On March 26, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed House Bill 386 into law, creating a regulatory sandbox with the goal of encouraging innovation within the Kentucky insurance industry. The sandbox allows for insurance companies to test out new ideas and innovations in how Kentucky Insurance producers sell and administer insurance in a controlled regulatory environment. Application to the sandbox is available to most individuals and entrepreneurs and is not limited to just insurance producers. However, an applicant who is attempting to sell a policy or issuing coverage through an insurer with an appropriate certificate of authority will need to provide evidence of a certificate of authority. The sandbox has no effect on and does not change the application process for admission in Kentucky.
From June 27th, 2019 to December 31st, 2025, both insurers and entrepreneurs may apply for admittance to the sandbox through the Kentucky Department of Insurance. In order to apply, the group must pay a $750 filing fee and present to the DOI how their proposed innovation will both benefit Kentucky consumers and serve the public interest. The application is reviewed by the Director of Insurance Innovation, who upon their discretion will approve the application and will set the terms for a one-year beta test of the proposed innovation. During that year, so long as the group complies with the terms of the beta test, an agency may carry out their proposed innovation without fear of regulatory retaliation. At the end of the year, the Director may choose to end or extend the beta test period as necessary.
At the end of the beta test, the Director will review the results on the innovation on the following criteria: the utility offered by the innovation warrants its continuation, regulatory and statutory barriers normally prevent the use of the innovation, and the innovation serves to the benefit of Kentucky consumers and public interest. If the Director finds that the innovation fails any of these criteria, then the beta test will end. Details of the innovation and a letter explaining why the innovation failed will be published on the Department of Insurance website. However, if the innovation does meet the criteria then the Director will issue an extended no action letter, allowing any person to use the innovation.
For any questions regarding the sandbox, or for any questions on state insurance regulatory requirements, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.