Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 6. Insurance Information and Privacy Protection
9/26/2021

Article 2. Insurance Data Security Act.

§ 38.2-621. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Authorized person" means a person known to and authorized by the licensee and determined to be necessary and appropriate to have access to the nonpublic information held by the licensee and its information systems.

"Consumer" means an individual, including applicants, policyholders, insureds, beneficiaries, claimants, and certificate holders, who is a resident of the Commonwealth and whose nonpublic information is in the possession, custody, or control of a licensee or an authorized person.

"Cybersecurity event" means an event resulting in unauthorized access to, disruption of, or misuse of an information system or nonpublic information in the possession, custody, or control of a licensee or an authorized person. "Cybersecurity event" does not include (i) the unauthorized acquisition of encrypted nonpublic information if the encryption, process, or key is not also acquired, released, or used without authorization or (ii) an event in which the licensee has determined that the nonpublic information accessed by an unauthorized person has not been used or released and has been returned or destroyed.

"Encrypted" means the transformation of data into a form that results in a low probability of assigning meaning without the use of a protective process or key.

"HIPAA" means the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.).

"Home state" means the jurisdiction in which the producer maintains its principal place of residence or principal place of business and is licensed by that jurisdiction to act as a resident insurance producer.

"Information security program" means the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that a licensee uses to access, collect, distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle nonpublic information.

"Information system" means a discrete set of electronic information resources organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination, or disposition of electronic information, as well as any specialized system such as industrial or process control systems, telephone switching and private branch exchange systems, and environmental control systems.

"Insurance-support organization" has the same meaning as provided in § 38.2-602.

"Licensee" means any person licensed, authorized to operate, or registered, or required to be licensed, authorized, or registered pursuant to the insurance laws of the Commonwealth. "Licensee" does not include a purchasing group or a risk retention group chartered and licensed in a state other than the Commonwealth or a person that is acting as an assuming insurer that is domiciled in another state or jurisdiction.

"Nonpublic information" means information that is not publicly available information and is:

1. Business-related information of a licensee the tampering with which, or the unauthorized disclosure, access, or use of which, would cause a material adverse impact to the business, operations, or security of the licensee;

2. Any information concerning a consumer that because of name, number, personal mark, or other identifier can be used to identify such consumer, in any combination with a consumer's (i) social security number; (ii) driver's license number or nondriver identification card number; (iii) financial account, credit card, or debit card number; (iv) security code, access code, or password that would permit access to a consumer's financial account; (v) passport number; (vi) military identification number; or (vii) biometric records; or

3. Any information or data, except age or gender, in any form or medium created by or derived from a health care provider or a consumer that can be used to identify a particular consumer, and that relates to (i) the past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of any consumer or a member of the consumer's family; (i) the provision of health care to any consumer; or (iii) payment for the provision of health care to any consumer.

"Nonpublic information" does not include a consumer's personally identifiable information that has been anonymized using a method no less secure than the safe harbor method under HIPAA.

"Person" means any individual or any nongovernmental entity, including any nongovernmental partnership, corporation, branch, agency, or association.

"Publicly available information" means any information that a licensee has a reasonable basis to believe is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government records; widely distributed media; or disclosures to the general public that are required to be made by federal, state, or local law. A licensee has a reasonable basis to believe that information is lawfully made available to the general public if the licensee has taken steps to determine (i) that the information is of the type that is available to the general public and (ii) whether a consumer can direct that the information not be made available to the general public and, if so, that such consumer has not done so.

"Third-party service provider" means (i) a person, not otherwise defined as a licensee, that contracts with a licensee to maintain, process, or store nonpublic information, or otherwise is permitted access to nonpublic information through its provision of services to the licensee or (ii) an insurance-support organization.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-622. Private cause of action; neither created nor curtailed.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to create or imply a private cause of action for violation of its provisions, nor shall it be construed to curtail a private cause of action which would otherwise exist in the absence of this article.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-623. Information security program.

