N.Y. Insurance Panel Cancels Brokerage Hearing

December 3, 2004

A New York Assembly Committee hearing into insurance brokerage practices scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6 has been postponed.

The office of the Assembly Insurance Committee said no new date has been announced. Assemblyman Alexander “Pete” Grannis is chair of the committee.

Among those who had been schedueld to testify were Eliot Spitzer,
New York State Attorney General; Greg Serio, Superintendent,
New York State Insurance Department; Janice Ochenkowski, Vice President – External Affairs, Risk and Insurance Management Society; Sharon Emek, CBS Coverage Group; and Craig Berrington, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, American Insurance Association (AIA)

Prompted by the proposed hearing, the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. planned to submit comments condemning bid-rigging and other anti-competitive practices uncovered in the mega-broker insurance industry segment. PIANY said these activities allegedly occurred in “a specialized realm of the insurance marketplace,” but are not practiced by the Main Street insurance professionals that make up its membership.

The association urged lawmakers to wait for the outcome of investigations in New York and other states.

“We maintain that the allegedly deliberate and systematic anti-competitive behaviors described in these complaints represent isolated and unusual cases, perpetrated by mega-brokers who are not representative of the local, independent insurance professionals serving the majority of New Yorkers,” PIANY said.

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