Weekly Tip: Montana


Weekly Tips



In this week's Weekly Tip we would like to take a moment of your time to remind you of a few key items when you are adding Montana to a submitted or previously approved product filing.

When preparing your product filing submission or getting ready to add Montana to a previously approved filing, it is important to remember that Montana's constitutional equal protection requirement prohibits discrimination solely on the basis of sex or marital status in the issuance of any type of insurance policy, plan, or coverage. Therefore, life and annuity submissions that include Montana must be able to be issued on a unisex basis.

So what does this mean for you? It means that the product in which Montana is being included on must meet Montana's unisex requirement. The policy cannot include forms that are sex distinct that would contain gender-distinct language, including a misstatement of sex or gender or gender-distinct mortality tables or settlement option tables. If you are submitting a new form(s), please be very clear in the Filing Description as to how the form(s) will meet this requirement. An endorsement filed and approved with the Insurance Compact that removes the gender-distinct language from a form that will be written on a unisex basis is one way to satisfy this requirement.

If you are wishing to add Montana to an already-approved filing, keep in mind that there are a few steps that should be accomplished behind the scenes before adding Montana to the filing. First, if the approved form(s) does not meet the unisex requirement, you will be required to file for approval an endorsement that when combined with the approved-form(s) will satisfy this requirement. Once the endorsement has been approved, then you are free to add Montana to the other already approved-form(s). If the Statement of Intent (SOI) requires updating, please submit a Note to Reviewer requesting that the filing be re-opened. Once the filing has been re-opened, update the SOI as need be with as much specific information as available. Keep in mind that it is your best interest to not add Montana or have the filing re-opened until you are ready with all required information. This makes the final acknowledgement process easier and faster for you. Once the unisex requirement has been addressed, Montana will then be successfully acknowledged in your filing.

The Insurance Compact did issue a Filing Information Notice (FIN) last October to provide guidance with regard to including Montana in product filing submissions. That FIN is Filing Information Notice 2013-3: Filing Process for Product Filings that Include Montana to Demonstrate Compliance with Constitutional Unisex Requirement. We would recommend that you review this FIN as you prepare to add Montana to your filings.

If you have any questions regarding this particular Weekly Tip or adding Montana to a product filing, please contact the Insurance Compact office.