New York regulators launched a new online application to make it easier for the public to look at the data used by property/casualty insurers to support rate increases, introduce new products or change existing insurance products.
Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State financial services department, said people will now be able to search for and download insurance company rate and form filings by using this new free application, at https://myportal.dfs.ny.gov/web/guest-applications/serff-property-foil.
“Making these filings available electronically will mean people will not have to wait 10 days or more for a the Freedom of Information (FOIL) request to be manually processed and mailed, but can simply download any filings they want to review,” Lawsky said.
“This will increase transparency, promote greater efficiency and help drive down the department’s cost of doing business. Easier access to this information may also encourage greater innovation in the insurance industry.”
The department said it receives and processes nearly 3,000 requests for finalized insurer filings annually.
Previously, FOIL requests were used to manage the process of releasing such filings, because most of the data contained in the filings is considered a public record once it is submitted to the department. Now, instead of the submission of FOIL requests, the process will be better managed electronically through the website application.
Anyone who wants to review filings may access them by downloading the data directly from the department’s website, which will end the need for the department to provide paper copies or compact discs to requestors.
As in the past, the department will carefully scrutinize the material that it makes publicly available to ensure that confidential information is not released. Such information may include data that is considered proprietary to insurers, the department stated.
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