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The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on January 6, 2004 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Interpretation of the Term "personal property insurance" in Section 216.6(h) of Regulation 64

Question Presented:

Must a notice rejecting a claim involving a policy of "commercial-all risk property insurance" delivered in New York State by an insurer licensed to do business in New York State include the language set forth in N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, § 216.6(h) (2003) (Regulation 64) ("Section 216.6(h)")?

Conclusion:

No. The term "personal property insurance" in Section 216.6(h) limits the applicability of subdivision (h) to personal lines property insurance. Thus, subdivision (h) is not applicable to commercial lines property insurance or to liability insurance.

Facts:

There are no specific facts.

Analysis:

At the outset note that "commercial-all risk property insurance" is not defined by the New York State Insurance Law ("Insurance Law") and Regulations promulgated thereunder.

N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, § 216.6(h) (2003) (Regulation 64) states:

(h) Any notice rejecting any element of a claim involving personal property insurance shall contain the identity and the claims processing address of the insurer, the insured's policy number, the claim number, and the following statement prominently set out:

"Should you wish to take this matter up with the New York State Insurance Department, you may write to or visit the Consumer Services Bureau, New York State Insurance Department, at: 25 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004; One Commerce Plaza, Albany, NY 12257; or Walter J. Mahoney Office Building, 65 Court Street, Buffalo, NY 14202." (Emphasis added)

The term "personal property insurance" is not defined by N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, § 216.1 (1984) (Regulation 64), which governs the construction of terms used in Regulation 64. Nor is the term defined in the Insurance Law or any other Regulation promulgated thereunder.

Generally, "personal property" is used to refer to property other than real property. However, consistent with prior opinions of this Office, the Department interprets the term "personal property insurance" in Section 216.6(h) to limit the applicability of subdivision (h) to personal lines property insurance, and does not apply the provision to either commercial or liability policies.

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

 

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