To:           All Persons and Entities Licensed to Transact the Business of Insurance in Missouri

From:      Keith A. Wenzel, Director of Insurance, State of Missouri

Re:          Compliance with Privacy Provisions of Gramm-Leach-Bliley (Pub. Law 106-102)

Date:       October 11, 2000

The Department of Insurance has received inquiries concerning the enforcement of Title V, Subtitle A-Disclosure of Nonpublic Personal Information, of the federal statute known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Pub. Law 106-102), as it relates to the business of insurance in Missouri.

The concern expressed to the Department is that although Subtitle A applies to the business of insurance in Missouri, compliance with its provisions by its November 13, 2000, effective date presents logistical difficulties for the industry in the development of systems adequate to accommodate its requirements. Moreover, the federal agencies charged with rulemaking and enforcement as to the various entities subject to their jurisdictions have given those entities until July 1, 2001, to comply with federal regulations issued pursuant to Subtitle A, in recognition of the difficulty of complying by the federal statute's effective date. The NAIC's model "Privacy of Consumer Financial and Health Information Regulation" also contemplates compliance by July 1, 2001.

The Director is of the opinion that a transition period is no less necessary to the Missouri insurance industry generally than to those segments of the industry regulated by federal agencies. Consequently, the Director intends to seek legislative authority to implement and enforce regulations consistent with Subtitle A. The Director does not intend to assess penalties against those who fail to comply with Subtitle A prior to July 1, 2001, absent a directive from the General Assembly to the contrary.

The industry should act promptly to ensure its compliance with Gramm-Leach-Bliley by July 1, 2001. If authorized by the General Assembly, it is the intention of the Director to promulgate regulations, similar to the NAIC's model privacy regulation, applicable to Missouri insurance licensees as of July 1, 2001. In the interim, the Director believes the NAIC model rule to be a useful guide for those persons or entities wishing to be in a position to comply with applicable statutes and regulations by July 1, 2001.

Insurance companies are requested to provide copies of this bulletin to their agents.