Since its establishment in 1859, the New York Department of Insurance has been working to make the insurance market more congenial for both companies and consumers. The insurance laws of the state vests regulatory and supervisory powers with the New York Department of Insurance.
The basic functions of the department include:
New York Department of Insurance: Supervisory Functions
The department executes its supervisory functions by reviewing applications from prospective insurers and providing them license. It also offers licenses to other industry people, such as counselors, agents, brokers and bail bondsmen. The New York Department of Insurance monitors the operations of insurance companies. It collects information about their financial health, business dealing with claimants and underwriting practices. It also receives annual financial report from every insurance company.
New York Department of Insurance: Regulatory Functions
The regulatory functions of the department include laying out eligibility requirements for the insurers, regulating insurance policy rates and reviewing policyholders' complaints. It also works to liquidate or rehabilitate insolvent insurance companies. The New York Department of Insurance lays down conditions for mergers or consolidations in the insurance market.
New York Department of Insurance: Consumer Services
The department offers several advisory and information services to help insurance consumers. One can find specific information about auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance, disaster preparedness and insurance malpractices from the department's website.
The New York Department of Insurance gives additional consideration to retirement and pension benefits through insurance policies. Owing to rising insurance frauds involving senior citizens, the department has established the Elder Protection Unit. To this effect, special provisions came into force to ensure that senior citizens receive adequate protection at affordable cost.
The department has set in place the Insurance Fraud Bureau to combat rising malpractices. It imparts education among consumers regarding insurance frauds and encourages them to lodge complaints. The New York Department of Insurance works to ensure that rights of insurance consumers are best protected.