New York State Seal
STATE OF NEW YORK
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
25 BEAVER STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10004

The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on February 14, 2002, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Property/Casualty Insurance Policy Form Endorsements

Questions Presented:

(1) Must insurers file their property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements with the Insurance Department?

(2) If the property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements are filed with the Insurance Department, are the endorsements on file for each insurer authorized to do an insurance business in New York State?

(3) If the property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements are filed with the Insurance Department, are these forms a public record of which you could obtain copies?

Conclusions:

(1) Pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 2307(b) (McKinney Supp. 2001-2002) and certain other provisions, authorized insurers must file their property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements with the Superintendent, subject to certain exceptions provided in the Insurance Law and regulations promulgated thereunder.

(2) Yes. Property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements are filed with the Superintendent only by authorized insurers.

(3) Yes. Property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements filed with the Superintendent are generally public record, and one may obtain copies of specific endorsements through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Facts:

No facts were provided.

Analysis:

Pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 2307(b) (McKinney Supp. 2001-2002), except as otherwise provided in the Insurance Law and regulations promulgated thereunder, no property/casualty insurance policy form shall be delivered or issued for delivery until it is filed with the Superintendent and has been approved or thirty days has elapsed and the policy form has not been disapproved. In addition, certain other sections also require filing of property/casualty insurance policy forms with the Superintendent. For example, please see, N.Y. Ins. Law § 6609(b) (McKinney 2000) for policy forms issued by assessment co-operative property/casualty insurance companies and N.Y. Ins. Law § 6905(a) (McKinney 2000) for policy forms issued by financial guaranty insurers. An endorsement, which is a form that amends the policy, is a policy form subject to applicable filing requirements.

Certain examples of property/casualty insurance policy forms that are exempt from the filing requirement of Section 2307(b) and other provisions are provided below. N.Y. Ins. Law § 2302(a)(4)-(7) (McKinney 2000) provide specific property/casualty insurance exceptions to the applicability of N.Y. Ins. Law Article 23 (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2001-2002); policy forms for such types of property/casualty insurance are exempt from the filing requirement of Section 2307(b). Although excepted from Article 23, as noted above, assessment co-operative property/casualty insurance company policy forms are governed by other filing requirements in the Insurance Law. In addition, property/casualty insurance policy forms of special risk insurance, as permitted by N.Y. Ins. Law Article 63 (McKinney 2000) and N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 §§ 16.0-16.13 (1998) (Regulation 86), and surety bond forms pursuant to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 §§ 66.0-66.1 (1996) (Regulation 76) are exempt from filing.

Property/casualty insurance policy form endorsements filed with the Superintendent are generally public record, and one may obtain copies of specific endorsements through a Freedom of Information Law request pursuant to Pub. Off. Law § 87 (McKinney 2001). You may direct your specific Freedom of Information Law request to:

Lawrence Fuchsberg, Supervising Attorney
Records Access Officer
Office of General Counsel - 4th Floor
New York State Insurance Department
25 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004-2319

For further information you may contact Senior Attorney Robert Freedman at the New York City Office.