4226. Misrepresentations, misleading statements and incomplete comparisons by insurers. (a) No insurer authorized to do in this state the business of life, or accident and health insurance, or to make annuity contracts shall:
(1) issue or circulate, or cause or permit to be issued or circulated on its behalf, any illustration, circular, statement or memorandum misrepresenting the terms, benefits or advantages of any of its policies or contracts;
(2) make any estimate of the dividends or share of surplus or additional amounts to be received on such policies or contracts;
(3) make any false or misleading statement of the dividends or share of surplus or additional amounts paid by any such insurer on similar policies or contracts;
(4) make any misleading representation, or any misrepresentation of the financial condition of any such insurer or of the legal reserve system upon which it operates; or
(5) make or deliver to any person or persons any incomplete comparison of any such policies or contracts for the purpose of inducing, or tending to induce, such person or persons to lapse, forfeit or surrender any insurance policy or contract.
(6) replace the individual life insurance policies or individual annuity contracts of an insurer by the same or different insurer without conforming to the standards promulgated by regulation by the superintendent. Such regulation shall:
(A) specify what constitutes the replacement of a life insurance policy or annuity contract and the proper disclosure and notification procedures to replace a policy or contract;
(B) require notification of the proposed replacement to the insurer whose policies or contracts are intended to be replaced;
(C) require the timely exchange of illustrative and cost information required by section three thousand two hundred nine of this chapter and necessary for completion of a comparison of the proposed and replaced coverage; and
(D) provide for a sixty-day period following issuance of the replacement policies or contracts during which the policy or contract owner may return the policies or contracts and reinstate the replaced policies or contracts.
(b) Any comparison of the policies or contracts of any such insurer or insurers shall be deemed to be an incomplete comparison if it does not conform to all the requirements for comparisons established by the superintendent by regulation.
(c) In any determination, judicial or otherwise, of the incompleteness or misleading character of any such comparison or of representation, it shall not be presumed that the insured knew or knows of any of the provisions or benefits contained in any insurance policy or contract.
(d) Any such insurer that knowingly violates any provision of this section, or knowingly receives any premium or other compensation in consequence of such violation shall, in addition to any other penalty provided in this chapter, be liable to a penalty in the amount of such premium or compensation, which penalty may be sued for and recovered by any person aggrieved for his own use and benefit, in accordance with the provisions of the civil practice law and rules.
Last modified: February 3, 2019