CHAPTER 259 L 1998
APPROVED 7/8/98

STATE OF NEW YORK

7799 - A
IN SENATE
June 15, 1998

Introduced by Sens. VELELLA, BRUNO, ALESI, BALBONI, COOK, DeFRANCISCO, FARLEY, FUSCHILLO, GOODMAN, HANNON, HOLLAND, JOHNSON, KUHL, LACK, LARKIN, LAVALLE, LEIBELL, LIBOUS, MALTESE, MARCELLINO, MARCHI, MAZIARZ, MEIER, NOZZOLIO, PADAVAN, PRESENT, RATH, SALAND, SEWARD, SKELOS, SPANO, STAFFORD, TRUNZO, VOLKER, WRIGHT -- (at request of the Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to Holocaust victims, the recovery of proceeds from insurance policies purchased prior to the end of World War II by clarifying the applicability of certain technical limitations in court actions brought against insurers and to authorize the superintendent of insurance to take necessary action to protect the integrity of the New York insurance market

EXPLANATION - Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets { } is old law to be omitted.
LBD15021-11-8

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Holocaust victims insurance act of 1998".

   S 2. Legislative intent. The legislature is deeply concerned about allegations that certain insurers doing business in New York, either directly or through affiliates, have failed to honor their commitments under insurance policies issued during the World War II era. Although such policies were issued outside of New York, this state has a clear and substantial interest in ensuring that justice is effected for New York citizens. Outside of Israel, New York is home to the largest number of Holocaust survivors and their heirs in the world.

   It has been alleged that the failure to pay legitimate claims may have diverted significant sums of money from the New York economy. Allegations regarding the failure to pay legitimate insurance claims threaten the integrity of New York's insurance market and New York's economy. The basic commodity that insurers sell is trust. Policyholders pay substantial sums to insurers trusting that at a future date, perhaps decades later, the insurer will protect them and their loved ones. An insurance policy issued by an insurer or an affiliate that violates this trust should not be sold in New York, lest the integrity of New York's insurance market be compromised.

   Although such claims are currently subject to the jurisdiction of New York courts and are currently not time barred, it is the intent of the legislature to avoid any confusion regarding this matter. It is the intent of the legislature to give the superintendent of insurance the authority needed to properly execute his or her mandate. Finally, it is not the legislature's intent to unfairly paint all insurers as equally culpable. It is recognized that not all insurers were substantially involved in such improper activities and indeed many major international insurers have been good corporate citizens who contributed greatly to society.

   S 3. The insurance law is amended by adding a new article 27 to read as follows:

ARTICLE 27
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS INSURANCE ACT OF 1998

SECTION  
2701. DEFINITIONS
2702. HOLOCAUST CLAIMS ASSISTANCE
2703. INSURER CLAIMS HANDLING
2704. RIGHTS OF ACTION
2705. REPORTS FROM INSURERS
2706. REPORTS TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE
2707. PENALTY
2708. APPLICATION OF SECTION FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR
2709. SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE
2710. RULES AND REGULATIONS
2711. SEVERABILITY

   S 2701. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE:

   (A) "HOLOCAUST VICTIM" SHALL MEAN ANY PERSON, CLAIMANT, OR THE ESTATE, HEIR, LEGATEE, DESCENDANT, SURVIVOR, BENEFICIARY, OR OTHER SUCH SUCCESSOR-IN-INTEREST OF SUCH PERSON, WHO LOST HIS OR HER LIFE OR PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF DISCRIMINATORY LAWS, POLICIES, OR ACTIONS TARGETED AGAINST DISCRETE GROUPS OF PERSONS BASED ON RACE, RELIGION, ETHNICITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR NATIONAL ORIGIN, WHETHER OR NOT SUCH PERSON WAS ACTUALLY A MEMBER OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING ENUMERATED GROUPS OR BECAUSE SUCH PERSON ASSISTED OR ALLEGEDLY ASSISTED ANY OF THE FOREGOING GROUPS, BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE IN AREAS UNDER NAZI INFLUENCE AS DEFINED IN SUBSECTION (F) OF THIS SECTION.

