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PIA-priority legislation moves through state Legislature

Each year, PIANY determines its legislative agenda, based on feedback from its membership.

This year, a number of bills have been introduced in the state Legislature that have been reported out of committees or passed by the Senate, including the following: A.4350-A, which would eliminate the requirement for policyholders to provide 30 days’ notice to withdraw from the New York State Insurance Fund, has been reported out of the Assembly Labor Committee. S.769-A, which would allow certain coverage to be placed in the excess-line market without diligent effort, passed in the state Senate. Bills that would grant continuing-education credits for active members of statewide professional insurance producer associations passed in the full Senate and an Assembly committee (S.4365/A.5922). Finally, the bait-and-switch bill (A.7901/S.3641) was reported out of the Assembly Insurance Committee and currently is in the Codes Committee.

Bill to eliminate NYSIF, 30 day rule reported out of Assembly committee

The Assembly Labor Committee passed on Tuesday a bill, which would eliminate the requirement for policyholders to provide 30 days’ notice to withdraw from the New York State Insurance Fund. Under the legislation (A.4350-A), the 30-days’ notice period is waived when NYSIF policyholders provide written notice to the Fund of their desire to terminate their policies and they provide proof of replacement coverage.

Additionally, the end of the current NYSIF policy period would be the start date for the new coverage, so there would be no duplicate coverage; lapse in coverage; or short-rate penalties charged to insureds. The bill, which is sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-96, has been referred to the Committee on Rules.

Bill to allow certain coverage to be placed in E&S market without diligent effort passed by Senate

A bill (S.769-A), which would permit certain insurance coverage to be placed by licensed excess-line brokers with excess-line insurers without regard to the diligent effort requirements and would simplify the excess-line insurance placement affidavit requirements passed the state Senate on May 30. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin, D-44.

The proposed bill would excuse retail insurance brokers, who work with unaffiliated wholesale excess-line insurance brokers, from filing affidavits when procuring commercial-lines insurance. Further, it would reduce the affidavit requirement on brokers when they procure noncommercial-lines insurance—they would need to only record the name of the carrier; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners number; and the information the agent/broker relied upon to indicate why the authorized insurer might write the type of coverage and class of insurance involved. No additional information would need to be reported on the affidavit.

This legislation would remove an artificial barrier that can prevent clients from obtaining the best price and coverage for their risks.

Bills to grant CE credits for members of associations passed in full Senate and Assembly committee

Bills (S.4365/A.5922) that would grant continuing-education credits for professionals with an active membership in a statewide professional insurance producer association passed out of the state Senate and was sent to the Assembly Insurance Committee this week. The bill would allow active members of insurance associations to receive three CE credits as long as they meet certain criteria.

New York’s insurance producer associations promote professionalism, best practices, ethical compliance, CE training and networking opportunities to their members. In addition, membership in these associations provides younger members an opportunity to be mentored by more-established insurance producers, thereby enhancing their business prospects. Thus, it is in the best interest of the state to encourage insurance producers to join such associations and participate in that association’s meetings, conferences and educational seminars.

The bills are sponsored by Sen. Breslin, D-44, and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, D-128, and have been referred to the Assembly Codes Committee.

Bait-and-switch bill added to the Assembly Insurance Committee’s agenda

Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103, the chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, put A.7901 on his committee’s agenda this week. The bill would stop a growing trend in the auto insurance marketplace in which some insurers rerate policies after they have been bound once the insurers have run the individuals’ motor vehicle reports.

Often, this leads to a situation in which a policyholder’s premium is increased substantially shortly after the policy is bound. In many cases, policyholders have no idea when they agree to the terms and the price of the policy, that the policy could be rerated and premiums could increase. Colloquially, this practice is known as bait and switch. The Senate bill (S.3641), sponsored by Sen. Breslin, is in the Senate Insurance Committee.

To keep up with the latest on all of these bills, access the PIAdvocacy bill tracker.