17:23C-1. Findings, declarations relative to compliance review of insurance carriers
1. a. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest for insurance carriers in this State to conduct voluntary internal reviews and audits of their operations, practices and procedures for the purpose of discovering and correcting any operations, practices or procedures which do not comply with applicable law or regulation or which do not comply with recognized industry standards or with the insurance carrier's own standards and for the purpose of preventing continuing and more serious violations. However, if studies and reports beyond those legally required are available to third parties other than regulators and potentially can result in the insurance carrier's liability to such third parties, the insurance carrier may be discouraged from making these additional efforts and from sharing these results with regulators. A legal structure that promotes self-policing programs can achieve improved compliance effectively at less cost to the State and to the insurance carriers. Voluntary compliance review, when properly conducted and implemented, results not only in improved compliance with law, but in the adoption of procedures and policies by the insurance carriers that exceed minimum legal requirements, and that save money by benefiting customers, lowering costs and reducing potential liabilities.
b.The Legislature therefore determines that it is the public policy of the State to encourage insurance carriers to undertake voluntary compliance reviews and corrective action programs by protecting the results of voluntary compliance reviews from third parties other than regulators. Voluntary compliance reviews shall be privileged and shall not be considered public records or public documents subject to inspection or examination under any statutory or common-law right to know request. This privilege is intended to apply only to protect reports created for the express purpose of testing and monitoring compliance, which otherwise might not be undertaken because they are not legally required. Information required to be maintained pursuant to any federal or State law or regulation will not become privileged just because it is utilized or incorporated in a voluntary compliance review report.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016