Small Empire State life insurers should not plan on sharing claim processing systems with other insurers during a severe crisis.
New York State Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills has included that warning in Circular Letter Number 4 (2006), which spells out disaster planning rules for life insurers, retirement systems and fraternal benefit societies doing business there.
The new circular letter replaces instructions given to life insurers, retirement systems and fraternal benefit societies in Circular Letter Number 7 (2004).
The current New York disaster planning rules for property-casualty insurers are in Circular Letter Number 7 (2004), and the current rules for health insurers are in Circular Letter Number 23.
The new letter reminds life insurers that the New York department will set up a New York State Insurance Disaster Coalition and the Insurance Emergency Operations Center if a major disaster strikes.
Large insurers may have to send disaster liaisons to center offices in New York or Albany, N.Y., and all insurers will be responsible for trying to help the center assess damage caused by the disaster, Mills writes in the circular letter.
Life insurers, retirement systems and fraternal benefit societies also are supposed to file disaster response and business continuity plans with state regulators, and to respond to a disaster response questionnaire.