New York fines NRA gun rights group, bans insurance sales for five years

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association agreed to a five-year suspension of its insurance business in New York state and will pay a $2.5 million civil fine to settle charges it offered insurance to members without a license and concealed how it routinely kept some premiums for itself.

Reuters November 19, 2020 01:06:09 IST
New York fines NRA gun rights group, bans insurance sales for five years

New York fines NRA gun rights group bans insurance sales for five years

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association agreed to a five-year suspension of its insurance business in New York state and will pay a $2.5 million civil fine to settle charges it offered insurance to members without a license and concealed how it routinely kept some premiums for itself.

New York's Department of Financial Services announced the settlement on Wednesday, a little over three months after state Attorney General Letitia James sued to dissolve the NRA, the leading U.S. gun rights group, accusing it of widespread corruption.

The settlement resolved charges over the NRA's two-decade relationship with insurance broker Lockton Cos, including the sale of 28,015 policies to New Yorkers and the NRA's receipt of more than $1.8 million in associated royalties and fees.

Linda Lacewell, the state insurance superintendent, said Lockton's NRA-branded "Carry Guard" program illegally offered policyholders coverage for criminal defense costs and the "intentional" use of firearms in shooting incidents.

She also accused the NRA of misleading gun collectors, dealers, instructors, clubs and shows by promising coverage at the "lowest possible cost," when the group typically kept between 13.7% and 21.9% of premiums paid.

The NRA has said it did not underwrite its insurance programs, and that like "countless" affinity groups it relied on industry experts to market products to members.. It did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

William Brewer, a lawyer for the NRA, said in a statement: "The DFS inquiry, which began with a roar, ends with a whimper." He said the settlement has no effect on other litigation pending between New York state and the NRA.

The NRA has long battled with New York state officials, including in a May 2018 lawsuit where it accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of attempted "blacklisting" for pressuring banks and insurers to send business elsewhere.

"It would be highly unusual for a state to allow an insurance company to reimburse for an illegal activity," Cuomo told CNN in August 2018. "They call it 'murder insurance.'"

The financial services department fined Lockton $7 million in May 2018 over its involvement with Carry Guard.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.