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Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced that the State Insurance Department has licensed Sammarnick Insurance Corporation as a captive insurance company in New York. The new captive will be insuring the risks of Viacom Inc. Captive insurance companies are traditionally used by corporations to insure part of their own risk as a component of their risk management strategy.

Viacom Inc. is the tenth corporation to take advantage of legislation signed into law in August 1997 by Governor George E. Pataki that permits captives to become licensed in New York State.

"I am both pleased and gratified that Viacom has chosen to create its captive here in New York State," said Serio. "With the contraction of the commercial insurance market, the formation of captives is a valuable and more flexible option for companies in managing their insurance needs. Since 1997, New York’s businesses are no longer forced to look outside of the State to implement their risk management strategies."

Richard J. Bressler, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Viacom said, "The State Insurance Department has made the captive registration process streamlined and straightforward in a competitive insurance market, enabling Viacom to have even greater control and flexibility over our risk management process and to support New York State at the same time. Forming our captive in New York State was an easy choice, and the State Insurance Department made the decision even easier."

The Captive Law became effective December 5, 1997. In March of last year, under the leadership of Governor Pataki, legislation S.6591 was introduced by the Department to allow a wider range of businesses the opportunity to utilize captive insurance companies. The Department also advocated legislation in this year’s Legislative Session so New York’s businesses can be provided the necessary flexibility for their risk management.

"By allowing corporations such as Viacom to set up their insurance programs here, we are addressing the critical needs of business in New York, namely, cutting costs for corporations, who in the past had to maintain separate staff and offices in other jurisdictions. This is a win for New York State as well as our business community," said Serio.

Prior to 1997, captives were not permitted in New York and had been headquartered in a small number of states or off-shore in jurisdictions such as Bermuda. These companies had avoided larger states like New York whose complex regulatory rules and lengthy approval procedures of the past had stymied innovative alternative insurance programs such as captives.

Viacom Inc. is a leading global media company with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising and online. With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation, promotion and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and music. Viacom’s well-known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Viacom Outdoor, Infinity Broadcasting, UPN, TNN, TV Land, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Showtime, Blockbuster and Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at

All information necessary to become licensed as a captive is available by calling the Department’s captive group toll-free at 1-866-NYSCAPTives or by visiting its Web site at Companies can quickly download the licensing forms as well as a copy of the law from the site. The approval process for licensing in a captive insurer is estimated to be only 30 days.

Department of Financial Services


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