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Superintendent Neil D. Levin today announced that he has directed American Re to provide the New York State Insurance Department with lists of all unpaid insurance policies issued during the Holocaust era by its holding company, Munich Re, and all of its subsidiaries by April 7. If Munich Re fails to provide such information to the Department, then Levin said he will take disciplinary action against the company.

New York’s Holocaust Victim Insurance Act requires all insurance companies licensed in New York State to provide a list of all unpaid insurance policies issued during the Holocaust era by their holding companies and all of its subsidiaries. In American Re’s annual report to the Department on Holocaust era obligations, it certified that Munich Re’s subsidiaries in Europe have such lists. In addition, the New York State Holocaust Claims Processing Office has more than 130 unpaid policies issued by Munich Re’s subsidiary, Victoria, worth approximately $1.5 million.

Under New York’s Holocaust Victim Insurance Act, companies that could have possibly issued insurance policies to Holocaust victims are excused from the annual reporting requirements if they become members of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). The ICHEIC, chaired by former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger, was formed in October 1998 to resolve all unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust.

"We have given Munich Re every opportunity to come forward and join the International Commission and to fulfill their responsibilities," said Levin. "Now we have no choice but to take swift action against the company for failing to comply with the law. One way or another these policies must be paid. After more than 50 years, justice is long overdue."

Levin is one of three state regulators serving on the International Commission. Levin also played an integral role in the original planning and establishment of the International Commission. In New York, more than 120 offers totaling more than $1 million have been made to Holocaust survivors.

The ICHEIC launched its worldwide outreach effort to help claimants resolve unpaid Holocaust-era claims on February 15. Highlights of the outreach process include:

  • Insurance companies that have joined the ICHEIC include Allianz AG, AXA, Generali, Winterthur Leben, Zurich Financial Services and their subsidiaries.
  • Participating insurance companies have agreed to relaxed standards of proof in order to address the complexity of the claims.
  • An independent auditing process has been established to review relevant records and archives.
  • Claims relating to policies issued by insurance companies that are not part of ICHEIC will be forwarded to those companies for review with the request that they honor those claims in accordance with ICHEIC standards.
  • A separate Humanitarian Fund, established by ICHEIC, will address claims for policies issued by companies no longer in existence.
  • ICHEIC is launching an aggressive, global effort to inform and assist potential claimants which will include paid advertising, press conferences and other media activities in 70 countries, as well as work through Jewish religious, social and cultural organizations.

Individuals who believe they may have unpaid insurance claims should write to the International Commission, PO Box 1163, Wall Street Station, New York, NY 10268, or visit the ICHEIC Web site at to receive complete information on the claims process and a claim form or call 1-800-957-3203.

Department of Financial Services


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