   (B) "PERSON", "CONTROL", "HOLDING COMPANY", AND "HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM" AND ANY OTHER TERM USED IN THIS ARTICLE BUT NOT OTHERWISE DEFINED SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS IT HAS IN ARTICLE FIFTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER.

   (C) "INSURANCE POLICY" SHALL MEAN ANY POLICY OF INSURANCE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO ANY KIND OF INSURANCE THAT WAS AUTHORIZED AT ANY TIME IN NEW YORK BETWEEN AND INCLUDING THE YEARS NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE AND NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE OR AUTHORIZED BY THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE POLICY WAS SOLD AT THE TIME IT WAS SOLD INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY FORM OF LIFE, ACCIDENT AND HEALTH, ANNUITIES, PROPERTY, CASUALTY, EDUCATION OR DOWRY INSURANCE.

   (D) "PROCEEDS" SHALL MEAN THE FACE OR OTHER PAY-OUT VALUE OF AN INSURANCE POLICY OR ANNUITY PLUS REASONABLE INTEREST TO DATE OF PAYMENT AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT.

   (E) "MEMBER OF A HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM" SHALL INCLUDE A HOLDING COMPANY, A CONTROLLED INSURER, A CONTROLLED PERSON, AND ANY PERSON WHO ALONE OR IN CONCERT WITH ANY OTHER PERSONS DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY CONTROLS A HOLDING COMPANY OR CONTROLS A PERSON WHO CONTROLS A HOLDING COMPANY.

   (F) "AREAS UNDER NAZI INFLUENCE" SHALL MEAN THE COUNTRY OF NAZI GERMANY, AREAS OCCUPIED BY NAZI GERMANY, THOSE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ALLIED WITH NAZI GERMANY, AREAS OCCUPIED BY THOSE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ALLIED WITH NAZI GERMANY, OR ANY OTHER NEUTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRY OR AREA IN EUROPE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OR THREAT OF NAZI INVASION.

   S 2702. HOLOCAUST CLAIMS ASSISTANCE. THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL ARRANGE FOR A TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH AS WELL AS OTHER APPROPRIATE LANGUAGES, TO ASSIST ANY PERSON SEEKING TO RECOVER PROCEEDS FROM AN INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO OR COVERING THE LIFE OR PROPERTY OF A HOLOCAUST VICTIM.

   S 2703. INSURER CLAIMS HANDLING. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER, ANY INSURER ORGANIZED, REGISTERED, LICENSED OR ACCREDITED TO DO AN INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THIS STATE, IN RECEIPT OF A CLAIM AGAINST IT ARISING FROM AN OCCURRENCE DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE FROM AN INDIVIDUAL THAT SUCH INSURER KNOWS, OR REASONABLY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, IS A HOLOCAUST VICTIM SHALL:

   (1) DILIGENTLY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY INVESTIGATE SUCH CLAIM;

   (2) ALLOW CLAIMANTS TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE DOCUMENTATION WHICH DOES NOT MEET THE USUAL STANDARDS OF PROOF REQUIRED BY AN INSURER TO SUBSTANTIATE THE PARTICULAR CLAIM, SUBJECT TO STANDARDS ESTABLISHED FOR SUCH DOCUMENTATION AS PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT; AND

   (3) ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE, SETTLE AND, IF APPROPRIATE, MAKE PAYMENTS ON CLAIMS IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS OR NOTICE REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED BY ANY LAW OR SUCH INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO OR COVERING THE LIFE, PROPERTY OR INTERESTS OF A HOLOCAUST VICTIM, PROVIDED THAT THE CLAIM IS SUBMITTED TO THE INSURER WITHIN TEN YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE.

   (B) FAILURE TO ABIDE BY THE TERMS OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONSTITUTE A DEFINED VIOLATION FOR PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (B) OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWO OF THIS CHAPTER.

