JERSEY CITY, NJ, Jan. 2, 2003 — Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) will assist property/casualty insurers in complying with U.S. economic and trade sanctions through a new service from the ISO ClaimSearch® all-claims database.
ISO's optional service, available to insurers' claims departments through ISO ClaimSearch, will screen claims submitted by insurers to help them ensure transactions involving target countries and/or "blocked persons" are not completed.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"Our customers have requested us to help them comply with U.S. government sanctions programs. We are now working to develop the capability to check claims information in the ISO ClaimSearch system to identify organizations or individuals that may be on the OFAC lists," said Richard P. Boehning, senior vice president of ISO. ISO expects to introduce the service in the first quarter, he added.
U.S. sanctions not only target specific countries and their regimes but also their parastatal organizations, front companies, high-ranking officials and other agents worldwide. OFAC has identified and named numerous foreign agents and front organizations, as well as terrorists and narcotics traffickers, as "specially designated nationals and blocked persons" with a master list of over 5,000 variations on names of individuals, governmental entities, companies and merchant vessels located around the world.
All U.S. citizens and permanent residents, companies located in the U.S., and overseas branches of U.S. companies come under OFAC's jurisdiction. All U.S. insurance companies and U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who are employees, officers or directors of U.S. or foreign insurance companies may be held accountable for violations of sanctions.
Depending on the program involved, criminal violations of the statutes administered by OFAC can result in corporate and personal fines of up to $1 million and 12 years in jail. OFAC also has authority to impose civil penalties.
ISO plans to expand the service beyond checking claims submissions to offering the ability to check other lists, such as policyholder lists, periodically or as needed by insurers to comply with OFAC and other requirements.
ISO is a leading source of information, products and services related to property and liability risk. For a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance, ISO provides statistical, actuarial, underwriting and claims information and analyses; consulting and technical services; policy language; information about specific locations; fraud-identification tools; and data processing. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves insurers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.