The agency’s authority is limited to civil regulatory actions, although it can refer possible criminal conduct to the office of a local district attorney or the State Attorney General.
However, under the New York State insurance law, the department, headed by Acting Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell, can take action against the companies and individuals it regulates, including brokers and underwriters. It can issue fines or a range of other penalties, including revoking their licenses to do business in New York.
This is not the first time that the agency has examined the business practices involving the Trump Organization. In 2017, the agency scrutinized the company’s long relationship with Deutsche Bank, which the agency regulates and which is one of the president’s few lenders on Wall Street. The examination concluded without the agency taking any action against the bank.
Mr. Cohen’s testimony, however, provides additional fuel to advance the insurance inquiry.
At a hearing in front of the House Oversight Committee last week, when asked by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, whether the president ever inflated his assets to an insurance company, Mr. Cohen simply replied, “Yes.”
The New York regulators are requesting copies of the insurance policies ultimately issued to Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization, as well as applications and financial statements used to secure the policies, the person said.
The subpoena requests that the materials — undoubtedly a vast swath of documents, data, emails, policies and other records — be turned over by March 19. The regulators will likely then issue additional subpoenas or requests to the underwriters and possibly other companies and individuals identified in response to this subpoena.
It could take the agency’s investigators months to analyze all the information they collect.