Confidentiality for domestic violence victims

New York law requires insurers to establish procedures to protect and limit access to certain personal information related to a victim of domestic violence. But no matter what state you reside in, we will do everything possible to protect your information if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence.

Your legal safeguards

New York Insurance Law § 2612 prohibits all insurers regulated under New York’s Insurance Law from doing any of the following solely because a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence:

Denying, cancelling, or refusing to issue or renew any insurance policy or contract

  1. Demanding or requiring a greater premium or payment
  2. Designating domestic violence as a preexisting condition, for which coverage will be denied or reduced
  3. Fixing any lower rate or discriminating in the fees or commissions of agents or brokers for writing or renewing such a policy
  4. Using the fact that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence as an underwriting criterion

If any person covered by an insurance policy delivers to the insurer a valid order of protection against the policyholder or other person covered by the policy, then for the duration of the order, the insurer is prohibited from disclosing to the policyholder or other persons, the address and telephone number of the insured, or of any person or entity providing covered services to the insured.  If a child is a covered person, then this right may be asserted by the child’s parent or guardian. [The reference to the duration of the order is important]

How to request confidentiality of information for victims of domestic violence

You may make a request by contacting us at address indicated below. We will need the name of the individual(s) requesting confidentiality of information, the associated policy or contract number, and a copy of the valid order of protection. The requestor may also provide us with an alternative address, telephone number, or other method of contact.

Equitable Privacy Office
525 Washington Boulevard, MD 34.01
Jersey City, N.J. 07310

Once a valid request has been received and implemented, you may only revoke the request by submitting a written sworn statement revoking the request. 

Except with the express consent of the person making the request for confidentiality, a health insurer may not disclose to the policyholder

  1. The address, telephone number, or any other personally identifying information of the person who made the request or child for whose benefit a request was made
  2. The nature of the health care services provided or
  3. The name or address of the provider of the covered services

Effective January 1, 2013, Insurance Law § 2612 also requires a health insurer to accommodate a reasonable request made by a person covered by an insurance policy or contract to receive communications of claim-related information by alternative means or at alternative locations if the person clearly states that disclosure of the information could put him or her in danger. If a child is the covered person, then this right may be asserted by the child’s parent or guardian.

For health clients, to request an alternative means of communication please click here for our Confidential Communication Request Form. Complete and mail the form to:

PO Box 10374
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-0374 

Or Fax to:       515-365-1520 

If you require additional resources with respect to domestic violence, contact the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at (800) 942-6906. In NYC, dial (800) 621-4673 or dial 311. For Spanish, dial (800) 942-6908. TTY (866) 604-5350.