New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 12/12/2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPERINTENDENT TESTIFYS ON THE STATE OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND THE CONTINUED VIABILITY OF THE INSURANCE MARKETPLACE

Superintendent Details the Industry’s Response and Necessary Next Steps At Public Hearing
To Discuss September 11th Tragedy           

            Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today, testifying at a public hearing on the "Insurance Industry Response to the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th," detailed the state of the insurance industry and mapped out the next steps needed to ensure the viability of the insurance marketplace in New York State.

            "The Department continues its commitment to going well beyond its traditional role to assist New York State consumers and the industry as everyone continues to deal with the losses associated with September 11th while never losing sight of the new challenges that lie ahead," Serio said.

            As one of three new initiatives outlined by the Superintendent to assess the impact of the disaster and help consumers and businesses better understand their insurance coverage and future insurance needs, the Department plans to conduct statewide hearings on insurance availability to give consumers and business an opportunity to express any concerns they are having obtaining coverage.

            Also, the Department will oversee a "Blue Ribbon Task Force" to study long and short-term implications of the disaster. The Blue Ribbon Task Force will study the impacts of the disaster on the insurance industry, the marketplace, as well as the availability and adequacy of coverage to homeowners, small businesses and large commercial risks. The Task Force will also develop policy to increase the preparedness of the insurance community in the event of future disasters and recommend legislative, regulatory, and marketplace changes designed to address the identified issues.

            In addition, an insurance education campaign will be initiated by the Department and Consumer Protection Board and will include statewide forums featuring ‘insurance clinics’ to raise awareness of insurance-related issues and answer questions relating to present and future coverage.

            "As the smoke continues to clear from the site of the WTC, the combined efforts of the government, the insurance industry and the private sector ensure the viability of the industry and in doing so, better prepare us for the future," added Serio.

            A copy of the Superintendent’s complete written testimony is available on the Department’s Web site at www.ins.state.ny.us.


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