Wednesday, May 20, 2009


* Insurance companies refunded or credited more than $217 million to New Yorkers over the past two years and paid $18 in million in fines during that period, Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo said Tuesday as he submitted the 2008 Annual Report of the Superintendent to the Legislature. The fines and refunds were among the consumer protection measures Dinallo highlighted as he presented the historic report.

That amount does not include $2 billion recovered for policyholders affected by the destruction of the World Trade Center in the largest regulatory settlement ever reached in New York State. Also not included is $2 billion negotiated for SCA/XL policyholders by the Department.

Enforcement actions for consumer protection resulted in fines, refunds, license revocations and other disciplinary activity, including:

* Life insurers refunded or credited policyholders more than $60 million for various violations; * Life insurers paid more than $9 million in fines and penalties for these violations;
* Health insurers were ordered to refund more than $58 million to consumers in the individual and small business markets after failing to pay out in claims the percentage of premiums required by law;
* Twenty-nine health insurers were fined a total of $1.65 million for violations of state laws requiring prompt payment to consumers and providers;
* Health insurers paid another $1.8 million in fines for various violations;
* $36.5 million resulted from Frauds investigations including almost $22.9 million in court-ordered restitution, $2.2 million in penalties, $10 million in refunds to New York State and an estimated industry savings of $1.5 million;

* Property and casualty insurers were fined more than $1.3 million and ordered to refund more than $1 million to policyholders;
* Complaint investigations by the Consumer Services Bureau led to almost 250 licenses being revoked or surrendered by agents or brokers, and 1,330 companies, agents or brokers being fined a total of $1.8 million; and
* Recoveries for consumers after complaints to the Consumer Services Bureau averaged more than $2.3 million per month, for an estimated total of $65 million over 28 months.

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