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Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio and Consumer Protection Board Commissioner Teresa A. Santiago encourage consumers to get smart about their coverage during ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’, January 19–23, 2004. Get Smart About Insurance Week, sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is designed to educate consumers of the importance of reviewing their insurance needs and confirming that they have proper coverage.

"Insurance is an essential element in everyday life that protects our quality of life and assures our economic security. Governor Pataki, along with the Department and Consumer Protection Board, suggests that all New Yorkers review their insurance policies every year to ensure that they have proper insurance coverage and Get Smart About Insurance Week, being at the beginning of the year, is the perfect time to do this annual ‘check-up," said Serio.

"The time to ask questions is before -- not after -- an accident or sickness needs insurance coverage," said Chairperson Santiago. "Even if you have insurance, make sure you know what coverage you have and assess what insurance you need. Asking those questions now could save you the time and money you may not have later."

During "Get Smart About Insurance Week" the Department will be highlighting a different type of insurance coverage each day and encouraging New Yorkers to take time to make certain that they have the comprehensive insurance coverage they need and understand. Highlighted during the week will be health, life, homeowners, and fire insurance in addition to insurance fraud.

"There is a wealth of information available to the public to help you understand the insurance coverages in New York State. Our guides, Web sites and consumer representatives are important resources that I urge consumers to utilize to help get smart about insurance," added Serio. "Insurance can secure our standard of living and the stability of our families as well as our property rights. Taking this time to ensure proper coverage will provide consumers with a feeling of security that if adversity strikes, their insurance policy is there to help them with their financial recovery."

The Department offers various publications and services to aid New Yorkers. The guides for consumers include:

In addition to utilizing the Department’s resources, here are some steps consumers can take to get smart about their insurance coverage:

  • Consumers should know what kind of coverage they need before they shop around.
  • Schedule a routine "check-up" with your insurance providers at least once a year.
  • Inquire about the cost benefit of opting for higher deductibles.
  • Ask specifically about discounts for good driving records, good health, good grades, special education or training.
  • Shop around for identical products and services. Not every company charges the same rate.
  • Remember an insurance policy is a legal document. Read it carefully.

The New York State Insurance Department is participating in the national Get Smart About Insurance Week campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to remind New Yorkers of the importance of proper insurance coverage. For more information on Get Smart About Insurance Week, to request a consumer brochure and get information about what they need and should expect from insurance coverage, consumers can call the New York State Insurance Department’s toll-free hotline 1-800-342-3736 or visit the Department’s Web sites at is Additionally, consumers can visit for information on Healthy NY or for information on corporate self-insurance programs.

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