STATE OF NEW YORK
GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WTC RESPONSE UPDATE: GOVERNOR DETAILS INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ACTIONS
IEOC Activated, Toll-free Hotline Provided, Industry Guidance Issued, and Up-to-Date Information to Insurers and Consumers Available on Web site
Governor George E. Pataki today detailed the New York State Insurance Departments efforts in response to the World Trade Center attack. The Insurance Emergency Operation Center (IEOC) has been activated since Tuesday, a dedicated toll-free disaster hotline has been established and is available seven days a week, guidance has been issued to the insurance industry concerning claims management, and important information has been added to the Departments Web site.
"The IEOC was activated immediately after the incident on Tuesday morning and the Department is now compiling information from the insurance community across the State," Governor Pataki said. "The insurance community, from CEOs and Senior Executives to industry groups, acted quickly and have been staffing the IEOC and gathering damage assessments and coordinating response efforts. "
Although the New York City office of the Insurance Department is temporarily closed, all facets of the Department are available to assist all New York citizens and insurers through this difficult time."
The Insurance Emergency Operation Center (IEOC) is staffed with Insurance Department personnel and representatives from insurers and insurance industry groups. The IEOC is connected via videoconferencing and data links with the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), the Insurance Departments command center in Albany, and the Office of the Director of State Operations within the Governors Office.
A dedicated toll-free disaster hotline is available to help assist all New Yorkers and the insurance community with questions on claims, procedures, and general insurance concerns. The hotline is available seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 1-800-339-1759. The Licensing Bureau is also available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to assist in the issuance of temporary adjusters permits. The number for the Licensing Bureau is 518-474-6630.
The Insurance Departments New York City Office is temporarily closed and unable to receive phone calls and e-mails until further notice. The external appeals process and hotline are unaffected and staff are available to assist consumers with this process.
The Departments Web site address is www.ins.state.ny.us. Links to the Departments e-mail on the site are not currently active due to power outages.
"During these uncertain times, the insurance industry is urged to exercise care and responsible judgement in making determinations regarding claims, cancellations and non-renewals of policies insuring those impacted by this loss," added Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio.
The Insurance Department yesterday issued Circular Letter No. 26 of 2001, calling on all authorized insurers to be mindful of the difficulties the residents and businesses in the affected area have endured and may continue to endure in the near future. Additionally, the Circular Letter reminds insurers that the insurance law authorizes the Superintendent to exercise emergency authority, including the declaration of a moratorium precluding the termination or suspension of policies or other such adjustments to cancellations or non-renewals, if deemed necessary.
The Insurance Department has also assembled a preliminary list of some of the hotlines available as a service of city, county, or state mental health agencies in the tristate area. The hotlines can provide referrals to hospitals and community-based agencies for mental health and bereavement services and, in many cases offer direct counseling.
NEW YORK STATE
NEW YORK CITY
LifeNet Hotline - Mental Health Association of New York City
Serves the five boroughs of New York City
Hotline - Westchester County Mental Health Department
Mental Health Association Hotline
Suffolk County World Trade Center Outreach and Support Project
(631) 853-8560 (active as of 5:00pm on September 12, 2001)
Rockland County Department of Mental Health - Grief and Counseling
Hotline - Putnam County Crisis Intervention Service
HelpLine - Orange County Department of Mental Health
Orange County Department of Mental Health
Hotline - New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services
Hotline - Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services