On March 31, 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) issued three separate Circular Letters pursuant to various laws, including Insurance Law Sections 308, 1109, 2130 and 7001, Articles 42, 44 through 47, 52 through 55 and 59, and Financial Services Law Sections 202 and 306, setting forth standards expected of the “addressees” (as defined below) in planning, preparing for and responding to disasters in New York State.  Among other things, the Circular Letters contain certain questionnaires, and describe other reports and plans, that must be submitted to DFS “before a disaster strikes, so that the [DFS] can assist in promptly organizing industry response to a disaster.”  Responses to DFS, including the various reports and plans, must be submitted on or before June 1, 2014.

In addition to the reports and plans required from the various addressees, the Circular Letters describe the role of the New York State Disaster Coalition, the organization and operation of the Insurance Emergency Operations Center, the role of insurance company Disaster Liaisons, the process for obtaining Temporary Adjuster Permits, and the expected post-disaster reporting process.

The Circular Letters, which repeal and replace Circular Letters Nos. 2 through 4 (2013), are addressed to the following: (1) “authorized property/casualty insurers, co-operative property/casualty insurers, financial guaranty insurers, mortgage guaranty insurers, title insurers, reciprocal insurers, and captive insurers; 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 the Excess Line Association of New York” (a copy of Circular Letter No. 1 (2014) is attached here); (2) “authorized life insurers, retirement systems, fraternal benefit societies, and employee welfare funds” (a copy of Circular Letter No. 2 (2014) is attached here); and (3) “accident and health insurers, Article 43 corporations, licensed Public Health Law Article 44 health maintenance organizations, and municipal cooperative health benefit plans” (a copy of Circular Letter No. 3 (2014) is attached here).

Please contact us with any questions regarding the Circular Letters or if you need assistance in preparing a response.