FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SERIO HIGHLIGHTS DEPARTMENTS NEW TECHNOLOGY
Use of New Technology In Line With Governors e-Commerce/e-Government Initiative
Acting Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced that use of the Internet and computer technology is allowing the Department to be more accessible and responsive to the needs of New Yorkers. Speed-to-market, icontact, and PIN, are all capabilities that the Department has implemented to support Governor Patakis e-Commerce/e-Government initiative, which was launched last June to provide a "government without walls" and reaffirm New York's leadership in the e-Commerce/e-Government arena.
"The use of technology by the Department shows that we are in line with the Governors directive to fully embrace the era of e-Commerce/e-Government, and demonstrates our commitment to provide State services and transactions more effectively and efficiently," said Serio.
Consumers and the industry are taking advantage of the advances the Department is implementing. For the year 2001, the Departments Web site has had a record number of visitors to the site. There were 573,589 visitors to the site through the end of March 2001, up from 380,065, or an over 50% increase for the same period last year.
For consumers, the Department is offering the opportunity to be engaged by a Department Representative (NetRep) to assist in their search of information when they visit the New York State Insurance Department Web site. NetReps have made offers to engage over 4,300 consumers in the three months that the customer service application has been operational.
For the industry, the Producer Information Network (PIN), an electronic communication network that links state insurance regulators with the entities they regulate is now fully operational. This network allows all insurers to appoint and terminate licensed agents electronically.
"The Departments use of a new, enhanced customer support framework will provide improved responsiveness to meet the needs of New York State consumers. PIN, will result in a reduction in paperwork and data entry, development of national standards regarding electronic transmission of licensing data, and faster turnaround time--thereby reducing the cost and complexity of regulatory compliance," said Serio.
The "speed to market" project introduced "fast track" procedures to get innovative financial services products to the marketplace in a more timely manner and cut approval times from months to weeks.
The Department is a leader in the volume of information and services that it offers its citizens and businesses on-line. Services for consumers, including on-line ordering of Department publications as well as many downloadable consumer guides and forms are available on our Web site. Numerous business services for insurers and agents and brokers are also available on-line, including a variety of downloadable licensing and annual statement forms. In addition to the services that are already available, more than 25 e-commerce transactions have been identified for implementation on-line in the near future.
Features of the Web site include:
Quick access to consumer guides, Department contacts and consumer hotlines, and current Department news;
Access via e-mail for inquiries and general insurance related questions;
Access to our Consumer page with just one click;
List of all the toll-free hotlines available by the Department;
Links to licensed insurers, rating service AM Best, news site Insure.com, other state and federal agencies, and resources such as the National Flood Insurance Program;
"Resource" centers for health, auto, life, frauds and homeowners insurance;
Small Business Corner with various resources on types of insurance commonly purchased by small business owners and links to web sites to assist business owners in making decisions about various insurance issues;
Electronic access to Department of Motor Vehicle codes, which allows consumers to immediately obtain the name, address and phone number of the insurer that corresponds to the code; and
Access to all disciplinary actions taken by the Department against agents and brokers and companies giving consumers necessary information to help them choose an agent, broker, or insurance company.
In 2000, the New York State Insurance Department Web site, www.ins.state.ny.us, was awarded an A by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) in its ranking of State Insurance Department Web sites.