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Good Time to Do Annual Life Insurance Check-Up

Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio will be in Brooklyn today to promote ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’ and highlight the need for all New Yorkers to evaluate their life insurance needs and utilize the Department’s resources to make the right choice when purchasing life insurance or annuities.

"There is no better time than ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’, at the start of a new year, to analyze the need for life insurance," said Serio. "The Department encourages New Yorkers to do a life insurance policy ‘check-up,’ by reviewing your coverage needs and utilizing the Department as a resource to help you choose the right coverage, the right company, and the right price."

Each day this week, the Department is providing information on a different insurance coverage to persuade New Yorkers to review their insurance policies to ensure proper coverage. Today, during the Superintendent’s visit to Brooklyn he will deliver the Governor’s Proclamation of ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’ to T.J. Derella President of the Professional Insurance Agents of New York (PIA).

The Proclamation reads:

"WHEREAS, all Americans feel the protecting arm of some form of insurance coverage and find great solace in that assurance when adversity strikes their insurance policy is their first line of help with financial recovery; and

WHEREAS, the vibrant New York State insurance marketplace offers a wide array of various types of insurance and levels of coverage at affordable rates; and

WHEREAS, the New York State Insurance Department, in cooperation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners suggests that January is a good time of year for consumers to schedule annual insurance "check-ups" with their agent, broker or insurance carrier;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of New York State, do hereby proclaim January 19, 2004 thru January 23,2004 as GET SMART ABOUT INSURANCE WEEK in the Empire State."

New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the Department’s "Life Insurance Resource Center" on the Web site for free tips and up-to-date information. Important points to consider when buying or changing your life insurance coverage include:

  • Remember if one kind of life insurance does not seem to fit your needs, ask about other plans.
  • Be sure to read your new policy carefully, and ask the agent or company for an explanation of anything you do not understand.
  • Take full advantage of the free look provisions that are provided on the policy cover page. New York requires a minimum free look period of 10 days and a maximum of 30 days. A 30-day free look period is required for any policy offered through the mail. "Free look" provisions allow you to cancel a policy without penalty within a set time period.
  • Your need for life insurance will vary with your age and responsibilities. It is important to review your life insurance program every few years to keep up with your changing financial and family circumstances and responsibilities.

        The New York State Insurance Department’s toll-free hotline offers assistance with questions about proper homeowner’s insurance coverage. The toll-free number is 1-800-342-3736. The Department’s hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by insurance experts from the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau. The Department’s Web site is

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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