IBANY Briefed on Plans for Lower Manhattan, Captive Insurers

April 30, 2003

Representatives of the New York State Insurance Department and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. recently briefed members and guests of the Insurance Brokers’ Association of New on the development of captives to ease market constraints and on efforts to rebuild lower Manhattan at the association’s annual meeting and spring reception, held April 24.

IBANY head, Dick Impastato, president and president of Foa & Son Corp., welcomed the NYSID’s Senior Deputy Superintendent of Insurance Peter Molinaro, who outlined the NYSID’s outreach to encourage more captive insurance companies to form in New York. LMDC’s Amy Peterson, VP for development programs and economics, previewed an ambitious rebuilding project timeline for the World Trade Center site.

Plans to replace the former World Trade Center and memorialize the victims of Sept. 11 hold special resonance for the association that lost so many members during the tragedy. Attendees watched as Peterson showed dramatic renderings of the site plans and described projected improvements in transportation, including a high-speed rail link to the city’s airports. Gov. Pataki previously had committed to opening the new 1,776-foot Freedom Tower by Sept. 11, 2006 and announced his office would be the first tenant.

Molinaro, who recently briefed PIANY representatives on the captive proposals (See IJ Website April 29), thanked the IBANY for its consistent support of the NYSID and Gov. Pataki in passing the 1997 legislation that first authorized captive insurers to form in the state, and for supporting proposed amendments to the law that would open up the option of captive formation to many more businesses, public entities and not-for-profits. The governor’s current program bill (S.2374) also would allow New York City to form a captive insurer in order to obtain certain federal funds earmarked to pay claims arising from the clean-up work at and around Ground Zero.

Molinaro said passage of the bill would allow New York City to be more competitive as a captive domicile, a goal toward which Superintendent Greg Serio already has taken action by appointing Molinaro to head up a new captive group within the NYSID. Molinaro told IBANY that the captive group is receiving four to six inquiries a day, and can process license applications in 30 days. He indicated that risks involving directors/officers liability, medical malpractice, terrorism risk insurance act coverage, and employee benefits are among the more common captive-related inquiries the NYSID is receiving.

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