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newThe New York State Board of Elections expects Sept. 9 to be the date for state and local primary elections this year—although it has yet to officially post the date on its web site. “Unless the Legislature does something between now and the end of session, it’s going to be Sept. 9,” a Board of Elections spokesman said. That would be essentially unchanged from 2012, when the state and local primary election was held on Sept. 13. There had been some discussion of holding the state and local primary elections on the same day as the federal primary, which falls on June 24 this year.

   
   
 

newPIANY testifies before Assembly Insurance Committee on auto market

   
  assemblyhearing
   
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PIANY gives testimony to Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance (4/14)

Auto testimony press release (4/10)

   
 

PIANY and PIANY-YIP represented at 2014 FLS

 
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  From L-R: President Alan Plafker, CPIA, with PIANY-YIP Director Adam Rostowski during PIA's 2014 Federal Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.
   
 

PIANY representatives meet with Rep. Crowley during FLS

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From L-R: Anthony Kammas; Adam Rostkowski; Matthew Guilbault, Esq.; Jeffery Greenfield; Rep. Crowley; Kelly Norris, CAE; Gino Orrino.

Full in-depth coverage of the 2014 Federal Legislative Summit can be found at: http://www.pia.org/events/gia/summit/2014/ny/.

   
   
 

PIANY participates in 2013 Legislative Forum

  legislativeforum
  PIANY past President Jeffrey Greenfield moderated the Downstate Insurance Association’s 2013 Legislative Forum last night in Carle Place. The event featured a panel discussion comprised of
PIANY Director of Government & Industry Affairs Matthew Guilbault, Esq., and lobbyists from other producer associations. Topics discussed included lessons learned from Sandy, tort reform, automobile
photo inspections, hurricane deductible trigger standardization and certificates of insurance legislation.
The legislative forum is held once a year and offers attendees an opportunity to hear from industry associations in New York regarding issues of interest and concern to agents and brokers, and how the
three associations are working in concert to address these issues in the state Legislature. Pictured at right are: Joe Bosnack, Matthew Guilbault, Esq., Jill Muratori, Esq., Tom Faist, Esq., and Jeffrey Greenfield.   
   
 

PIANY members meet with Senate Insurance Committee Chair Seward

 
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PIANY immediate past President Michael J. Skeele, CIC, CPIA, past President J. Carlos "Shawn" Viaña, Secretary Jamie Ferris, CIC, AAI, CPIA, and Government Affairs Counsel Campbell H. Wallace, Esq., met with state Senate Insurance Committee Chair James Seward, R-51, at Seward’s annual golf outing at the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown, on Sept. 25, 2013. Seward and PIANY representatives discussed various legislative initiatives and other political and insurance concerns.

 

   
  newPIANY calls 2013 legislative session a victory for professional insurance agents
   
  Assembly Insurance Committee chair shares coffee with PIANY
   
 

Your PIANYPAC-supported candidates win in New York!
PIANYPAC-supported candidates won overwhelmingly in the state legislative elections. Out of all the candidates supported by your PAC contributions in 2012, 27 won (including independent insurance agent and PIANY-member Assemblyman Steve Hawley), one retired, and only one may lose a re-election bid. This bodes particularly well for independent agents and brokers.

In some of the most prominent individual races, PIANYPAC-supported incumbent Republican state Sen. James Seward (chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee) claimed victory in the 51st Senate District. Also, PIANYPAC-supported incumbent Sen. Neil Breslin (ranking minority member of the Senate Insurance Committee) was re-elected to a ninth term in the newly formed 44th district. Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Joseph Morelle ran unopposed.

Early election results also suggest that Democrats will regain control of the state Senate, although it remains questionable whether John Sampson will remain leader of the party. Senate Democrats vowed not to “repeat the mistakes in the past,” referring to the dysfunction that ensued when the party held control of the Senate from 2008 to 2010.

Heading into the elections, the New York state Senate Republicans held a 33-29 majority in the Senate. In the races being watched, Assemblyman George Latimer defeated Republican businessman Bob Cohen in a Westchester County Senate battle. Ted O’Brien, a county legislator, won 52 percent of the vote in his race against Assemblyman Sean Hanna for the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. James Alesi in the Rochester area. Democrat Terry Gipson appears to have held onto a lead over incumbent Sen. Stephen Saland, but with more than 10,000 absentee ballots sent out in the 41st Senate District, the race remains undecided. Ryan Cronin also was leading Sen. Kemp Hannon in Long Island late last night, while Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk is neck-and-neck with Republican George Amedore in the newly drawn 46th Senate District. The official results of this race may not be known for weeks or longer, as there will be a mandatory machine recount and absentee/affidavit votes are tallied. State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., a Democrat, also beat back a challenge from Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who may have been hurt by lower turnout in parts of Queens that were hobbled by Sandy.

