STATE OF NEW YORK
ONE COMMERCE PLAZA
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12257
NOTE: WITHDRAWN EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 5, 2005
|Printable version of Circular Letter No. 7 (2004) (PDF Format)|
|George E. Pataki
Circular Letter No. 7
|TO:||All authorized life insurers, property/casualty insurers, co-operative property/casualty insurers, financial guaranty insurers, mortgage guaranty insurers, title insurers, reciprocal insurers, captive insurers, accident and health insurers, and Article 43 corporations; registered risk retention groups and employee welfare funds; licensed Public Health Law Article 44 health maintenance organizations and integrated delivery systems, municipal cooperative health benefit plans, retirement systems, fraternal benefit societies, and rate service organizations; State Insurance Fund; New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association; New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Plan; New York Automobile Insurance Plan; Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation; and Excess Line Association of New York.|
|RE:||Disaster Planning, Preparedness and Response|
|STATUTORY REFERENCE: Sections 301, 305, 308, 1109, 2130, and 7001; and Articles 44, 45, 46, 47, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 59 of the New York Insurance Law|
As part of the disaster response effort Circular Letter No. 11 (2001) and its two supplements:
The following table is provided to enable all licensees to better understand what is required of them by this circular letter. Questions concerning any aspects of this circular letter should be addressed to Senior Insurance Examiner, Ashbert Carrington, of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Bureau, by phone at (212) 480-5340, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by US mail to State of New York Insurance Department, Disaster Preparedness and Response Bureau, 25 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004.
C. The New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition and the Insurance Emergency Operations Center (IEOC)
Section C applies to all addressees of this circular letter.
When an emergency or disaster situation occurs, the Insurance Department is looked upon to provide the Governor and the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) with critical information regarding the amount and extent of property losses, as well as other damage assessments. Based on this information the Governor determines whether and when to request a federal disaster declaration and how to prioritize the deployment of state assets.
The insurance community, including the property, life and health sectors, has been identified as a key resource to providing early assessments of damages arising from natural or man-made disasters. Insurers play an important role in quantifying the magnitude of losses - insured and uninsured - and determining both the degree and duration of insurer response to losses. Accordingly, all entities addressed by this circular are expected to assist the Insurance Department in obtaining the information needed to accomplish the above objective before, during and after disasters strike.
An integral part of the Insurance Disaster Coalition response to any disaster is the Insurance Emergency Operations Center (IEOC) which will be staffed by selected insurance industry disaster liaisons and representatives of the Insurance Department, to coordinate disaster response.
The Insurance Emergency Operations Center will be activated upon direction of the Superintendent of Insurance in accordance with the nature and extent of the event. Where possible this determination will be made in conjunction with our disaster coalition partners.
Accurate, timely and consistent information is of critical importance to the Governor and the State Emergency Management Office during disasters. To ensure that insurance industry information is readily available during disasters, effective the date of this circular letter, the Insurance Department requires the following information be provided:
This section is addressed to all property/casualty insurers with New York direct written premium reported on its Annual Statement, for any of the following lines:
Annual Report -- Each property/casualty insurer must provide to the Insurance Department a listing - by New York county - of property exposure information, as of December 31, for personal lines (non-auto) and commercial lines (non-auto) for each authorized member within an insurance company group.
This information is to be provided for the following categories: total building and contents insurance in force for the lines indicated and total number of policies. Each insurer must provide the information by completing the electronic report. This report is due on April 1, 2005 and will be required each April 1st thereafter.
The Pre-Disaster Survey electronic template and instructions for its completion and submission can be found on the Department Web site at:
Sections 2(a) and 2(b) on Disaster Response Plans and Questionnaires apply to all addressees of this circular letter.
Each addressee is asked to incorporate the New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition procedures, into its own disaster response plan. Since the New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition procedures and the Insurance Emergency Operations Center (IEOC) continue to be, integral parts of the industrys response to any disaster in New York State, the completion of the electronic template and the submission of each insurers disaster response plan are needed to maintain the effectiveness and accuracy of information used by the Coalition in the event of a future disaster.
a) Disaster Response Plan
The disaster response plan should describe how the entity intends to provide its policyholders with the resources they will need to recover from a disaster. To this end, a disaster response plan should at a minimum indicate what preparations the insurer has made in the following areas:
Each entity must submit its disaster response plan to the Insurance Department, within 60 calendar days of the publication date of this circular letter. Entities may provide their completed disaster response plans either electronically (as an e-mail attachment), by compact disk or diskette or by hard copy (if no electronic means are available).
E-mails should be directed to the Insurance Department Disaster Response Plans Mail box at:
US Mail should be addressed to:
Annually, on June 1st, Disaster Response Plans submitted to the Insurance Department should be updated, if necessary. If no update is necessary, an e-mail containing the Company Name(s), NAIC number(s), and NAIC Group number should be submitted to the Insurance Department Disaster Plans Mail box (see above) to indicate that no change to the plan was necessary.
b) Disaster Response Questionnaire
The Disaster Response Questionnaire electronic template is not to be used in lieu of an insurers own disaster response plan. Rather, the requested information is to be included in each insurers own plan.
The Disaster Response Questionnaire electronic template and instructions for its completion and submission can be found on the Insurance Department Web site at:
Each insurer must submit its electronic template within 10 business days of the publication date of this circular letter. The submission will also serve as each insurers acknowledgement of receipt of this circular.