A. Commensurate with the size and complexity of the licensee; the nature and scope of the licensee's activities, including its use of third-party service providers; and the sensitivity of the nonpublic information used by the licensee or in the licensee's possession, custody, or control, each licensee shall develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive written information security program based on the licensee's assessment of the licensee's risk and that contains administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for the protection of nonpublic information and the licensee's information system.

B. Each licensee's information security program shall be designed to:

1. Protect the security and confidentiality of nonpublic information and the security of the information system;

2. Protect against any reasonably foreseeable threats or hazards to the security or integrity of nonpublic information and the information system;

3. Protect against unauthorized access to or use of nonpublic information, and minimize the likelihood of harm to any consumer; and

4. Define and periodically reevaluate a schedule for retention of nonpublic information and a mechanism for its destruction.

C. Each licensee shall:

1. Designate one or more employees, an affiliate, or an outside vendor designated to act on behalf of the licensee who is responsible for the information security program;

2. Design its information security program to mitigate the identified risks, commensurate with the size and complexity of the licensee; the nature and scope of the licensee's activities, including its use of third-party service providers; and the sensitivity of the nonpublic information used by the licensee or in the licensee's possession, custody, or control;

3. Place access controls on information systems, including controls to authenticate and permit access only to authorized persons to protect against the unauthorized acquisition of nonpublic information;

4. At physical locations containing nonpublic information, restrict access to nonpublic information to authorized persons only;

5. Implement measures to protect against destruction, loss, or damage of nonpublic information due to environmental hazards, such as fire and water damage or other catastrophes or technological failures;

6. Develop, implement, and maintain procedures for the secure disposal of nonpublic information in any format;

7. Stay informed regarding emerging threats or vulnerabilities and utilize reasonable security measures when sharing information relative to the character of the sharing and the type of information shared; and

8. Provide its personnel with cybersecurity awareness training.

D. 1. If a licensee has a board of directors, the board or an appropriate committee of the board shall, at a minimum, require the licensee's information executive management or its delegates to (i) develop, implement, and maintain the licensee's information security program and (ii) report in writing (a) the overall status of the information security program and the licensee's compliance with this article and (b) material matters related to the information security program, addressing issues such as risk assessment, risk management and control decisions, third-party service provider arrangements, results of testing, cybersecurity events or violations and management's responses thereto, and recommendations for changes in the information security program.

2. If executive management delegates any of its responsibilities under this section, it shall oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of the licensee's information security program prepared by the delegate and shall receive a report from the delegate complying with the requirements of subdivision 1.

E. Beginning July 1, 2022, if a licensee utilizes a third-party service provider, the licensee shall:

1. Exercise due diligence in selecting its third-party service provider; and

2. Require a third-party service provider to implement appropriate administrative, technical, and physical measures to protect and secure the information systems and nonpublic information that are accessible to, or held by, the third-party service provider.

F. Each licensee shall monitor, evaluate, and adjust, as appropriate, the information security program consistent with any relevant changes in technology, the sensitivity of its nonpublic information, internal or external threats to information, and the licensee's own changing business arrangements, such as mergers and acquisitions, alliances and joint ventures, outsourcing arrangements, and changes to information systems.

G. As part of its information security program, each licensee shall establish a written incident response plan designed to promptly respond to, and recover from, any cybersecurity event that compromises the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of nonpublic information in its possession; the licensee's information systems; or the continuing functionality of any aspect of the licensee's business or operations. Such incident response plan shall address:

1. The internal process for responding to a cybersecurity event;

2. The goals of the incident response plan;

3. The definition of clear roles, responsibilities, and levels of decision-making authority;

4. External and internal communications and information sharing;

5. Identification of requirements for the remediation of any identified weaknesses in information systems and associated controls;

6. Documentation and reporting regarding cybersecurity events and related incident response activities; and

7. The evaluation and revision, as necessary, of the incident response plan following a cybersecurity event.

H. Beginning in 2023 and annually thereafter, each insurer domiciled in the Commonwealth shall, by February 15, submit to the Commissioner a written statement certifying that the insurer is in compliance with the requirements set forth in this section, any rules adopted pursuant to this article, and any requirements prescribed by the Commission. Each insurer shall maintain for examination by the Bureau all records, schedules, and data supporting this certificate for a period of five years. To the extent an insurer has identified areas, systems, or processes that require material improvement, updating, or redesign, the insurer shall document the identification and the remedial efforts planned and underway to address such areas, systems, or processes. Such documentation must be available for inspection by the Commissioner.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-624. Investigation of a cybersecurity event.

