On November 13, 1999-the day after the passage of The Financial Services Modernization Act-insurance companies formed steering committees, project teams and task groups to determine what work needed to be done to comply with Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) legislation. Title V requires financial services institutions to establish privacy policies and deliver notices by July 1, 2001 to their customers informing them of how the company uses and shares nonpublic personal information. If a company shares that information with nonaffiliated third parties for marketing purposes, customers must be able to "opt-out" of such sharing. Thereafter, companies must distribute an annual privacy notice to their customers.

"Gramm-Leach-Bliley was designed to break down the walls between banks and insurance companies-walls that have been in place since the Great Depression," says Bob Zieman, vice president and assistant general counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), Des Plaines, Ill. "Therefore, GLB provides, among other things, marketing opportunities for financial institutions."

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