   (C) THIS ARTICLE SHALL SERVE AS ADDITIONAL AND CONCLUSIVE NOTICE THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING ALL CLAIMS PERTAINING TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST. EVIDENCE OF THE INTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION OR ALTERATION OF ANY RECORDS OR OTHER MATERIALS PERTAINING TO SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE ADMISSIBLE IN BOTH ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS AS EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ANY CLAIM BEING MADE AGAINST THE INSURER INVOLVING THE DESTROYED OR ALTERED MATERIAL. IT SHALL BE PERMISSIBLE FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE OR JUDICIAL COURT TO INFER THAT THE INTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION OR ALTERATION OF ANY RECORDS OR OTHER MATERIALS PERTAINING TO A CLAIM WAS DONE IN ORDER TO PREVENT DISCOVERY OF INFORMATION TO SUPPORT ANY CLAIM OF A HOLOCAUST VICTIM.

   S 2704. RIGHTS OF ACTION. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW OR AGREEMENT AMONG THE PARTIES TO AN INSURANCE POLICY TO THE CONTRARY, ANY ACTION ARISING FROM AN OCCURRENCE DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE BROUGHT BY A HOLOCAUST VICTIM SEEKING PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO OR COVERING THE LIFE OR PROPERTY OF A HOLOCAUST VICTIM PRIOR TO DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE, SHALL NOT BE DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS OR LACHES OR OTHER SIMILAR PROVISION OF ANY APPLICABLE LAW RELATING TO THE TIMELINESS OF THE FILING OF CLAIMS THAT MIGHT PREVENT A CLAIM FROM BEING HEARD ON ITS MERITS, OR ANY NOTICE REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED BY ANY INSURANCE POLICY PROVIDED THE ACTION IS COMMENCED WITHIN TEN YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE.

   (B) WITH RESPECT TO ANY ACTION ARISING FROM AN OCCURRENCE DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE BROUGHT BY A HOLOCAUST VICTIM SEEKING PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO OR COVERING THE LIFE OR PROPERTY OF A HOLOCAUST VICTIM PRIOR TO DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINE-TEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE NO SUCH ACTION SHALL BE STAYED OR DISMISSED PURSUANT TO RULE THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES.

   (C) IN RECOGNITION OF THE SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME THAT HAS PASSED AND IN ORDER TO EFFECT THE GOALS OF SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE, THE RULES REGARDING THE ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RULE FORTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN AND SECTION FORTY-FIVE HUNDRED NINETEEN OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND PRINCIPLES OF LAW OR OTHER RULES RELATING TO THE ADMISSION OF HEARSAY EVIDENCE SHALL BE RELAXED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE TRIAL JUDGE IN ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION.

   S 2705. REPORTS FROM INSURERS. (A) EVERY INSURER ORGANIZED, REGISTERED, ACCREDITED OR LICENSED TO DO AN INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THIS STATE SHALL FILE OR SHALL CAUSE ITS HOLDING COMPANY TO FILE WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT, WITHIN ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE, A REPORT SETTING FORTH SUCH INSURER'S PLAN FOR COMPLYING WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE. ANY INSURER WHICH HAS DETERMINED THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY OF THE INFORMATION REQUESTED IN SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL FILE OR CAUSE ITS HOLDING COMPANY TO FILE A REPORT STATING THAT THEY HAVE NO SUCH INFORMATION. IN ADDITION, AN INSURER MAY REQUEST TO BE RELIEVED FROM FILING ANY FURTHER REPORTS UPON PROVIDING EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT THAT SUCH INSURER HAS FULFILLED ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS ARTICLE.

   (B) EVERY INSURER ORGANIZED, LICENSED, REGISTERED OR ACCREDITED TO DO AN INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THIS STATE SHALL REPORT OR SHALL CAUSE ITS HOLDING COMPANY TO REPORT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

   (1) WHETHER IT IS A MEMBER OF A HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM INCLUDING ANY INSURER, ANY OTHER MEMBER, SUBSIDIARY OR DIVISION IN EACH CASE WHETHER A LICENSEE OR NOT, THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE EXPECTED TO HAVE ISSUED AN INSURANCE POLICY TO A HOLOCAUST VICTIM BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE AND A LIST OF EACH SUCH ENTITY;