A. If a licensee learns that a cybersecurity event has or may have occurred, the licensee or an investigator shall conduct a prompt investigation.

B. During the investigation, the licensee or an investigator shall, at a minimum, determine as much of the following information as possible:

1. Determine whether a cybersecurity event has occurred;

2. Assess the nature and scope of the cybersecurity event;

3. Identify any nonpublic information that may have been involved in the cybersecurity event; and

4. Perform or oversee reasonable measures to restore the security of the information systems compromised in the cybersecurity event in order to prevent further unauthorized acquisition, release, or use of nonpublic information in the licensee's possession, custody, or control.

C. If a licensee learns that a cybersecurity event has or may have occurred in a system maintained by a third-party service provider, the licensee will complete the steps listed in subsection B or make reasonable efforts to confirm and document that the third-party service provider has completed those steps.

D. Each licensee shall maintain records concerning all cybersecurity events for a period of at least five years from the date of the cybersecurity event and shall produce those records upon demand of the Commissioner.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-625. Notice to Commissioner.

A. If a licensee has determined that a cybersecurity event has actually occurred, such licensee shall notify the Commissioner, in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Commission, as promptly as possible but in no event later than three business days from such determination if:

1. The licensee is a domestic insurance company, or in the case of a producer, the Commonwealth is the licensee's home state and the cybersecurity event meets threshold and other requirements prescribed by the Commission; or

2. The licensee reasonably believes that the nonpublic information involved is of 250 or more consumers residing in the Commonwealth or the licensee is required under federal law or the laws of another state to provide notice of the cybersecurity event to any government body, self-regulatory agency, or other supervisory body.

B. Notice provided pursuant to this section shall be in electronic form and shall include as much of the following information as possible:

1. The date of the cybersecurity event;

2. A description of how the nonpublic information was exposed, lost, stolen, or breached, including the specific roles and responsibilities of third-party service providers, if any;

3. How the cybersecurity event was discovered;

4. Whether any lost, stolen, or breached information has been recovered and, if so, how this was done;

5. The identity of the source of the cybersecurity event;

6. Whether the licensee has filed a police report or has notified any regulatory, government, or law-enforcement agencies and, if so, when such notification was provided;

7. A description of the specific types of information acquired without authorization. Specific types of information include particular data elements such as medical information, financial information, or other information allowing identification of the consumer;

8. The period during which the information system was compromised by the cybersecurity event;

9. The number of consumers in the Commonwealth affected by the cybersecurity event. The licensee shall provide the best estimate in the initial report to the Commissioner and update this estimate with each subsequent report to the Commissioner pursuant to this section;

10. The results of any internal review identifying a lapse in either automated controls or internal procedures, or confirming that all automated controls or internal procedures were followed;

11. A description of efforts being undertaken to remediate the situation that permitted the cybersecurity event to occur;

12. A copy of the licensee's consumer privacy policy and a statement outlining the steps the licensee will take to investigate and notify consumers affected by the cybersecurity event; and

13. The name of a contact person who is both familiar with the cybersecurity event and authorized to act for the licensee.

C. A licensee shall have a continuing obligation to update and supplement initial and subsequent notifications to the Commissioner concerning the cybersecurity event.

D. Each licensee shall notify consumers in compliance with § 38.2-626, and provide a copy of the notice sent to consumers under such section to the Commissioner, when a licensee is required to notify the Commissioner under this section.

E. If there is a cybersecurity event in a system maintained by a third-party service provider, the licensee, once it has become aware of such cybersecurity event, shall treat such event as it would under this section, unless the third-party service provider provides notice in accordance with this section. The computation of a licensee's deadlines shall begin on the day after the third-party service provider notifies a licensee of the cybersecurity event or the licensee otherwise has actual knowledge of the cybersecurity event, whichever is sooner.