   
  PIA National's 2012 election report
 

 

 
 
 

Click on the ABCD logo above to access the latest information on New York's producer compensation disclosure issue.

   
  Automobile
 
 

newPIANY gives testimony to Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance (4/14)

GRASSROOTS ALERT: Photo inspection regs (5/13); Reform Regulation 79: Mandatory automobile photo inspection requirements (3/13)
Auto surcharge (2/11)
Auto surcharge legislation takes effect Nov. 27 (11/10)

Historical: Auto insurance surcharges (6/10); and press release and letter to the governor's office (7/10)

Ryan testifies: PIANY supports no-fault reform at N.Y. state Senate hearing (2/10); and press release
PIANY offers comment on proposed no-fault regulations (2/10)
Auto insurance surcharges (6/09)
Repeal mandatory photo inspection requirements (5/09)
Additional time to investigate fraudulent claims (6/08)
Criminal penalties for fraudulent motor vehicle claims (5/08)
Proof of automobile insurance (4/08)
Physical damage inspections (1/08)

   
  Certificates of insurance
 
 

newACORD 855—New York Construction Certificate of Liability
When required by the certificate holder, the ACORD 855 New York Construction Certificate of Liability Insurance Addendum should be used to supplement the ACORD 25 with more information about policies insuring contractors. This new form will be released by ACORD effective June 1, 2014. Because completion of the ACORD 855 form will require greater sophistication on the part of its issuers, a Forms Instruction Guide has been written. A May 20 PIA webinar, taught by PIA's Director of Research Dan Corbin, CPCU, CIC, LUTC, is scheduled to train the issuer of certificates (i.e., producers and their customer service representatives) on the proper completion of the form with the assistance of the guide. This is a "must attend" for anyone within the agency that is issuing certificates of insurance.

PIANY press release on veto (12/13)
Gov. Cuomo vetos top-priority certificate bill (12/13)
PIANY call to action--T-minus five days for Cuomo to act on certificates bill, PIANY members need to call him TODAY!
PIANY issues grassroots alert on top-priority certificate bill (12/13)
PIANY, governor's staff discuss certificates of insurance bill (8/13)
NYS Senate passes PIA's top-priority certificate of insurance bill ... again (6/13)
PIANY applauds Assembly passage of certificates of insurance bill (6/13)
PIANY applauds Senate passage of certificates of insurance bill (5/13)
GRASSROOTS ALERT—With weeks left in the legislative session: your calls are critical to the success of PIANY's certificates of insurance bill
Certificates of insurance reform (5/13)
PIANY's COI bill would offer relief to agents (press release) 3/11

   
  Labor law
 
 

Greenfield, Sandy testify for SIF and tort reform (9/13)

Letter to Thruway Authority (10/12)
PIANY comments lawmakers for introducing Scaffold Law reform bill (4/12)
PIANY supports comparative negligence for Labor Law (6/06)
Changes In Labor Law Liability Standards (1/06)

   
  Health care reform
 
 

PIA National's white paper on the implementation timeline for the ACA (1/13)

Health Insurance Exchange (6/11)

  • Senate introduces health insurance exchange legislation ensuring the agent and broker participation deemed critical by PIANY
    The chairmen of the Senate Standing Committees on Health and Insurance jointly announced legislation (S.5652) to establish a blueprint for the development and implementation of the Health Insurance Exchange in New York State, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the sponsors, the proposal would preserve employer-sponsored coverage, and ensure health insurance brokers and business groups are involved in the process and, ultimately, providing consumers with quality coverage options. The legislation would establish the New York Health Benefit Exchange as a new public authority with an 11-member governing board of directors; establish regional advisory committees across the state to provide expertise and recommendations; ensure that no general fund monies will be used to finance the exchange; and provide that the exchange will not supersede the authority of either the superintendent of the Department of Financial Services or the Commissioner of Health. In Section 14 of the 12-page bill, exchange expressly permits agents and brokers to enroll qualified individuals and qualified employers in any qualified health plans offered in the exchange, and assist qualified individuals and qualified employers in applying for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for plans offered in the exchange. The bill further requires the exchange to study various policy issues and submit a report to the legislature by Dec. 31, 2011. Volunteer leaders of PIANY attended and gave testimony at a series of public forums on New York’s health-insurance exchange, held by the New York State Insurance Department in May as it considered implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. PIANY volunteers turned out across the state as a demonstration of strong support for a set of core principles to protect consumer interests, preserve agent and broker involvement, and to ensure their fair compensation with regard to reform. A governor's program bill is expected to be introduced and considered before the legislature adjourns on June 20.

