1) business related information of the licensee, (2) personally identifiable information of consumers, and (3) certain health data. NAIC's use of DFS's NPI definition suggests that companies may be best served by adopting this expansive definition within internal policies and programs to ensure full compliance with developing industry standards and best practices.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.