In a decisive move, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has ratified the Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Systems by Insurers during its 2023 Fall National Meeting. This groundbreaking initiative aims to establish clear guidelines for state Departments of Insurance concerning the incorporation of AI by insurance companies, striking a balance between innovation and risk mitigation.
Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane expressed the significance of this collaborative effort, stating, “As the insurance sector navigates the complexities of AI, the NAIC’s Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers provides a robust foundation to safeguard consumers, promote fairness, and uphold the highest standards of integrity within the industry.”
Balancing innovation and risk mitigation
The adoption of the Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence by the NAIC underscores a significant milestone in the insurance industry’s response to the rapid integration of AI technologies. The move reflects a commitment to addressing the unique challenges and opportunities presented by AI while ensuring the protection of consumer interests and industry integrity.
The NAIC’s Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology (H) Committee, chaired by Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane, played a pivotal role in shaping the Model Bulletin. The committee includes co-vice chairs Michael Conway, Commissioner of the Colorado Division of Insurance, and Doug Ommen, Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division, alongside representatives from 15 states.
This committee commenced the drafting of the bulletin earlier this year, with a primary objective of establishing comprehensive regulatory standards to govern the responsible implementation of AI across the insurance sector.
Addressing critical issues surrounding AI usage
One of the Model Bulletin’s key strengths lies in its comprehensive approach to critical issues related to AI usage in insurance. It explicitly tackles potential inaccuracies, unfair biases leading to discrimination, and data vulnerabilities. By doing so, the bulletin aims to promote fairness, transparency, and accountability within the industry.
The Model Bulletin comprises four key sections, each addressing critical aspects of AI utilization by insurers:
Responsible Governance: Emphasizing the importance of responsible governance, this section underscores the need for insurers to establish robust risk management policies and procedures to ensure fair and accurate outcomes for consumers.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations: The Model Bulletin reminds insurance carriers that decisions supported by advanced analytical and computational technologies, including AI, must comply with all applicable insurance laws and regulations.
Creation of an AIS Program: To ensure compliance with guidelines established by the NAIC’s 2020 Principles of AI, insurers are expected to create and implement a written AI Systems Program. This program should be commensurate with a thorough risk assessment and aimed at ensuring that decisions made or supported by AI are accurate and do not violate unfair trade practice laws or other relevant legal standards.
Inclusive input and transparency
The development of the Model Bulletin was an inclusive process, designed to gather input from various stakeholders. It underwent two public comment periods, allowing industry stakeholders, consumers, and legislators to provide valuable feedback. The first comment period concluded on September 5, 2023, followed by the second closing on November 6, 2023. This transparent and inclusive approach reflects the NAIC’s commitment to creating a balanced regulatory framework for AI implementation in the insurance sector.
The completion and adoption of the Model Bulletin by the NAIC represent a pivotal step toward adapting regulatory frameworks to the evolving landscape of AI in the insurance industry. By providing clear guidelines and expectations, the NAIC aims to promote uniformity among state insurance regulators, ensuring that insurance carriers deploy AI technology responsibly and in the best interests of consumers.
This landmark development reinforces the insurance industry’s commitment to embracing technological advancements while upholding the principles of fairness, accuracy, and compliance with legal standards. As AI continues to play an increasingly significant role in the insurance sector, the Model Bulletin serves as a crucial tool for insurers and regulators alike, shaping the responsible use of AI for the benefit of all stakeholders.