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State Legislature takes action on PIA priority bills as end of session nears

It is a sprint to the finish line. With less than a week left in the New York Legislative session, a number of bills were voted out of committees and/or the Senate and Assembly floor this week, including some bills that are priorities for PIANY this legislative session.

CE for association membership. A.5922, a PIA legislative priority passed the Assembly Codes Committee on June 13. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pam Hunter, D-128, would grant continuing-education credits for insurance professionals with an active membership in statewide professional insurance producer associations. Under the terms of the legislation, active members in statewide insurance producer associations would 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 New York state to encourage insurance producers to join such associations and participate in that association’s meetings, conferences and educational seminars. The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Rules Committee for further consideration. A similar bill passed the Senate earlier this month.

30-day notice, NYSIF. A.4350-A, a PIA legislative priority passed the Assembly Rules Committee on June 11. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-96, would eliminate the requirement for policyholders to provide 30 days’ notice to withdraw from the New York State Insurance Fund. Under the terms of the legislation, the 30-day notice period is waived when NYSIF policyholders provide written notice to NYSIF of their desire to terminate the policy and provide proof of replacement coverage. The end of the current NYSIF policy period will be the start date for the new coverage so there is no duplicate coverage; lapse in coverage; or short-rate penalties charged to the insureds. The bill will be considered by the full Assembly.

Bait and switch. A.7901, another PIANY legislative priority bill, passed the Assembly Codes Committee on June 11. This bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103, 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 policyholders” premiums are increased substantially shortly after the policies are 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 bill has been referred to the Assembly Rules Committee for further consideration.

Limo coverage. A.7789, which would clarify the insurance coverage required for injury to or destruction of property for for-hire vehicle, passed the Assembly Rules Committee on June 12.

The current law (Section 370 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law), requires minimum liability coverages for for-hire vehicles based on carrying capacity. Part III of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2019 required for-hire vehicles with a capacity of eight or more persons to carry a minimum of $1.5 million of liability coverage in a “single combined limit.” This limit included coverage for bodily injury or death.

This bill would clarify that minimum liability coverage of $10,000 per accident for injury to, or destruction of, property shall be included within the $1.5 million single combined limit, rather than an additional coverage. This legislation will now go to the full Assembly. A similar bill passed the Senate earlier this month.

Consumer credit history in hiring. A.2611-D, which would prohibit the disclosure or use of consumer credit history in hiring, employment and licensing determinations, passed the Assembly Codes Committee on June 13.

Under the legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-81, employers or potential employers would be prohibited from using a job applicant or employee’s consumer credit report in his or her decision to hire, terminate, promote, demote, discipline, compensate, or in setting the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Rules Committee. Similar legislation has advanced to third reading in the Senate.

Lead paint. A.6062, which would prohibit insurance carriers from excluding lead hazards, passed the Assembly on June 13.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-149, would amend the current Insurance Law by adding a new section that would prohibit exclusions for lead hazards starting 26 months are the passage of the bill. The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

You can read about what else is going on in the state Legislature by visiting our PIAdvocacy bill tracker.

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