Insurance Company Disaster Liaisons by completing the Disaster Response Questionnaire each insurer will be providing the Disaster Preparedness & Response Bureau the name of the designated disaster liaison(s), along with that persons telephone and cell phone number(s) (for during business and after business hours), email address and/or pager number, if applicable. Any change in the liaison(s) and/or contact information should be reported immediately to the Insurance Department, by the resubmission of an updated Disaster Response Questionnaire.
Annually, on June 1st, the Disaster Response Questionnaire electronic template should be submitted to the Insurance Department. If none of the information has changed, the date field should be updated and the previous electronic template(s) may be resubmitted.
This section D(3) on Business Continuity Plan Questionnaires applies to all addressees of this circular letter.
To assure the Insurance Department that each addressee has taken steps to put in place a Business Continuity Plan that would reasonably ensure that the recovery of critical business processes could take place in the event of a disaster, each addressee is required to complete the Business Continuity Plan Questionnaire electronic template and attest to the accuracy of their answers.
The Business Continuity Plan Questionnaire electronic template and instructions for its completion and submission can be found on the Insurance Department Web site at:
Each addressee must submit its electronic template to the Insurance Department within 20 business days of the publication date of this circular letter.
Annually, on June 1st, the Business Continuity Plan Questionnaire electronic template should be submitted to the Insurance Department. If none of the information has changed, the date field should be updated and the previous electronic template(s) may be resubmitted.
This section on Insurance Company Disaster Liaisons applies to all addressees of this circular letter.
Upon the Insurance Departments activation of its IEOC due to a State Emergency Disaster situation, the Superintendent may activate designated Insurance Disaster Liaisons representing several of the largest underwriters in the emergency or disaster areas. Participating companies will be determined based on the previously described Pre-Disaster Reports. Disaster Liaisons will be contacted based upon information submitted in the Disaster Response Questionnaire.
Subsequently, Liaisons should be prepared to participate in the States Disaster Response Plan as follows:
Liaison Duties and Responsibilities
This section on Insurance Adjuster Temporary Permits applies to all addressees of this circular letter.
Section 2108(n) of the Insurance Law provides that:
" the superintendent, in order to facilitate the settlement of claims under insurance contracts involving widespread property losses arising out of a conflagration or catastrophe common to all such losses, may issue a temporary permit for a term not exceeding one hundred twenty days to any person whether he be a resident of this state or a non-resident, to act as an independent adjuster on behalf of an authorized insurer, provided any insurer shall execute and file in the office of the superintendent a written application for the permit in the form prescribed by the superintendent, which application shall contain information as he may require and shall certify that the person named therein to be designated in on the temporary permit is qualified by experience and training to adjust claims arising under insurance contracts issued by the insurer. The superintendent may in his discretion renew such permit for an additional term or terms as may be necessary to adjust such claims."
Using this application will enable licensed insurers to certify that the application is submitted for the purposes identified in the law.
The Permit application calls for information regarding the occurrence that necessitates the temporary permit. This enables insurers to apply for temporary permits as soon as a catastrophe hits, rather than waiting for a disaster declaration as was previously required. This temporary licensing procedure will facilitate prompt services to those citizens suffering losses.
Insurers may complete their temporary adjuster permit applications on-line at:
Insurers completing their temporary adjuster permit applications on-line will receive their permits via facsimile.
Alternatively, hardcopy permit applications may be downloaded from the Insurance Departments Web site listed at:
A completed (hardcopy) application should be sent by facsimile to the Insurance Departments Licensing Services Bureau at (518) 474-5048, where it will be reviewed and acted upon immediately. A temporary permit will be faxed to the insurer submitting the application.
This section on Insurance Hurricane / Windstorm Deductibles is addressed to all property/casualty insurers.
Insurers are requested to notify the Insurance Department whenever they activate, or may activate, their Hurricane / Windstorm Deductible as a result of a certain storm or event. When available, they may use the Insurance Disaster Coalition e-mail address (email@example.com); or they may notify the Insurance Department via facsimile, at (518) 486-1503, attention Salvatore Castiglione or Paul Orkwis.
Post Disaster Coverage Data and Loss Statistics
Depending on the type of emergency encountered, in the ensuing days after a disaster, Liaisons will be required to provide specific statistics from each insurer. These statistics will be periodically updated on an as needed basis, but not less than monthly.
Reports will be consolidated by Insurance Department staff for submission to SEMO and the Governors office only.
This section is addressed to all property/casualty insurers identified in Section D(1) of this circular letter.
Property/casualty insurers will submit reports covering the following:
The Post Disaster Coverage Data and Loss Statistics electronic template and instructions for completing and submitting it can be found on the Insurance Department Web site at:
This section on Miscellaneous Items applies to all addressees of this circular letter.
All of the above reports and statistics are to be compiled and summarized by Insurance Department personnel for internal Insurance Department use. Reports submitted to SEMO and the Governor will be on an aggregate basis with no individual company information identified in those reports.
At the time of submission, an insurer should request an exception from disclosure under Section 89(5) of the Public Officers Law (Freedom of Information Law- FOIL) for any information or reports that it submits to the Insurance Department that it believes are trade secrets or commercial information that, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to its competitive position.
In the event that a request is received by the Insurance Department for the release of information pursuant to FOIL and the insurer requested an exception from disclosure upon submission, the insurer will be notified and given the opportunity to respond to the Insurance Department in accordance with FOIL and Regulation 71 (11 NYCRR 241.6).
Insurance industry representatives of the NYS Insurance Disaster Coalition are requested to provide the Insurance Department with Internet links of not-for-profit web sites that are beneficial to the public before, during and after a disaster.
Your cooperation in furnishing timely and accurate responses is essential to the success of the New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition and is appreciated by the Insurance Department and the people of New York State.
Very truly yours,