The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on December 24, 2003, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: 120 Day Status Letter on Subrogation Claim
Is an insurer required to continue to send a status letter every 120 days to its insured during the course of pursuing its subrogation claim for physical damage after the insurer has forwarded the claim to a collection agency and it notifies the insured that a collection agency has taken over the case?
Yes. There is no such exception to the 120 day rule imposed on insurers as provided under N.Y. Comp. Codes R.& Regs. tit. 11, Part 216.7(g)(5) (2003) (Regulation 64).
On occasion the inquirers company exhausts its efforts to collect on a subrogation claim for physical damage and it turns over its file to a collection agency to seek financial compensation.
N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, § 216.7(g)(5) (2003) (Regulation 64) provides as follows:
If an insurer has paid a physical damage claim that is subject to a deductible and it is pursuing its subrogation claim, the insurer shall notify its insured in writing of the status of its claim 120 calendar days after the date of the claim payment to its insured. An updated status letter shall be sent every 120 calendar days thereafter until the claim is either honored or rejected.
The language here is clear in mandating that an insurer notify its insured every 120 days until the result has been finalized. There is no exception to this requirement which relieves an insurer of its obligation to make such notification as required under the regulation.
For further information one may contact Associate Attorney Jeffrey A. Stonehill at the New York City Office.