New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 6/6/2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATES RACE-BASED UNDERWRITING ALLEGATIONS
Meetings with Insurers to Continue

            Superintendent Neil D. Levin today announced that the Insurance Department is currently investigating allegations of race-based underwriting of life insurance by its licensees. The Department has already met with a number of life insurers with substantial writings in New York to discuss past and current practices with regard to race-based underwriting.

            "The practice of race-based underwriting, evidenced by different premium rates, compensation rates, risk clarifications, and unequal treatment with regard to dividends, benefits or other policy terms or conditions, based solely on race, shocks the conscience. The Department will be requesting information from all of its licensees to determine if such practices exist or if the effects of such practices continue," said Levin.

            The Department will be requiring that each domestic and foreign life insurer and fraternal benefit society, pursuant to Section 308 of the New York Insurance Law, review its past and current underwriting practices and report its findings. Circular Letter 19 sets forth the request. Filing specifications for the reporting process will be announced shortly.

                  


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