   (2) THE APPROXIMATE NUMBER AND THE TOTAL VALUE OF ALL SUCH INSURANCE POLICIES ISSUED BY SUCH INSURER OR BY ANY OTHER MEMBER, SUBSIDIARY OR DIVISION WITHIN THE REPORTING INSURER'S HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM, WHICH, AS OF THE DATE OF SUCH REPORT, REMAIN UNPAID OR WERE PAID TO, OR EXPROPRIATED BY A GOVERNMENT LOCATED IN AREAS UNDER NAZI INFLUENCE, THAT WAS NOT THE NAMED BENEFICIARY OF SUCH INSURANCE POLICY;

   (3) ATTEMPTS MADE BY THE INSURER TO LOCATE THE BENEFICIARIES OF ANY SUCH INSURANCE POLICIES FOR WHICH NO CLAIM OF BENEFITS HAS BEEN MADE;

   (4) IF REQUESTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT AND TO THE EXTENT CONSISTENT WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND CONFIDENTIALITY OBLIGATIONS, WITH RESPECT TO EACH SUCH INSURANCE POLICY, THE NAMES OF THE OWNER, THE NAME OF THE BENEFICIARY AND THE FACE AMOUNT OR PAY-OUT VALUE;

   (5) THE NUMBER OF CLAIMS FILED BY PERSONS WHO ALLEGE OR HAVE ALLEGED THAT THEY ARE HOLOCAUST VICTIMS AND WHETHER EACH SUCH CLAIM HAS BEEN PAID OR PAYMENT HAS BEEN DENIED;

   (6) IF REQUESTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, AN EXPLANATION OF ANY DENIAL OR PENDING PAYMENT OF A CLAIM TO ANY PERSON WHO ALLEGES OR HAS ALLEGED THAT HE OR SHE IS A HOLOCAUST VICTIM;

   (7) A SUMMARY OF THE LENGTH OF TIME FOR THE PROCESSING AND DISPOSITION OF SUCH A CLAIM BY THE INSURER; AND

   (8) IN THE EVENT THAT THE INSURER IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE ANY OF THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, AN EXPLANATION OF THE REASONS WHY AND WHETHER SUCH INFORMATION MAY, IN THE FUTURE, BE ASCERTAINABLE. THE REPORTS REQUIRED BY THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR IN WHICH THIS ARTICLE SHALL HAVE BECOME EFFECTIVE AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER FOR EACH OF THE SUCCEEDING TEN YEARS EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION.

   (C) REPORTS SUBMITTED TO THE SUPERINTENDENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE CERTIFIED AND AFFIRMED UNDER OATH AS BEING TRUE AND NOT MISLEADING AND AS CONTAINING THE MOST ACCURATE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF SUCH REPORT'S SUBMISSION.

   (D) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY WAIVE PENALTIES AND FINES IMPOSED BY THIS ARTICLE FOR THOSE INSURERS THAT, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, WERE UNAWARE THAT THEY, OR MEMBERS OF A HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES SUCH INSURER, WERE OBLIGATED TO FILE REPORTS PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.

   (E) THE SUPERINTENDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO USE ANY POWER AVAILABLE TO THE STATE TO COMPEL HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEMS THAT INCLUDE ISSUERS OF INSURANCE POLICIES TO HOLOCAUST VICTIMS TO SUBMIT REPORTS PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.

   (F) ANY INSURER WHICH KNOWINGLY OR RECKLESSLY FILES A FALSE OR MISLEADING CERTIFICATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE FINED NOT LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OR SUCH GREATER AMOUNT AS THE SUPERINTENDENT DEEMS APPROPRIATE BASED UPON THE DEGREE OF MISREPRESENTATION, THE WILLFULNESS OF THE MISCONDUCT AND THE AMOUNT OF FUNDS MISAPPROPRIATED. SUCH INSURER ALSO MAY BE BARRED FROM FURTHER SALES OF INSURANCE IN NEW YORK FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO TEN YEARS.

