(19) Disparaging comparisons and statements.
No advertisement may directly or indirectly contain unfair or incomplete comparisons of policies or benefits or falsely or unfairly disparage, discredit or criticize competitors, their policies, services or business methods or competing marketing methods.
An advertisement for a policy with nonlevel premiums shall contain a prominent description of the premium changes.
No person subject to this section may describe in an advertisement a life insurance policy under which the insurer reserves the right to change the amount of the premium during the policy term unless this feature is prominently described in the advertisement.
Except as otherwise allowed under this paragraph, no advertisement may contain a statement or representation that an insured may withdraw under the terms of the policy any premiums paid for a life insurance policy. The advertisement may refer to amounts paid into an advance premium fund, which are intended to pay premiums at a future time, to the effect that they may be withdrawn under the conditions of the prepayment agreement. The advertisement may also refer to withdrawal rights under any unconditional premium refund offer.
No advertisement may state or imply that a pure endowment benefit is a “profit" or “return" on the premium paid rather than a policy benefit for which a specified premium is paid.
No advertisement may contain a description of or otherwise refer to nonguaranteed policy elements in a manner which is misleading or has the capacity or tendency to mislead.
No advertisement may state or imply that the payment or amount of nonguaranteed policy elements is guaranteed. If an insurance policy's or annuity contract's nonguaranteed policy elements are illustrated, they may not be more favorable to the policyholder than those based on the current interest rates, dividend scales, mortality tables, and other variable components currently used by the insurer for that insurance policy or annuity contract. The illustration shall contain a statement to the effect that the viewer, listener, or reader should not construe the nonguaranteed policy elements as guarantees or estimates of amounts to be paid in the future.
No advertisement may state or imply that illustrated nonguaranteed policy elements will be or can be sufficient at any future time to assure, without the further payment of premiums, the receipt of benefits, such as a paid-up policy, unless the advertisement clearly and precisely explains what benefits or coverage would be provided at the future time and under what conditions this would occur.
No advertisement may refer to dividends as “tax free"or contain words of similar import, unless the tax treatment of dividends is accurately explained and the nature of the dividend as a return of premium is indicated clearly.
A person subject to this section may address an advertisement for policies sold to students to the parents of students. No address on the advertisement may include any combination of words which imply that the correspondence is from a school, college, university or other education or training institution nor may it imply that the institution has endorsed the material or supplied the insurer with information about the student unless true.
All advertisements, including but not limited to information flyers used in the solicitation of insurance, shall contain clear identification that the advertisement comes from an insurer or intermediary, if this is the case, and these entities shall be clearly identified as insurers or intermediaries.
No return address on the advertisement may state or imply that the soliciting insurer or insurance intermediary is affiliated with a university, college, school, or other educational or training institution, unless true.
(23) Individual deferred annuity products or deposit funds.
For individual deferred annuity products or deposit funds, the following shall apply:
Any illustrations or statements containing or based upon interest rates higher than the guaranteed accumulation interest rates for the annuity product or deposit fund shall likewise set forth with equal prominence comparable illustrations or statements containing or based upon the guaranteed accumulation interest rates. No higher interest rate may be greater than those currently being credited by the insurer unless the higher rate has been publicly declared by the insurer with an effective date for new issues not more than 2 months subsequent to the date of declaration.
If an advertisement states the net premium accumulation interest rate, whether guaranteed or not, it shall also disclose in close proximity thereto and with equal prominence, the actual relationship between the gross and net premiums.
If any policy does not provide a cash surrender benefit prior to commencement of payment of any annuity benefits, any illustrations or statements concerning the policy shall prominently state that cash surrender benefits are not provided.
(24) Advertisements showing a specific rate of return on premiums or cash values.
All life insurance or annuity solicitations, representations, and advertisements used in Wisconsin which show a specific rate of return on premiums or cash values shall also show, in close proximity thereto and with equal prominence, the following:
A general statement describing the existence of first-year and annual expense charges, mortality charges and surrender charges which will be deducted from the premium before the interest rate is applied.
The guaranteed rate of interest paid on the cash value.
The amounts of the cash value or premium to which the guaranteed and the illustrated rates are applied; for example, an advertisement, representation, or solicitation shall disclose if interest on the first $1,000 of cash value is limited to the guaranteed rate.
An indication that the interest rate credited on cash value amounts which have been borrowed is different from that for cash values which have not been borrowed, if that is the case.
An indication of any other significant factors which affect the manner in which cash values are computed.
