March 29, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE END OF AN ERA
HOLOCAUST ERA INSURANCE CLAIMS COMMISSION TO CLOSE
New York claimants have received more than $27 million in awards
New York, NY: The New York State Banking Department and the Department of Insurance today announced the successful completion of all claims and appeals processes by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). ICHEIC will officially close on March 30, 2007.
ICHEIC, which the New York State Department of Insurance is a founding member, was the first international agency created for the sole purpose of settling Holocaust era insurance claims to complete all claims and appeals processes.
Since its formation in 1998, ICHEIC has processed more than 48,000 claims leading to $306.24 million in awards for Holocaust victims and their families. More than $27 million of that amount was awarded to approximately 4,227 claimants from the State of New York.
New York’s Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO), which was established in 1997 to provide free assistance to Holocaust victims and their heirs attempting to recover assets lost, looted or stolen during the Holocaust, submitted claims on behalf of more than 2,200 claimants to ICHEIC, which led to more than $20 million in awards. The New York State Banking and Insurance Departments jointly fund the nine-member HCPO.
“This was never just about getting compensation for the loss of assets, but about providing a measure of justice, however small, to victims of the Holocaust and their families,” said Acting Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo. “The New York Insurance and Banking Departments can be justly proud of their roles in supporting the Holocaust Claims Processing Office. The Insurance Department’s role in helping establish the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims is a shining moment in this Department’s history.”
“By working with ICHEIC and a multitude of international claims processes, the HCPO has led the way in fighting for justice for Holocaust survivors and their heirs,” said Richard H. Neiman, Acting Superintendent of Banks. “While I’m proud of the successful completion of the ICHEIC claims process, there is still more work to be done. In addition to filing and monitoring claims for other assets, the HCPO continues to work with claimants to settle insurance claims directly with European insurers and other compensation organizations in order to provide some small measure of justice to Holocaust victims worldwide.”
Since 1997, the Holocaust Claims Processing Office has provided institutional assistance to individuals seeking to recover assets deposited in European banks, monies that European insurance companies failed to pay policy beneficiaries, and artworks that were lost, stolen, or sold under duress prior to and during the Second World War. The office has responded to more than 13,000 inquiries resulting in 4,773 claims from 45 states and 37 countries. The total value of assets recovered by the HCPO on behalf of claimants is more than $78 million.
The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are over $1.5 trillion.
In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters. To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us.
The New York State Insurance Department supervises and monitors the financial condition and market conduct of insurers. The Department has responsibility for approving corporate formations, mergers and consolidations of insuring organizations; licensing insurance agents, brokers, adjusters, consultants and reinsurance intermediaries; and disciplining licensees that violate the Insurance Law. The Department regulates premium rates and policy forms and provisions; services complaints and inquiries from consumers; administers the affairs of companies that are placed in liquidation or rehabilitation; and investigates insurance fraud. The Department regulates companies with assets under management of approximately $4 trillion.