New York State

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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 12/22/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE DEPARTMENT GETS $7.5 MILLION BACK FOR CONSUMERS AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IN THREE MONTHS

The New York State Insurance Department recovered $7,523,509 from insurance companies on behalf of consumers and health care providers from complaints resolved during the three-month period from September 1 to November 30, 2008, Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo announced today.

The Department’s Consumer Services Bureau receives approximately 60,000 new complaints annually and received more than 13,000 during this three-month period.

“Especially in these difficult economic times, when consumers need help with insurance issues they can turn to the Insurance Department,” Dinallo said. “Governor David Paterson has said he is committed to helping the most vulnerable among us, and helping consumers is a part of this core mission. Recovering more than $7.5 million for consumers and health care providers in three months is great news, but it is only one part of the story. Not every complaint results in a recovery amount. Getting an insurance policy reinstated for example, does not have a recovered amount associated with it, but is a victory for the consumer nonetheless.”

During the three months, 37 percent, or $2,734,574, of the recovered funds came from health-related complaints, 28 percent, or $2,112,917, from complaints related to property and casualty insurance, and 18 percent, or $1,384,900, from automobile and no-fault complaints. Other types of complaints represented 17 percent of the recoveries, or $1,291,118.

Four examples of the cases that contributed to the amount recovered are summarized below:

New Yorkers who need help with insurance issues, getting insurance information or filing a complaint should visit the Department’s website, www.ins.state.ny.us, or call 1-800-342-3736 toll free for assistance.

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