   S 2706. REPORTS TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE. THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE ONE YEAR FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER FOR EACH OF THE SUCCEEDING TEN YEARS THE FOLLOWING:

   (A) THE NUMBER OF INSURERS ORGANIZED, LICENSED, ACCREDITED OR REGISTERED TO DO AN INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THIS STATE AND THE NUMBER OF OTHER INSURERS THAT MAY BE IN THE SAME HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM AS AN ORGANIZED, LICENSED, ACCREDITED OR REGISTERED INSURER WHICH COULD POSSIBLY BE EXPECTED TO HAVE ISSUED A POLICY TO A HOLOCAUST VICTIM BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE;

   (B) THE APPROXIMATE NUMBER AND THE TOTAL VALUE OF ALL SUCH INSURANCE POLICIES WHICH, AS OF THE DATE OF SUCH REPORT, REMAIN UNPAID OR WERE PAID TO, OR EXPROPRIATED BY, A GOVERNMENT LOCATED IN AREAS UNDER NAZI INFLUENCE THAT WAS NOT THE NAMED BENEFICIARY OF SUCH INSURANCE POLICY;

   (C) A LISTING BY INSURER OF THE NUMBER OF CLAIMS FILED BY PERSONS WHO ALLEGE OR HAVE ALLEGED THAT THEY ARE HOLOCAUST VICTIMS AND WHETHER EACH SUCH CLAIM HAS BEEN PAID OR PAYMENT HAS BEEN DENIED;

   (D) A SUMMARY OF THE LENGTH OF TIME FOR THE PROCESSING AND DISPOSITION OF SUCH A CLAIM BY THE INSURER; AND

   (E) A LISTING OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SUPERINTENDENT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (D) OF THIS SECTION AND SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE.

   S 2707. PENALTY. IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER PENALTY PRESCRIBED BY THIS ARTICLE OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER, ANY INSURER OR PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE WILL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH DAY EACH SUCH VIOLATION CONTINUES EXCEPT THAT, IF THE SUPERINTENDENT FINDS THAT SUCH VIOLATION HAS BEEN WILLFUL, SUCH INSURER SHALL BE FINED AN AMOUNT THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT DEEMS APPROPRIATE BASED ON THE DEGREE OF WILLFUL MISCONDUCT AND THE NATURE OF THE VIOLATION.

   S 2708. APPLICATION OF SECTION FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR. AN INSURER SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN VIOLATION OF SECTION FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER FOR COMPLYING WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.

   S 2709. SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE. (A) AN INSURER WHICH, PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF ANOTHER JURISDICTION IS REQUIRED (OR WHOSE HOLDING COMPANY IS REQUIRED) TO REPORT, CERTIFY OR OTHERWISE DISCLOSE INFORMATION SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO THAT REQUIRED BY SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE, MAY SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE BY FILING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT WITHIN THE APPLICABLE PERIODS PRESCRIBED HEREUNDER, COPIES OF SUCH MATERIAL FILED WITH SUCH JURISDICTION. THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE REQUIREMENTS OF A GIVEN JURISDICTION ARE SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO THOSE OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE MADE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT IN HIS OR HER DISCRETION. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REQUIRE THAT ANY SUCH FILING BE SUPPLEMENTED BY A SCHEDULE OR INDEX REFERRING TO THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE OR THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER.

   (B) THE SUPERINTENDENT, IN HIS OR HER DISCRETION, MAY SUSPEND THE APPLICATION OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE TO ANY INSURER UPON A FINDING THAT SUCH INSURER, A SUBSIDIARY OF SUCH INSURER, OR ANY MEMBER OF THE HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES SUCH INSURER, HAS SUBJECTED ITSELF IN GOOD FAITH TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION REFERENCED IN A MEMORANDUM OF INTENT, DATED APRIL EIGHTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT EXECUTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, OTHER UNITED STATES INSURANCE REGULATORS, WORLDWIDE JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS AND INSURERS, OR ANY SUCCESSOR THERETO, AND HAS MEANINGFULLY PARTICIPATED IN SUCH COMMISSION OR SUCCESSOR ENTITY IN A MANNER REASONABLY CALCULATED TO EFFECT THE PROMPT INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF CLAIMS OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS AND UPON A FINDING BY THE SUPERINTENDENT THAT SUCH COMMISSION OR SUCCESSOR ENTITY IS EFFECTIVELY MOVING TOWARD THE SWIFT AND EQUITABLE RESOLUTION OF CLAIMS MADE AGAINST SUCH INSURER BY HOLOCAUST VICTIMS.

