For immediate release …

Friday, March 21, 2008
Contact: Melissa Nazar
or Mary Christiano (800) 424-4244

PIWA commends Assembly
for eliminating proposed fine increases

GLENMONT , N.Y.-The Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association of New York State Inc., the sole voice of the professional insurance wholesaler, successfully petitioned key legislators to remove proposed increases in fines and penalties on insurance agents, brokers and wholesalers in the executive budget. Association representatives visited the legislators in Albany this month to discuss issues of importance to the association.

"We commend the actions taken by the State Senate and Assembly to remove the offending increases," said Gary Ricker, PIWA president. "By using these penalties to encourage compliance rather than as a form of revenue-raising, our members and other small business owners throughout the state will not suffer significant and unnecessary financial hardship."

The proposed executive budget was seeking to raise revenues by increasing fines and penalties more than 500 percent, from $500 to $2,500. Fines would also be extended to violations of insurance regulations in addition to violations of statute. Following PIWA's visit, both the Senate and Assembly removed these penalties from each house's version of the budget bill. While this is a great step, there is a possibility that these fines and penalties can sneak back into the final budget.

In addition to budget issues, PIWA also discussed the need to add to the export list and the proposed principle-guided regulation.

Ricker and other PIWA representatives met with the following legislators: Assemblyman Barclay, R-Pulaski; Sen. Breslin, D-Albany; Assemblyman Cusick, D-Staten Island; Assemblymen Gianaris, D-Queens; Assemblyman Heastie, D-Bronx; and Sen. Seward, R-Oneonta.

Established in 1978, the Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association of New York State Inc. is a trade association of New York state insurance wholesalers serving retail insurance producers with specialty and excess lines markets.

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