One persistent knock made by opponents of state-based regulation of insurance is that that state regulators are often too remote from the companies they regulate.

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has appointed a special examiner to be based in New York, who will be tasked with assisting in the monitoring of New York-based American International Group Inc. (AIG) as it restructures.

While none of the insurance companies owned by AIG are headquartered in California, more than two dozen AIG-owned firms conduct business in the state. Poizner says the special examiner will report directly to Ramon Calderon, California Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Financial Surveillance, and work in concert with insurance regulators from New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Delaware and other states where the companies are domiciled.

"Hundreds of thousands of Californians have insurance policies with companies owned by AIG," Poizner says. "It's vital that we have somebody on the ground at AIG's headquarters in New York to immediately recognize any potential problems so we can work with our regulatory counterparts to solve these issues."

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