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ISSUED 2/28/2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE PRODUCER SEARCH CAPABILITY ADDED TO WEBSITE

Consumers and insurance industry licensing professionals can now find out whether insurance agents and brokers are licensed in New York State by using a new search feature available on the New York State Insurance Department’s website, http://www.ins.state.ny.us/licensing/prolic.htm.

“This user-friendly feature has been added to the Insurance Department’s website to make it easier and faster for people to identify the licensing status of insurance producers,” Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn said.

The search feature also enables users to identify the lines of insurance producers are licensed to sell; their locations; their insurance company affiliations; and when their licenses expire.

The online database is searchable by entering the name of the insurance agent or broker or, if it is known, the producer’s license number.

“It’s extremely important for consumers to protect themselves by dealing with agents and brokers who are duly licensed by the Department. This feature makes it easy to verify licensing status. In the past, people had to phone or write the Department to get this information,” Wrynn said.

“While using the online search feature will make getting basic licensing information far easier for most people, I would still encourage consumers to call, write or e-mail the Department if they have questions that cannot be answered online.”

Implementing the producer online search capability was among the recommendations proposed by the Insurance Filings Modernization Initiative working group that Wrynn launched last year. The joint industry-Department working group examined ways to help cut red tape and simplify working with the Department.

Consumers with insurance questions are encouraged to call the Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday toll-free at 800-342-3736, or to e-mail or write the Department using the address information that can be found on the Department’s website, www.ins.state.ny.us.

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