   (C) EACH SUCH SUSPENSION GRANTED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE VALID FOR A ONE YEAR PERIOD AND MAY BE EXTENDED ANNUALLY FOR ADDITIONAL ONE YEAR PERIODS UPON A FINDING (I) THAT SUCH INSURER, A SUBSIDIARY OF SUCH INSURER, OR ANY MEMBER OF THE HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES SUCH INSURER, CONTINUES TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION AND (II) THAT THE COMMISSION OR SUCCESSOR ENTITY IS EFFECTIVE IN ACHIEVING THE PROMPT IDENTIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS TO WHOM INSURANCE POLICIES WERE ISSUED BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED TWENTY AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE, AND THE INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF CLAIMS OF THOSE HOLOCAUST VICTIMS. EACH INSURER WHO IS EXEMPTED OR SEEKS CONTINUED EXEMPTION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL FILE SUCH REPORTS OR PROVIDE SUCH OTHER INFORMATION AS THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REQUIRE IN HIS OR HER DISCRETION.

   (D) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE THE DISCRETION TO DISCONTINUE ANY EXEMPTION MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION IF A REASONABLE DETERMINATION IS MADE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT THAT THE INSURER, ITS SUBSIDIARY OR DIVISION, OR THE MEMBER OF THE HOLDING COMPANY SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES SUCH INSURER, AS APPLICABLE, IS NOT COOPERATING FULLY WITH SUCH COMMISSION OR SUCCESSOR ENTITY OR THAT SUCH COMMISSION OR SUCCESSOR ENTITY IS NOT EFFECTIVE IN PROMPTLY INVESTIGATING AND RESOLVING SUCH CLAIMS.

   S 2710. RULES AND REGULATIONS. THE SUPERINTENDENT, BY REGULATION, SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND FOR FACILITATING, MONITORING AND VERIFYING COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE.

   S 2711. SEVERABILITY. IF ANY WORD, CLAUSE, SENTENCE, PARAGRAPH, SUBDIVISION, SECTION OR PART OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE INVALID, SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR, OR INVALIDATE THE REMAINDER THEREOF, BUT SHALL BE CONFINED IN ITS OPERATION TO THE WORD, CLAUSE, SENTENCE, PARAGRAPH, SUBDIVISION, SECTION OR PART THEREOF DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE CONTROVERSY IN WHICH SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL HAVE BEEN RENDERED. IT IS HEREBY DECLARED TO BE THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT THIS ARTICLE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENACTED EVEN IF SUCH INVALID PROVISIONS HAD NOT BEEN INCLUDED HEREIN.

   S 4. Subsection (b) of section 2402 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 637 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:

   (b) "Defined violation" means the commission by a person of an act prohibited by: section one thousand two hundred fourteen, one thousand two hundred seventeen, one thousand two hundred twenty, one thousand three hundred thirteen, subparagraph (B) of paragraph two of subsection (i) of section one thousand three hundred twenty-two, two thousand one hundred twenty-two, two thousand one hundred twenty-three, subsection (p) of section two thousand three hundred thirteen, section two thousand three hundred twenty-four, two thousand five hundred two, two thousand five hundred three, two thousand five hundred four, two thousand six hundred one, two thousand six hundred two, two thousand six hundred three, two thousand six hundred four, two thousand six hundred six, TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED THREE, three thousand one hundred nine, three thousand two hundred twenty-four-a, three thousand four hundred twenty-nine, three thousand four hundred thirty-three, paragraph seven of subsection (e) of section three thousand four hundred twenty-six, four thousand two hundred twenty-four, four thousand two hundred twenty-five or four thousand two hundred twenty-six of this chapter; or section 135.60, 135.65, 175.05, 175.45, or 190.20, or article one hundred five of the penal law.

   S 5. This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, that any rules and regulations authorized by this act shall be promulgated so as to take effect no more than 120 days after such effective date.