NYSID Tells Insurers to Accept Affidavits for

September 24, 2001

the New York State Insurance Department moved to speed up the payment of life benefits to the families of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster by ordering insurers licensed in the state to waive the need for the presentation of a death certificate, if one is not immediately available.

The initiative recognizes the near impossibility in many cases of obtaining formal death certificates in the wake of the disaster. More than 6500 people are still reported missing. Rescue and construction workers face monumental obstacles in recovering even a portion of the bodies. Forensic and DNA testing to establish the identity of victims who can’t be otherwise identified could take many months. Thus the NYSID indicated insurers should use simplified procedures in processing claims. An affidavit setting forth the necessary facts will be deemed to fulfill the requirement and clear the way to filing for benefits on the policy.

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