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Zurich pays 37.5 million dollars to settle NY state dispute

Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services said Monday that it had agreed to pay some 37.5 million dollars (28.2 million euros) to the US state of New York to settle a dispute over insurance surcharges.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office said last week that Zurich was one of four insurance groups, along with ACE and US firms CNA and Pennsylvania Manufacturers, that had agreed to pay back nearly 120 million dollars in “excess funds” related to workers’ compensation insurance.

Zurich said in a statement e-mailed to AFP that it had reached an agreement “that resolves a difference of opinion as to the proper legal interpretation of laws enacted in 2009 and 2010.”

“As part of the agreement, Zurich has agreed to pay to the Workers’ Compensation Board a total of 37.5 million dollars in full satisfaction of any liability for assessments under the 2009 and 2010 legislation.”

In 2009 and 2010, changes to state legislation stopped previously accepted surcharges on premiums to cover annual fees charged by the Board, and allowed New York state to recover the excess funds that the insurance companies had collected, according to the attorney general’s office.

“These four groups of insurance companies have done the responsible thing by agreeing to resolve their disputes with the State,” Cuomo said in a statement posted online on Friday.

“Other insurers who still retain excess funds should follow their lead or they will be brought to justice,” he added.