PIA National issue paper: role of navigators in the health-care system (8/12)
An historic act (3/10)
PIA National video on health care reform (1/10)
PIA National video on health care reform (11/09)
PIA National's video on health care reform (9/09)

   
  Miscellaneous
 
 

newHurricane deductible triggers (4/14)

Replacement of individual insurance policies (3/14)

Letter to Supreme Court, Appellate Division Departmental Disciplinary Committee re: Jacoby & Meyers ads (10/13)

Letter to Honorable Carl Heastie, chair, and members of the Assembly Standing Committee on Labor (11/13)

PIANY meets with DFS on fudiciary account regulation (8/13)

Regulation 29 (trust accounts in credit unions) comment (5/13)

PIANY letters to governor on legislative priorities (6/12)

Pre-need funeral insurance (4/12)

Annual employee pay notice requirement repeal (2/12)

MetLife/GM pilot program

Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 (the “NRRA”)

Commercial lines deregulation

"Wrap-up" insurance programs

New York City Buildings Department—PIANY letter (6/11); membership outreach

Consolidation of banking and insurance departments (3/11)
New applicant licensing extension (2/11)
Executive Budget with proposed consolidation of Banking and Insurance Departments with the Consumer Protection Board (2/11)
Memorandum in opposition to A.4012-B [2011-12 Assembly budget with proposed consolidation of Banking and Insurance Departments with the Consumer Protection Board]

  • PIANY submits testimony opposing Exec. Budget's increase in fines, penalties. PIANY had submitted testimony to the Legislative Budget hearings opposing the Executive Budget proposals to increase the maximum penalties for Insurance Law violations and to expand these penalties to include violations of Insurance regulations. In the case of a violation of an Insurance Law provision without a specific penalty (as set out in Insurance Law Section 109(c) (1)), the current maximum fine of $500 would increase to $10,000—2,000 percent increase in the maximum fine. According to PIANY, this proposal is especially troubling for licensed agents and brokers. Increasing penalties and expanding the scope of rules that are subject to such penalties not only appears to contradict the attempts to make New York’s hostile business climate more welcoming for business, but also increases putative provisions far beyond the point at which they remain commensurate with the severity of the underlying misconduct. PIANY has asked that these provisions of the consolidation bill should be removed from the Budget, and believes that current law already has ample provisions for penalties to ensure proper behavior and deter misconduct.

NYSID OGC—Dishonored premium checks and sweep accounts (1/11), PIA press release and membership outreach
Massachusetts requires new WC form for out-of-state employers membership proactive (9/10)
Interstate Insurance Compact (6/10)
Group property and casualty insurance (6/10)
Claims records of an insured (6/10)
Public vessels carrying passengers (6/10)
Red Flag Rules postponed, PIA offers guidance (6/10)
PIANY recommends standard triggers for hurricane deductibles (5/10); press release lauding Assembly passage (6/13)

State agency mailings (7/12)

State agency mailings (3/11); and PIANY grassroots alert (6/11); governor's veto (8/12)
Dissemination of certain advertising materials (4/10)

  • PIANY Objects to State-endorsed Direct Writer Advertising. Responding to a report from WAMC that the New York State Bridge Authority will begin displaying advertisements in the front windows of toll booths as a way to generate revenueand that these could contain advertisements for direct writersPIANY sent a letter objecting to the practice and asking for the Authority to reconsider. Similar to it's objection to the past practice of the State DMV including direct writer advertisements in it's registration renewal mailings, PIANY reiterated its position that the inescapable impression is that the display of an insurance company’s advertisement on an official state building amounts to an improper state endorsement of that company and its practices. PIANY has already secured the introduction of legislation (A.3320/S.3335) that would require state agencies who contract to disseminate advertising material to exclude material which relates to the agency's mission and is considering expending the bill to include practices of this type. By allowing contracts to be negotiated with providers of such products or services, the agency unavoidably creates the perception of favoritism toward one competitor to the disadvantage of other providers. This effect is compounded when the product or service is required in order to comply with state law or regulation enforced by the agency, such as proof of insurance requirements enforced by the DMV. The bill was passed by the State Assembly last year. PIANY is happy to report that this bill has passed the Assembly and is being delivered to the Senate for their consideration.

Requiring insurance for public vessels carrying passengers (4/10)
Placement of risks in the excess-line market (4/10)
Agent requests for cancellation for nonsufficient premium check returns (5/09)
Credit scoring protections for commercial lines (5/12)
Federal vs. state regulation of insurance (5/09)
Proposed Expansion of the Export List (6/08)
Security Fund Reform (2/07)

   
  National Flood Insurance Program
 
 

President signs flood bill into law (3/14)

   
  Workers' compensation
 
 

PIANY report: Task Force on Group Self-Insurance issues report (6/10)

PIANY compensation regulation update podcast (2/10) and an update
Group self-insurer defaults (7/08)

New York other states WC issue

NYSIF licensing exemption (6/08)
Workers' Compensation Rating System (9/07)
Message on Workers' Compensation Reform (3/07)


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