New York “Free Trade Zone” Law Revised

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation making significant changes in the “Free Trade Zone” established by Article 63 of the Insurance Law, which permits licensed insurers that apply for and obtain a special permit to issue policies that are exempt from filing and approval requirements. These changes will take effect on November 15, 2011.

The new legislation greatly expands the scope of insurance that may be written through the Free Trade Zone. It amends Section 6301(b) of the Insurance Law to newly include a number of additional lines of insurance,1 as well as insurance deemed substantially similar thereto by the Superintendent of Financial Services (the “Superintendent”). However, it excludes the following from eligibility: (1) insurance subject to Section 2305(b) of the Insurance Law2 (except for medical malpractice); (2) motor vehicle insurance where rates are subject to prior approval pursuant to Section 2328 thereof; (3) insurance required to satisfy financial responsibility requirements of the State of New York; and (4) group insurance policies.

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