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ISSUED 11/07/2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING INTO WHETHER THE NEW YORK PROPERTY INSURANCE UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION (NYPIUA) SHOULD PROVIDE A MARKET FOR SURETY BONDS

Superintendent of Insurance Eric R. Dinallo today announced that the New York State Insurance Department will hold a public hearing to determine whether he will require the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA) to provide a market for surety bonds. This effort is being undertaken, in part, to assist small businesses, including those that are women- or minority-owned, in improving their participation in the State’s procurement process.

The hearing is being held pursuant to Section 5412 of the Insurance Law, which authorizes the Superintendent, after conducting a public hearing, to require NYPIUA to provide a market for meaningful insurance coverage.

NYPIUA is a joint underwriting association in which New York authorized property/casualty companies participate. NYPIUA acts as the residual market mechanism for New Yorkers seeking insurance for fire and extended property coverage.

Many small businesses, including some owned by women or minorities, have difficulty in obtaining the appropriate surety coverage needed to compete for bids for government contracts. “This effort can assist all small business and can help attain the goals of New York State’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Executive Leadership Council, which is seeking to improve the participation of MWBE businesses in the state’s procurement process ” said Superintendent Dinallo.

The public hearing will be held on December 14, 2007 from 9:00AM – 12:00PM at the following address:

Adam Clayton Powell Jr., State Office Building
163 West 125th Street - Room 215
New York, NY 10027

The hearing is open to the public. Interested parties may testify at these hearings, or submit written comments to be included in the hearing record. Any person wishing to testify should contact the Department’s Public Affairs Bureau at (212) 480-5262. Oral testimony will be allowed for up to 5 minutes.

Written comments should be addressed by regular mail to Ellen Wenz, Public Affairs Bureau, New York State Insurance Department, 25 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004, or by a PDF attachment to e-mail at ewenz@ins.state.ny.us Comments will be accepted for 15 days after the public hearing.

Oral and written testimony should address topics relative to access to the surety bond marketplace, such as:

  • Whether coverage for surety bonds is readily available in the voluntary market.
  • If coverage is not readily available, why it is not?
  • The volume and nature of denials and restrictions on the coverage.
  • Whether coverage is available in the excess lines market.
  • The availability of reinsurance.
  • The efficacy of a market assistance program as an alternative.
  • The impact on New York’s economy, statewide and regionally, of the any deficiencies in the surety bond market.

For additional information about this hearing, please contact Alwyn Codrington, Associate Insurance Examiner in the Property Bureau, at (212) 480-5467 or by e-mail at acodring@ins.state.ny.us

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