Circular Letter No. 12 (2002)

May 3, 2002


All Authorized Insurers


New York Information Network

Since the tragic events of September 11th, protecting the well-being of New York's citizens and critical infrastructure has been the foremost priority of Governor Pataki. Soon after September 11th, Governor Pataki established the Office of Public Security to address safety and security issues on a statewide basis. At the national level, President Bush created the Office of Homeland Security and charged it with strengthening America's protection against terrorism.

The creation of these offices has resulted in an unprecedented flow of critical information on matters related to our preparedness and safety. In order to maximize the value of this information, we must open lines of communication between agencies and departments, between federal, state and local entities, and between the public and private sectors. It is imperative that we now establish the necessary infrastructure to distribute this time-sensitive information to all authorized parties as quickly as possible for countermeasures as well as ensure that sensitive information pertaining to our national security does not fall into the wrong hands.

To that effect, the Insurance Department will be creating a new, password-protected, area on its website that will contain directives, advisories and other terrorism-related information addressed to New York's insurance community. This initiative, called the "New York Information Network" (NYIN), will also include an "Intelligence/Information Mailbox" that will enable all participants to exchange intelligence and other terrorism-related information with the Department. The mailbox will also permit industry participants to query the Department on any intelligence reports they have received or if they simply need clarification on information posted on the password protected area of the Department website. All authorized insurers are directed to participate in this endeavor. The password protected NYIN website, as well as the "Intelligence/Information Mailbox", are currently under construction. More details on these initiatives will be released as construction nears completion. However, the first step in this process is the need for each authorized insurer to designate a primary and secondary Intelligence/Information Officer.

Accordingly, the Chief Executive Officers of all authorized insurers are directed to designate a primary and a secondary Intelligence/Information Officer by May 31, 2002. The primary and the secondary Intelligence/Information Officer must be senior level executives who possess the authority to communicate directly with the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Designation of the primary and the secondary Intelligence/Information Officer must be made electronically by visiting and by providing the requested information. The User Name and Password required to enter data onto the website will be provided in "hardcopy" by mail.

Please note the following in making your designations:

  1. The same person cannot serve as the primary and the secondary Intelligence/Information Officer for the same insurer.
  2. For insurers that are a part of a group, the designation of the primary and secondary Intelligence/Information Officer must be done on an individual company basis. While the same person can be designated as either the primary or the secondary Intelligence/Information Officer for individual companies within a group, the information must be entered separately for each company at the link provided above.

Once activated, the NYIN will be the main conduit through which the Department will communicate intelligence reports and other critical but sensitive information on terrorism with the New York insurance community. The primary Intelligence/Information Officer will serve as the sole liaison for all terrorism-related intelligence and information. This person will be responsible for contacting the Department with any such intelligence or information as well as inquiries. In instances where the Department needs to communicate sensitive information to insurers, contact will be initiated through the NYIN and information will be directed only to the primary Intelligence/Information Officer. Tight security in the communication process is vital to the integrity of NYIN.

The Department will provide the primary and the secondary Intelligence/Information Officers with a user name and password to enable them to access all or selected components of NYIN.

The secondary Intelligence/Information Officer will serve as the back-up liaison when the primary Intelligence/Information Officer is unavailable. The Department will contact the secondary Intelligence/Information Officer when critical information has to be urgently relayed to the insurer and multiple attempts to contact the primary Intelligence/Information Officer have failed.

If you have any questions with respect to the designation of the Intelligence/Information Officers or on completing the data fields provided at the above link, please contact:

Avalon Simon
Executive Assistant
New York Insurance Department
25 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212 480 2296
E-mail: [email protected]

Very truly yours,

Gregory V. Serio
Superintendent of Insurance