(25) Graded or modified benefits after a policy is issued. Ins 2.16(25)(a)(a)
An advertisement, representation, or solicitation for a policy containing graded or modified benefits shall prominently disclose this fact. If applicable, an advertisement, representation, or solicitation shall prominently disclose the fact that the premium is level and coverage decreases or increases with age or duration. Graded or modified benefits shall include, but are not limited to, life insurance policies that, within a specified period after the policy is issued, may pay no death benefits or death benefits that are less than premiums paid should the insurer pay the death benefits.
The prominent disclosure required in par. (a)
shall mean the following for the specified type of advertisement:
For television advertisements, an announcement describing the graded or modified benefits to be displayed during the advertisement for at least 10 seconds.
For radio advertisements, an announcement describing the graded or modified benefits.
For pre-printed advertisements intended for general distribution, a written description of the graded or modified benefits printed on the first page of the advertisement and in at least 12 point bold type.
In the event an advertisement uses “Nonmedical," “No Medical Examination Required," or similar terms where issue is not guaranteed, the terms shall be accompanied by a further disclosure in close proximity thereto and with equal prominence to the effect that issuance of the policy may depend upon the answers to the health questions set forth in the application.
No advertisement may contain as the name or title of a life insurance policy any phrase which does not include the words“life insurance" unless accompanied by other language clearly indicating it is life insurance.
An advertisement shall prominently describe the type of policy advertised.
No advertisement of an insurance policy marketed by direct response techniques may state or imply, unless the condition is true, that because there is no intermediary or commission involved there will be a cost saving to prospective purchasers.
No advertisement may state or imply in any way that interest charged on a policy loan or the reduction of death benefits by the amount of outstanding policy loans is unfair, inequitable, or in any manner an incorrect or improper practice.
If nonforfeiture values are shown in any advertisement, the advertisement shall show the values either for the entire amount of the basic life policy death benefit or for each $1,000 of initial death benefit.
No advertisement may contain the words “free," “no cost," “without cost," “no additional cost," “at no extra cost," or words of similar import with respect to any benefit or service being made available with a policy, unless the insured is not charged for any benefit or service. If the insured is not charged, then the advertisement shall prominently disclose the identity of the payor.
(27) Method of disclosure of required information. Ins 2.16(27)(a)(a)
A person subject to this section shall set out all information required to be disclosed by this section clearly, conspicuously and in close proximity to the statements to which the information relates or under appropriate captions of sufficient prominence that it shall be readily noticed and not minimized, rendered obscure or presented in an ambiguous fashion or intermingled with the context of the advertisements so as to be confusing or misleading.
No person subject to this section may set out information required by this section under inappropriate captions or headings or under inappropriate questions where a question and answer format is used.
(28) Form number.
A person subject to this section shall identify by form number an advertisement other than an institutional advertisement defined in sub. (3) (h)
which is mass-produced. The form number shall be sufficient to distinguish it from any other advertising form or any policy, application or other form used by the insurer.
(29) Insurer's responsibility for advertisements. Ins 2.16(29)(a)(a)
The insurer whose policy is advertised has responsibility for the content, form and method of dissemination of all advertisements, regardless of by whom designed, created, written, printed or used.
An insurer shall require its intermediaries and all other persons or agencies acting on its behalf in preparing advertisements to submit proposed advertisements to it for approval prior to use.
(30) Insurer's advertising file.
Each insurer shall maintain at its home or principal office a complete file containing every printed, published or prepared advertisement of its policies hereafter disseminated in the state. With respect to group, blanket and franchise policies, all proposals prepared on the same printed form need not be included in the file; only typical examples of these proposals shall be included. A notation shall be attached to each such advertisement in the file indicating the manner and extent of distribution and the form number of any policy, amendment, rider, or endorsement form advertised. The file shall be subject to regular and periodic inspection by the office of the commissioner of insurance. A person subject to this section shall maintain all of these advertisements in the file while in use and for a period of 3 years after an advertisement's authorized use. If applicable, a person subject to this section shall also maintain files in accordance with ss. Ins 2.14 (5) (a)
and 2.15 (9) (a)
Ins 2.16 History
Cr. Register, October, 1982, No. 322
, eff. 11-1-82; r. (5) (b) 1. and 2. and (6) (b), Register, May, 1984, No. 341
, eff. 6-1-84; r. (7) under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 16., Stats., Register, December, 1984, No. 348
; r. and recr. Register, July, 1989, No. 403
, eff. 8-1-89; am. (1) and (3) (a) 2., Register, March, 1998, No. 507
, eff. 4-1-98; CR 14-075
: am. (3) (a) 2. Register August 2015 No. 716
, eff. 9-1-15.