F. If a cybersecurity event involves nonpublic information that is used by a licensee that is acting as an assuming insurer or is in the possession, control, or custody of a licensee that is acting as an assuming insurer or its third-party service provider and the licensee does not have a direct contractual relationship with the affected consumers, the licensee shall notify its affected ceding insurers and the head of its supervisory state agency of its state of domicile within three business days of making the determination or receiving notice from its third-party service provider that a cybersecurity event has occurred. Ceding insurers that have a direct contractual relationship with affected consumers shall fulfill the consumer notification requirements imposed under § 38.2-626 and any other notification requirements relating to a cybersecurity event imposed under this section.

G. If there is a cybersecurity event involving nonpublic information that is in the possession, custody, or control of a licensee that is an insurer or its third-party service provider and for which a consumer accessed the insurer's services through an independent insurance producer, the insurer shall notify the producers of record of all affected consumers as soon as practicable as directed by the Commissioner. The insurer is excused from this obligation for those instances in which it does not have the current producer of record information for any individual consumer.

H. Nothing in this article shall prevent or abrogate an agreement between a licensee and another licensee, a third-party service provider, or any other party to fulfill any of the investigation requirements imposed under § 38.2-624 or notice requirements imposed under this section.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-626. Notice to consumers.

A. A licensee that maintains consumers' nonpublic information shall notify the consumer of any cybersecurity event without unreasonable delay after making a determination or receiving notice the cybersecurity event has occurred, if consumers' nonpublic information was accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person or such licensee reasonably believes consumers' nonpublic information was accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person and the cybersecurity event has a reasonable likelihood of causing or has caused identity theft or other fraud to such consumers. Such notice shall include a description of the following:

1. The incident in general terms;

2. The type of nonpublic information that was subject to the unauthorized access and acquisition;

3. The general acts of the licensee to protect the consumer's nonpublic information from further unauthorized access;

4. A telephone number that the consumer may call for further information and assistance, if one exists; and

5. Advice that directs the consumer to remain vigilant by reviewing account statements and monitoring the consumer's credit reports.

B. Notice to consumers under this section shall be given as written notice to the last known postal address in the records of the licensee, telephone notice, or electronic notice. However, if the licensee required to provide notice demonstrates that the cost of providing notice will exceed $50,000, the affected class of consumers to be notified exceeds 100,000 consumers, or the licensee does not have sufficient contact information or consent to provide notice, substitute notice may be provided. Substitute notice shall consist of (i) e-mail notice if the licensee has e-mail addresses for the members of the affected class of consumers; (ii) conspicuous posting of the notice on the website of the licensee if the licensee maintains a website; and (iii) notice to major statewide media.

C. In the event that a licensee provides notice to more than 1,000 consumers at one time pursuant to this section, the licensee shall also notify, without unreasonable delay, all consumer reporting agencies that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis, as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1681a (p), of the timing, distribution, and content of the notice.

D. Notice required by this section shall not be considered a debt communication as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 15 U.S.C. § 1692a.

E. Notice required by this section and § 38.2-625 may be delayed if, after the person notifies a law-enforcement agency, the law-enforcement agency determines and advises the person that the notice will impede a criminal or civil investigation or jeopardize national or homeland security. Notice shall be made without unreasonable delay after the law-enforcement agency determines that the notification will no longer impede the investigation or jeopardize national or homeland security.

F. If there is a cybersecurity event in a system maintained by a third-party service provider, the licensee, once it has become aware of such cybersecurity event, shall treat such event as it would under this section, unless the third-party service provider provides notice in accordance with this section. The computation of a licensee's deadlines shall begin on the day after the third-party service provider notifies a licensee of the cybersecurity event or the licensee otherwise has actual knowledge of the cybersecurity event, whichever is sooner.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-627. Powers and duties of the Commission; exclusive state standards.

A. The Commissioner may examine and investigate the affairs of any licensee to determine whether a licensee has been or is engaged in any conduct in violation of this article. This power is in addition to the powers that the Commissioner has under Article 4 of Chapter 13 (38.2-1300 et seq.) and Chapter 18 (38.2-1800 et seq.). Any such investigation or examination shall be conducted pursuant to Chapters 13 and 18.

