Weekly Tip: How To Submit Trade Secret Requests

 

Weekly Tips

How To Submit Trade Secret Requests

3/10/2016

This weekly tip will explain the process for requesting trade secret for the proprietary parts of a product filing.

All requests for trade secret protection must be in writing and addressed to Karen Schutter, IIPRC Executive Director, as the designated Custodian of Records pursuant to the Establishment of Conditions and Procedures for the Public Inspection and Copying of Information and Official Records of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission – otherwise known as the Public Access Rule. Trade secret requests should be made post-submission and before the product filing containing trade secret information is approved as a pending filing under review is not considered a Public Record under Section 103(b) of the Public Access Rule. Please do not send the request through SERFF. The request should identify with specificity the information or documents the company filer is seeking to protect as trade secret and detail the reasons the information qualifies as “trade secret” as defined in Section 102(h) of the IIPRC Public Access Rule as follows:

“’Trade Secret’ means any information, which may include, but is not limited to, a formula, pattern, compilation,  program, device, method, technique or process, insurance actuarial formulas, statistics, supporting data, assumptions, underwriting guidelines and credit scoring methodologies, that: a) derive independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons who can obtain economic value from their disclosure or use, and b) are the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain their secrecy.”

Please note the IIPRC will not generally recognize trade secret on the Compact-approved form(s) or rate schedule(s) as this information is available when the product is issued or used in the marketplace and would not necessarily meet part b of the “Trade Secret” definition above.  In general, supporting information including portions of the Actuarial Memorandum and exhibits may have trade secret information redacted as well as any correspondence between the company filer and IIPRC Office that discusses the trade secret information. Trade secret requests are not recognized until the filing is near approval as revisions are common during the filing process.  

Once the request to protect information as a Trade Secret has been granted, as the product filing moves closer to approval, the company filer will need to attach a confidential version and a publicly-available redacted version of the trade secret documents.  Any document containing trade secret information needs the word ‘confidential’ in both the SERFF Document Name and in the Attachment Name. Additionally, the documents should have the actual information that is to be considered confidential removed and not “blacked” out.  Once the filing is approved the publicly-available version of the document will be made available within the filing in SERFF and on SERFF Filing Access.  The version marked confidential will not be made publicly available as trade secret information is not considered a Public Record under Section 103(b) of the Public Access Rule.