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Acting Superintendent Howard Mills today announced that the New York State Insurance Department is joining in the national celebration of ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’ (Jan. 24-28, 2005) with the posting of new consumer-friendly editorial content at the agency’s web site, statewide outreach efforts to tout Healthy NY, and media appearances aimed at encouraging New Yorkers to schedule a routine ‘check up’ with their insurance providers.

"Knowledge is the best policy when it comes to insurance," Acting Superintendent Mills stated. "We hope consumers will visit our web site for free tips and up-to-date information prior to purchasing health, life, auto, home or other insurance. These economic decisions are at the heart of every family’s financial security." The ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’ section on the Department’s web site can be reached via the agency’s home page at

The Insurance Department is also focusing this week on publicizing Healthy NY, the reduced-cost health insurance program, on campuses statewide, including Sullivan County Community College, Fordham University, Adirondack Community College, Siena and Canisius. Students about to enter the workforce, and coming off of their parents’ health insurance policies, are one of Healthy NY’s target audiences. This is because their first job may not include health insurance as a benefit, and the working uninsured are eligible for Healthy NY.

"Get Smart Week isn’t about selling or canceling policies. It is about making sure your family is properly covered," Acting Superintendent Mills said. Beyond securing the right coverage, the Insurance Department and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) ( also outline in a newsletter retrievable from both of their web sites ways in which consumers can potentially cut their premiums. Pointing out to insurers that you’ve taken a defensive driving course, for example, or a willingness to have policies with higher deductibles are other strategies that can be employed to reduce insurance costs.

Some of these issues will be explored on Friday, Jan. 28, when State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) tapes an interview with a member of the Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau as part of her monthly public affairs program. It will be broadcast in early February 2005 on WNCE-TV Channel 8 in Glens Falls, NY.

Those without access to the Internet and wanting more information on ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week’ can call the Insurance Department’s toll-free number at 1-800-342-3736.

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