B. Whenever the Commissioner has reason to believe that a licensee has been or is engaged in conduct in the Commonwealth that violates this article, the Commissioner may take action that is necessary or appropriate to enforce the provisions of this article.

C. The Commission may examine and investigate the affairs of any insurance-support organization that acts on behalf of an insurance institution or agent as defined in § 38.2-602 and that either (i) transacts business in the Commonwealth or (ii) transacts business outside the Commonwealth and has an effect on a person residing in the Commonwealth, in order to determine whether the insurance-support organization has been or is engaged in any conduct in violation of this article.

D. The Commission shall adopt rules and regulations implementing the provisions of this article.

E. This article and any rules adopted pursuant to this article establish the exclusive state standards applicable to licensees for data security, the security of nonpublic information, the investigation of cybersecurity events, and notification of cybersecurity events for those individuals and entities subject to this article.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-628. Confidentiality.

A. Any documents, materials, or other information in the control or possession of the Bureau that are furnished by a licensee or an employee or agent thereof acting on behalf of licensee pursuant to subsection H of § 38.2-623 or subdivisions B 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 11 § 38.2-625, or that are obtained by the Commissioner in an investigation or examination pursuant to § 38.2-627, shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to § 12.1-19, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the Commissioner is authorized to use the documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the Commissioner's duties.

B. Neither the Commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to subsection A.

C. In order to assist in the performance of the Commissioner's duties under this article, the Commissioner may:

1. Share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to subsection A, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies; with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), its affiliates, or its subsidiaries; and with state, federal, and international law-enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the documents, materials, or other information;

2. Receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information, from the NAIC, its affiliates, or its subsidiaries and from regulatory and law-enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any documents, materials, or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the documents, materials, or information;

3. Share documents, materials, or other information subject to subsection A with a third-party consultant or vendor provided the consultant agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the documents, materials, or other information; and

4. Enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this subsection.

D. No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in subsection C.

E. Documents, materials, or other information in the possession or control of the NAIC or a third-party consultant or vendor as a result of an examination or investigation pursuant to subsection H of § 38.2-623 or subdivisions B 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 11 of § 38.2-625 shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to § 12.1-19, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery in any private civil action.

F. Nothing in this article shall prohibit the Commissioner from releasing final, adjudicated actions that are open to public inspection to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates, or its subsidiaries.

2020, c. 264.

§ 38.2-629. Exceptions.

A. The following exceptions shall apply to this article:

1. A licensee subject to HIPAA that has established and maintains an information security program pursuant to such statutes, rules, regulations, or procedures established thereunder shall be considered to meet the requirements of § 38.2-623, provided that licensee is compliant with, and submits a written statement certifying its compliance with, the same, and certifies that it will protect nonpublic information not subject to HIPAA in the same manner it protects information that is subject to HIPAA, and any such licensee that investigates a cybersecurity event and notifies consumers in accordance with HIPAA and any HIPAA-established rules, regulations, or procedures shall be considered compliant with the requirements of §§ 38.2-624 and 38.2-626.

2. An employee, agent, representative or designee of a licensee, who is also a licensee, is exempt from §§ 38.2-623, 38.2-624, 38.2-625, and 38.2-626 and need not develop its own information security program or conduct an investigation of or provide notices to the Commissioner and consumers relating to a cybersecurity event, to the extent that the employee, agent, representative, or designee is covered by the information security program, investigation, and notification obligations of the other licensee.

3. A licensee affiliated with a depository institution that maintains an information security program in compliance with the Interagency Guidelines Establishing Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Interagency Guidelines) as set forth pursuant to §§ 501 and 505 of the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, P.L. 106-102, shall be considered to meet the requirements of § 38.2-623 and any rules, regulations, or procedures established thereunder, provided that the licensee produces, upon request, documentation satisfactory to the Commissioner that independently validates the affiliated depository institution's adoption of an information security program that satisfies the Interagency Guidelines.

B. If a licensee ceases to qualify for an exception, such licensee shall have 180 days from the date it ceases to qualify to comply with this article.

2020, c. 264.