The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on November 24, 2004, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Naval Station Guantanamo Bay


Is the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, considered to be part of the United States for purposes of the N.Y. Insurance Law?


The N.Y. Insurance Law defines the United States as the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Accordingly, NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay is not regarded as part of the United States.


No facts are provided.


The New York Insurance Law does not contain a list of United States territories and possessions. The law does, however, define "United States" as follows:

(43) "United States". Except for the purposes of article fourteen1 of this chapter, when used to signify place, means only the states of the United States, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

N.Y. Ins. Law § 107(a)(43) (McKinney Supp. 2004).

NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay, which has been leased by the U.S. government from Cuba since 1903, does not meet the above definition. Accordingly, it lies outside the United States insofar as the N.Y. Insurance Law is concerned.2

For further information you may contact Supervising Attorney Michael Campanelli at the New York City Office.

1   Article 14 of the Insurance law deals with permissible investments of insurers and has no applicability to the question herein.

2  For federal purposes, the sovereignty of United States military installations worldwide depends on a number of varying factors such as treaties, status of forces agreements, etc.