NU Online News Service, May 8, 6:03 p.m. – The New York State Insurance Department is asking all insurers authorized to do business in the state to help it root out terrorism.

The department says each insurer must designate a primary intelligence officer and a secondary intelligence officer by May 31.

The New York department will give the primary intelligence officers access to the New York Information Network, a new, Web-based, password-protected service that will distribute intelligence-related information to insurers and give insurers a fast, secure channel for sending information to senior insurance regulators.

The department will also pass any terrorism-related information or advice for individual insurers through the primary intelligence officers. When the department cannot reach the primary officers, it will try to reach the secondary officers.

Gregory Serio, superintendent of insurance, announced the creation of the information network and the new insurance intelligence officer system Friday, in Circular Letter Number 12.

Serio, whose predecessor, Neil Levin, died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the New York World Trade Center, warns insurers in the circular letter against trying to assign the intelligence officer jobs to low-level employees.

“The primary and the secondary intelligence/information officer must be senior level executives who possess the authority to communicate directly with the chief executive officer of the organization,” Serio writes.

? Individual companies within a single corporate group can share intelligence officers, but each company must designate its primary and secondary intelligence officers separately.

? The primary intelligence officer for an insurance company and the secondary officer must be two different people.

Insurers can designate company intelligence officers by visiting the New York department Web site, at http://www.ins.state.ny.us/nyin.htm

The department will send intelligence officers the user names and passwords they need to access the new intelligence site through the regular mail.

The full text of the circular letter is available on the Web at http://www.ins.state.ny.us/cl02_12.htm