AIA: N.Y. Homeowners Market Strong

February 27, 2006

The American Insurance Association on Monday said that the homeowners insurance market in New York is strong and competitive, but steps can be taken to mitigate future losses and increase capacity. The comments were made during a hearing held by the New York Insurance Department.

“There is much concern about the availability of homeowners insurance, particularly in the downstate area. AIA believes this insurance is readily available and will continue to be so, even in light of recent underwriting decisions by Allstate. The homeowners market is competitive throughout the state,” said Gary Henning, AIA assistant vice president, Northeast Region. “Additional capacity has been created in the marketplace since the end of the most recent hurricane season. New Yorkers should continue to have relatively easy access to the homeowners insurance market, despite the concerns.”

Henning testified that private insurers can manage catastrophe risk in New York state without the creation of a state-mandated catastrophe fund.

Henning said AIA and its member companies are ready to work with the Insurance Department on steps to improve New York’s building codes to mitigate future losses.

In addition, AIA said the Department should continue to look for ways to make the market more competitive to give insurers confidence in its predictability and stability.

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