New York State Seal
STATE OF NEW YORK
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
ONE COMMERCE PLAZA
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12257

George E. Pataki
Governor

Howard Mills
Superintendent

The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on September 23, 2005 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

RE: Application of N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) (McKinney Supp. 2005)

Question Presented:

May an insured or the insured’s authorized agent or broker request loss information from its insurer pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) (McKinney Supp. 2005) at any time or may such a request only follow the giving of notice of the right to request such loss information by the insurer pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(1) (McKinney Supp. 2005)?

Conclusion:

A first-named insured or such insured’s authorized agent or broker may request loss information from its insurer pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) (McKinney Supp. 2005) at any time. There is no requirement that such a request be preceded by a notice from the insurer pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(1) (McKinney Supp. 2005).

Facts:

No facts have been provided. The inquiry is of a general nature.

Analysis:

N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) (McKinney Supp. 2005) provides as follows:

(g) (1) Every notice mailed or delivered by an insurer pursuant to this section shall advise the first-named insured and such insured's authorized agent or broker of the availability of loss information consistent with paragraph two of this subsection.

(2)  Upon written request by the first-named insured or such insured's authorized agent or broker, the insurer shall mail or deliver the following loss information covering a period of years specified by the superintendent by regulation or the period of time coverage has been provided by the insurer, whichever is less, within twenty days of such request:

(A) Information on closed claims, including date and description of occurrence, and any payments;

 (B) Information on open claims, including date and description of occurrence, and amounts of any payments; and

 (C) Information on notice of any occurrences, including date and description of occurrence.

(3) The insurer may charge a reasonable fee as determined by the superintendent only for such information provided upon request, but not for such information (even in the absence of a request therefore) required to be provided.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term first-named insured shall include an individual certificate holder under a property/casualty group policy with respect to such certificate holder's loss information.

N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(1) requires that all notices sent to insureds under §3426 advise the insured of the right to request loss information. N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) (McKinney Supp. 2005) requires an insurer to provide loss information upon the written request of a first-named insured, or the authorized agent or broker of such insured.

The right to request loss information pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 3426(g)(2) is not conditioned upon the insured having first received a notice from the insurer pursuant to § 3426. Thus, such a written request by a first-named insured or his or her authorized agent or broker may be made at any time and the insurer would be required to provide such information within twenty days of the request. See Opinion of General Counsel No. 03-12-9 (December 9, 2003).

For further information one may contact Assistant Counsel Brenda M. Gibbs at the Albany Office.