Shortly after the HCPO commenced operations, it became apparent that claimants also needed help with other types of claims, most notably insurance claims.
In September of 1997, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) established a Holocaust Insurance Issues Working Group to examine the issue and to make a recommendation as to the appropriate role for the NAIC and state insurance departments. Early in 1998, the New York Insurance Department, the California Department, four European insurance companies, as well as the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the World Jewish Congress and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, entered into a Memorandum of Intent that set out criteria for the resolution of unpaid insurance claims.
Immediately following, the NAIC established the International Holocaust Commission Task Force (NAIC Task Force) to succeed the NAIC Working Group. The New York Insurance Department assumed a leadership position in negotiations which resulted in the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by various European insurance companies and the members of the NAIC Task Force. The MoU established the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) which was charged with investigating and resolving unpaid insurance claims of Holocaust victims, survivors and their heirs.
As one of the original members of ICHEIC, the New York Insurance Department, through the HCPO, was integral to New York’s and the NAIC’s participation in developing ICHEIC’s claim investigation and resolution process.
On March 30, 2007 the ICHEIC officially closed. At ICHEIC’s concluding meetings, every company that was a member of the commission as well as companies of the German Insurance Association, through its partnership agreement with ICHEIC and the Sjoa Foundation reaffirmed their commitment to continue to review and process claims sent directly to them.
Since ICHEIC closed, the HCPO resumed dealing with insurance companies directly to resolve outstanding claims.