Life insurance illustrations. Ins 2.17(1)(1)
This section provides rules for life insurance policy illustrations that will protect consumers and foster consumer education. This section provides illustration formats, prescribes standards to be followed when illustrations are used, and specifies the disclosures that are required in connection with illustrations. The goals of this rule are to ensure that illustrations do not mislead purchasers of life insurance and to make illustrations more understandable. Insurers will, as far as possible, eliminate the use of footnotes and caveats and define terms used in the illustration in language that would be understood by a typical person within the segment of the public to which the illustration is directed. The requirements of this section are in addition to and not a substitute for the requirements set forth in ss. Ins 2.14
This section applies to all group and individual life insurance policies and certificates except:
Life insurance policies with no illustrated death benefits on any individual exceeding $10,000.
“Actuarial standards board" means the board established by the American academy of actuaries to develop and promulgate standards of actuarial practice.
“Basic illustration" means a ledger or proposal used in the sale of a life insurance policy that shows both guaranteed and non-guaranteed elements.
“Contract premium" means the gross premium that is required to be paid under a fixed premium policy, including the premium for a rider for which benefits are shown in the illustration.
“Currently payable scale" means a scale of non-guaranteed elements in effect for a policy form as of the preparation date of the illustration or declared to become effective within the next 95 days.
“Disciplined current scale" means a scale of non-guaranteed elements that is reasonably based on actual recent historical experience, as certified annually by an illustration actuary designated by the insurer.
“Generic name" means a short title descriptive of the policy being illustrated such as “whole life," “term life" or “flexible premium adjustable life."
“Guaranteed elements" means the premiums, benefits, values, credits or charges under a policy of life insurance that are guaranteed and determined at issue.
“Illustrated scale" means a scale of non-guaranteed elements currently being illustrated that is not more favorable to the policy owner than the lesser of:
“Illustration" means a presentation or depiction that includes non-guaranteed elements of a policy of life insurance over a period of years and is one of the three illustrations described in pars. (b)
, and (s)
“Illustration actuary" means an actuary meeting the requirements of sub. (10)
“In force illustration" means an illustration furnished at any time after the policy that it depicts has been in force.
“Lapse-supported illustration" means an illustration of a policy form failing the test of self-supporting as defined in this section, under a modified persistency rate assumption using persistency rates underlying the disciplined current scale for the first 5 years and 100% policy persistency thereafter.
“Minimum assumed expenses" means the minimum expenses that may be used in the calculation of the disciplined current scale for a policy form. The insurer may choose to designate each year the method of determining assumed expenses for all policy forms from the following:
Marginal expenses may be used only if greater than a generally recognized expense table. If no generally recognized expense table is approved, fully allocated expenses must be used.
A generally recognized expense table based on fully allocated expenses representing a significant portion of insurance companies and approved by the commissioner.
“Non-guaranteed elements" means the premiums, benefits, values, credits or charges under a policy of life insurance that are not guaranteed or not determined at issue.
“Non-term group life" means a group policy or individual policies of life insurance issued to members of an employer group or other permitted group under all of the following conditions:
Every plan of coverage was selected by the employer or other group representative.
Some portion of the premium is paid by the group or through payroll deduction.
“Policy owner" means the owner named in an individual policy
or the certificate holder in the case of a group policy.
“Premium outlay" means the amount of premium assumed to be paid by the policy owner or other premium payer out-of-pocket.
“Self-supporting illustration" means an illustration of a policy form for which it can be demonstrated that, when using experience assumptions underlying the disciplined current scale, for all illustrated points in time on or after the fifteenth policy anniversary or the twentieth policy anniversary for second-or-later-to-die policies or upon policy expiration if sooner, the accumulated value of all policy cash flows equals or exceeds the total policy owner value available. For this purpose, policy owner value includes cash surrender values and any other illustrated benefit amounts available at the policy owner's election.
“Supplemental illustration" means an illustration furnished in addition to a basic illustration.
Each insurer marketing policies to which this section is applicable shall notify the commissioner whether a policy form is to be marketed with or without an illustration. For all policy forms being actively marketed on January 1, 1998, the insurer shall
identify in writing those forms and whether or not an illustration will be used with them. For policy forms filed after January 1, 1998, the identification shall be made at the time of filing. Any previous identification may be changed by notice to the commissioner.
If an insurer identifies a policy form as one to be marketed without an illustration, any use of an illustration for any policy using that form prior to the first anniversary is prohibited.
If a policy form is identified by the insurer as one to be marketed with an illustration, a basic illustration prepared and delivered in accordance with this section is required, except that a basic illustration need not be provided to individual members of a group or to individuals insured under multiple lives coverage issued to a single applicant unless the coverage is marketed to these individuals. The illustration furnished an applicant for a group life insurance policy or policies issued to a single applicant on multiple lives may be either an individual or composite illustration representative of the coverage on the lives of members of the group or the multiple lives covered.