Circular Letter No. 1 (2001)

January 22, 2001


The Insurance Community of New York State; Other Parties Affected by Insurance Department Circular Letters


Review and Withdrawal of Circular Letters

STATUTORY REFERENCE:  All Sections of Insurance Law

By Circular Letter No. 18 (2000), the Insurance Department announced that it was conducting a review of all Circular Letters that were issued by the Department prior to April 1, 1997, in order to determine whether such Circular Letters are consistent with current Department policy and practice. The Department asked that all parties directly or indirectly affected by any Department Circular Letter identify, with justification, those Circular Letters that should not be withdrawn as a result of this review.

In response to this request, the Department received numerous memoranda, letters and other communications, which have been reviewed. A lengthy and exhaustive internal review of each Circular Letter issued by the Department since 1924 has also been conducted by the Office of General Counsel, with the assistance and advice of the various bureaus of the Department whose particular responsibilities were affected by specific Circular Letters.

Based upon such review, the Department is now setting forth its conclusions regarding the Circular Letters that have been issued by the Department through the years. Attached is a listing of approximately 400 Withdrawn Circular Letters that are hereby being withdrawn by the Department as a result of this review. Also attached is a listing of approximately 350 Current Circular Letters that remain current and effective as of this date.

As noted in Circular Letter No. 18 (2000), some of the Circular Letters were ministerial in nature, some called for various kinds of insurer compliance (e.g., submission of data or schedules or statements of compliance), and others were substantive in nature. The attached list of Withdrawn Circular Letters constitutes the Department's conclusion that the listed Circular Letters should be withdrawn because they have either become outdated as a result of the passage of time, or are unnecessary or irrelevant to current operations, or are no longer valid because of changes in statute or in policy at the Department. The Department encourages licensees to contact the Office of General Counsel if a licensee is uncertain about the practical impact of the withdrawal of an individual Circular Letter.

Beginning in 2001, all Circular Letters will include as part of the standard caption a listing of the statutory provisions on which the Circular Letter is providing instruction (see above). This change is intended to improve the ability of constituents and interested parties to research and comply with the Insurance Law.

We also note that the Department's review of Circular Letters is continuing and that additional Circular Letters may be withdrawn in the future as their content is updated, included in Department regulations, or otherwise clarified. In addition, the Department intends to conduct ongoing annual reviews to ensure that all outstanding Circular Letters reflect current Department policy and practice.

Very truly yours,

Neil D. Levin
Superintendent of Insurance