NYSID Licenses Viacom Captive

August 29, 2003

New York’s Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio announced that the State Insurance Department has licensed Sammarnick Insurance Corporation, a new vehicle that will insure the risks of Viacom Inc., as a captive insurance company idomiciled in New York.

The bulletin noted that Viacom, the media giant that controls such household names as CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Viacom Outdoor, Infinity Broadcasting, UPN, TNN, TV Land, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Showtime, Blockbuster, Simon & Schuster and others, is the tenth corporation to take advantage of legislation signed into law in August 1997 by Governor George E. Pataki that permits captives to become licensed in New York.

“I am both pleased and gratified that Viacom has chosen to create its captive here in New York State,” Serio commented. “With the contraction of the commercial insurance market, the formation of captives is a valuable and more flexible option for companies in managing their insurance needs. Since 1997, New York’s businesses are no longer forced to look outside of the State to implement their risk management strategies.”

Richard J. Bressler, Viacom’s Senior Executive Vice President and CFO stated, “The State Insurance Department has made the captive registration process streamlined and straightforward in a competitive insurance market, enabling Viacom to have even greater control and flexibility over our risk management process and to support New York State at the same time. Forming our captive in New York State was an easy choice, and the State Insurance Department made the decision even easier.”

The announcement noted that, although NY has permitted captives since 1997, changes introduce in March 2002 now allowed “a wider range of businesses the opportunity to utilize captive insurance companies.The Department also advocated legislation in this year’s Legislative Session so New York’s businesses can be provided the necessary flexibility for their risk management. ”

“By allowing corporations such as Viacom to set up their insurance programs here, we are addressing the critical needs of business in New York, namely, cutting costs for corporations, who in the past had to maintain separate staff and offices in other jurisdictions. This is a win for New York State as well as our business community,” Serio pointed out.

“All information necessary to become licensed as a captive is available by calling the Department’s captive group toll-free at 1-866-NYSCAPTives or by visiting its Web site at www.nycaptives.com,” the bulletin concluded.

Topics New York

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