FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEPARTMENT LEVIES FINES AGAINST 44 AUTO INSURERS FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT PROPER INFORMATION FOR DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE PROGRAM
Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced that the Department has levied fines against 44 automobile insurers for their failure to provide the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with both a primary and alternate contact person for the DMV's Insurance Information & Enforcement System (IIES).
Each insurer was fined for failing to respond to several requests for contact information from the DMV and the Insurance Department. This is the first in a series of actions that will be taken against insurers who have not complied with IIES.
"IIES was established by the legislature to remove uninsured motorists from our roads. The success of this program is dependent on complete and accurate information being entered into the system and the Department will use all of our enforcement tools to guarantee that insurers fulfill this basic obligation to properly protect all New Yorkers," said Serio. "These fines put insurers in New York State on notice that failing to respond to requests for information for fulfillment of the IIES program will result in disciplinary action."
The IIES program, developed by the DMV, makes use of an insurance information database to monitor the insurance status of New York State registered vehicles. The purpose of IIES is to ensure that all motor vehicles registered and driven in New York State have adequate motor vehicle insurance to protect the public. This registry will give the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and state and local law enforcement officers the tools they need to identify, sanction and remove uninsured vehicles from New York's highways.
The insurers that were fined failed to respond to requests for contact information by the DMV in November 2000 and by the Insurance Department in Circular Letter No. 3, dated January 23, 2001. The Circular Letter advised insurers that the Superintendent, based on information received from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, would take appropriate disciplinary action against any insurer who was not in compliance with IIES.
The companies that were fined are as follows:
Acadia Insurance Company
American Country Insurance Company
American Fire & Casualty Company
American Hardware Mutual Insurance Co.
AMEX Assurance Co.
Argonaut Insurance Company
Argonaut-Midwest Insurance Company
Atlanta International Insurance Company
Centre Insurance Company
Church Mutual Insurance Company
Continental National Indemnity Company
CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc.
Diamond State Insurance Company
Employers Mutual Casualty Company
Eveready Insurance Company
Florists' Mutual Insurance Company
Florists' Insurance Company
General Casualty Company of Wisconsin
Hallmark Insurance Company
Harco National Insurance Company
Hereford Insurance Co.
Insurance Corporation of New York
Interstate Indemnity Company
Mountain Valley Indemnity Company
Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America (formerly Waterford Insurance Company)
NOVA Casualty Company
Ohio Casualty Insurance Company
Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co.
Realm National Insurance Company
Redland Insurance Company
Regent Insurance Company
Republic Western Insurance Company
Seneca Insurance Company Inc.
Specialty Surplus Insurance Company (formerly Investors Insurance Company of America)
Star Insurance Company
State National Insurance Company Inc.
State-Wide Insurance Company
T.H.E Insurance Company
Truck Insurance Exchange
ULICO Casualty Company
Vanliner Insurance Company
Virginia Surety Company, Inc.
West American Insurance Company
Winterthur International American Insurance Co.
The companies listed above have paid the fines imposed by the Department and have subsequently provided the required information to the DMV.
"The Department is committed to the goal of IIES to remove uninsured drivers from the road and will continue to closely monitor the insurance industrys participation in the IIES program to ensure the programs success," said Serio."