The office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on August 8, 2000, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Record Retention by Agency

Question Presented:

For what period must an insurance agency retain records pertinent to a policy after its expiration?

Conclusion and Analysis:

There is no general prescription for record retention by insurance agencies under Department regulations, which are specific to such agencies. However, to the extent that agencies are maintaining records on an insurer’s behalf, such agencies are subject to those record retention requirements applicable to insurance companies in New York.

With respect to those requirements, please direct your attention to N.Y. Comp. R. & Regs. tit. 11, §243 (1996) (Regulation 152) which addresses your concerns. Also relevant are the requirements of the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ESRA), N.Y. State Tech. Law §§101-09 (McKinney Pamphlet 2000) and the accompanying regulations promulgated by the New York Office for Technology, N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, §540 (1999). In addition, the Insurance Department’s Circular Letter No. 33 (1999) contains information relating to your question.

Since agencies may have in their files material not available in the insurers’ files, they should be kept for at least the same period as is required in the case of insurers, which is six years. N.Y. Comp. R. & Regs. tit. 11, §243 (1996).

For further information you may contact Associate Attorney Nicholas C. Silletti at the New York City Office.