STATE OF NEW YORK
AGENCY BUILDING ONE
EMPIRE STATE PLAZA
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12257
|Circular Letter No. 11 (2001)
May 10, 2001
|To:||All Property/Casualty Insurers Licensed to Do Business in the New York State|
|Re:||New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition|
In keeping with New York Governor George E. Patakis mandate to anticipate potential problems for the citizens of New York State, this Circular Letter is intended to identify and organize specific Insurance Department and insurance industry resources to serve victims of natural disasters and other state emergencies. (This letter supercedes Circular Letter 1996-5)
When an emergency or disaster situation occurs, this 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 has been identified as a key resource to providing early assessments of damages arising from 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 licensed property/casualty insurers are requested to assist this Department in obtaining the information needed to accomplish the above objective both before and after disasters strike.
Furthermore, a "New York State Insurance Disaster Response Plan" has been developed by a public-private disaster coalition under the joint direction of the New York Department of Insurance, State Emergency Management Office, and the Institute for Business & Home Safety. The plan provides complete instructions for insurance disaster responders and can be found in the Emergency Disaster Information section of the Insurance Departments web site at www.ins.state.ny.us/disaster.htm. Insurance company catastrophe team leaders should be notified of the availability and content of this site.
The success of the New York State Insurance Disaster Response Plan and fulfillment of its critical mission require knowledgeable personnel operating in a partnering environment and within the larger incident command structure. Incorporation of the Insurance Disaster Response Plan into individual company catastrophe plans and a cooperative NYSID/Industry process of continuing evaluation and change are critical to this process, and therefore must be institutionalized.
In order to expedite New Yorks response time to catastrophes and facilitate the recovery of those who have insured losses, this plan provides the opportunity to forge a new private/public disaster planning team that will result in a comprehensive strategy for cooperation, communication and the leveraging of resources. The Insurance Department urges all property/casualty insurers to read the attached circular letter and participate in the Insurance Disaster Coalition. Broad range participation is essential.
Acknowledgment of this letter and instructions should be sent no later then June 1, 2001 to
Paul Orkwis, Principal Insurance Examiner
Acknowledgement should include the respondents full name and title, company name, telephone number and email address. Any questions concerning this letter may be directed to Mr. Orkwis at (518) 474-9837, or by e-mail.
Very truly yours,
Accurate, timely and consistent information is of critical importance to 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 Department requests the following information be provided by insurers:
All pre-disaster information may be sent by U.S. mail to the Departments Albany Consumer Services Bureau, attention Paul Orkwis, or by email to email@example.com.
Insurers are requested to notify the 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 Disaster Coalition e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org); or they may notify the Department via facsimile, at (518) 486-1503, attention Salvatore Castiglione or Paul Orkwis.
Insurance Adjuster Temporary Permits
Section 2108(n) of the Insurance Law provides that:
Attached is a copy of the Temporary Adjuster Permit Application. (Appendix C-1, C-2.) 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 earlier, rather than waiting for a disaster declaration as was previously required.
Completed application(s) should be sent by facsimile to the Departments Licensing Services Bureau at (518) 474-5048, where it will be reviewed and acted upon immediately. Temporary permit(s) will be faxed to the insurer submitting the application(s).
This temporary licensing procedure will facilitate prompt services to those citizens suffering losses. Permit applications may also be downloaded from the Departments web site listed above for completion and submission to the Licensing Services Bureau. In the very near future, insurers will be able complete and submit these applications over the Internet and receive approval likewise.
Insurance Company Disaster Liaisons
Upon the Departments activation by SEMO due to a State Emergency Disaster situation (as defined by the SEMO Disaster Emergency Activation Levels listed below), a representative from the Departments Consumer Services Bureau may activate designated Insurance Disaster Liaisons representing the ten largest underwriters in the emergency or disaster areas. Participating companies will be determined based on the above Pre-Disaster Reports.
Subsequently, Liaisons should be prepared to participate in the States Disaster Response Plan as follows:
Liaison Duties and Responsibilities
Emergency Operation Center Hours of Operation
Normal hours of operation when Liaisons will be on duty are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or for such time periods as necessary to assist with the effective management of the disaster. Depending on the level of the disaster this may be a seven-day a week commitment.
Coverage Data and Loss Statistics
In the ensuing days after a disaster, Liaisons will be required to provide specific statistics from each licensed insurer. These statistics will be periodically updated on an as needed basis, but not less than monthly.
Reports will be consolidated by CSB staff for submission to SEMO and the Governors office only.
All of the above reports and statistics are to be compiled and summarized by Insurance Department personnel for internal Department use. Reports submitted to SEMO and the Governor will be on an aggregate basis with no individual company information identified in those reports.
Insurance Department personnel will be advised by Insurance Department management that all such information provided by publicly-traded insurers must be kept strictly confidential; that such information may be material, non-public information; and that trading in securities on the basis of material, non-public information is prohibited under the federal securities law.
At the time of submission, insurers 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 they submit to the Insurance Department that they believe are trade secrets or commercial information which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to their competitive position.
In the event that a request is received by the 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 Department in accordance with FOIL and Regulation 71 (11 NYCRR 241.6).
Access to Disaster Areas
In order to facilitate the settlement of claims and gathering of loss information, law enforcement officials working in designated emergency areas will recognize a license issued by this Department to adjusters, agents, and brokers. Insurance company personnel will be recognized by their company ID and photo ID. Law enforcement officials will grant access to emergency areas to those personnel who possess and display appropriate documentation after SEMO determines that the emergency area is safe for non-emergency personnel.
Insurance Personnel Identification
A picture identification document, such as a drivers license or company photo ID tag, should be displayed on the adjusters person along with the NYS Insurance Department Temporary Adjuster Permit. Agents and brokers will be identified via their agent or brokers license along with their photo ID. All other insurance company personnel will be identified via their insurance company ID or a photo ID.
Law enforcement officials will also recognize a document issued by an insurer to a regular salaried employee designated by that insurer to adjust losses on its behalf in the disaster area. Again, these individuals must display a photo identification document as well.
Names and identifying information for persons receiving temporary permits will be made available to law enforcement officials through SEMO. IEOC personnel will be responsible for notifying SEMO representatives when access to an emergency area that has been declared safe is not granted to an authorized adjuster. Adjusters will request assistance from the IEOC in these instances.
EMERGENCY ACTIVATION LEVELS:
The following Emergency Activation Levels have been established for the operation of the New York State Emergency Operations Center (EOC):
Normal operations during business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with after-hours calls handled by the State Emergency Coordination Center.
Pre Disaster Survey General Instructions (Word Format)
York State Insurance Department
Report to the Superintendent of Insurance
Report to the Superintendent of Insurance
|Appendix B||Insurance Company Disaster Liaisons (Word Format)|
|Appendix C1||Application for Temporary Independent Adjusters Permit (PDF Format)|
|Appendix D||Disaster Loss Data (Word Format)|