New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 12/19/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT LEADING THE NATION IN AGENT LICENSING AUTOMATION
New Licensing Functions Providing Customer Service At Its Best

          Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced that with the use of the latest in technology, the Department has completed a full year of online licensing for agents and brokers for license renewals and new applicants, and a 100% paperless licensing process is within reach. The licensing reforms that have been instituted allow the Department to be more accessible and efficient to the needs of brokers and agents in New York State.

          "Within the past year, the Department has instituted new online capabilities to meet the needs of producers. And most importantly, agents and brokers are taking advantage of our new 24 hour a day, seven day a week convenience, with many producers renewing or obtaining their licenses after work hours or on the weekend," said Serio. "The electronic innovations are representative of the changes that the Department has made to meet the needs of the State’s licensees and accentuates the Department’s philosophy to provide customer service at its best."

          The Department’s licensing reforms include: online temporary adjuster permits, online applications for original licenses, online renewals for brokers and agents, and licensing through NIPR for non resident brokers and agents. The Department’s licensing milestones include:

The issuance of licenses has been reduced from months to within 24-48 hours.

By June 30, 2001, 100,000 life and health agent licenses were renewed on time.

Just two weeks after initiating the on-line renewal application for the life agents, over 2,200 agents had renewed their licenses electronically.

In December 2001 New York became the first big state to allow non resident brokers to apply for licenses on-line through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

In June 2002 the property/casualty agent renewal was completed on time with almost 60% of agents renewing on-line.

In June 2002 first time applicants for agents and brokers licenses were able to apply on-line.

In June 2002 non-resident agents were able to apply for licensure on-line through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

In July 2002 brokers were able to renew on-line and more than 18,000 took advantage of this new capability.

          These advancements have been lauded by the industry.

          Thomas E. Workman, President and CEO of the Life Insurance Council of New York, Inc. (LICONY) stated," On behalf of the member companies of LICONY we thank you and your staff for their development and implementation of the Department's new online agent licensing approval process. There is no doubt that this new electronic system will significantly reduce the turnaround time for agent licensing approvals in New York, and hopefully, the nation, due to the leadership the Department has demonstrated on this issue with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners."

          Technological and organizational advancements have resulted in improved customer service and enhanced efficiency. In fact, last year at the annual LICONY Legislative & Regulatory conference in Cooperstown, John Hurley, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Guardian Life stated that "the New York Licensing Bureau should be used as a model for the nation."

          In addition, the Licensing Bureau’s innovative mindset resulted in the creation of an online temporary adjuster permit process in June of 2001 which allowed insurers to apply for permits online. This capability became quite valuable after the tragedy of September 11th and resulted in hundreds of permits being issued in a matter of hours thus allowing insurers to begin the claim processing process and bring help to those affected by the tragedy.

          "I am proud to add that this process received recognition from the insurance industry and has been identified as one of the major accomplishments of the Department's Disaster Coalition," stated Serio.

          Raul Rivera, Chairman, President and CEO of National Benefit Life said, "One must recognize and applaud the professional attitude being shown to the industry by the entire Licensing Bureau team. Passion expressed in getting things done for the benefit of the industry and the Department are quite obvious."

          "We are pleased with the feedback we have been getting from the industry. It is important because while the Licensing Bureau has made important strides to offer the best customer service to New York State’s producers, we pledge to continue this commitment to meet the ever changing needs of the state’s 200,000 agents and brokers," concluded Serio.

          In October, the Department received the Best Practice Award for Business to Business E-Commerce Applications from Technology Managers Forum and in September, the Department received The New York State Forum for Information Resource Management of the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s ‘Best of the Web’ Award in the state category as part of the Forum’s Annual Best Practice and Achievement awards.


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