New York Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin announced yesterday that the Department has filed a notice of intent to appeal a June 9 decision striking down Regulation 68 on a procedural technical basis.
The filing of the notice of appeal stays the effect of the lower Court’s order as a matter of law and the regulation remains in force.
Last year, the insurance department promulgated a revision to Regulation 68, the regulation that implements New York’s no-fault law. This revision, which took effect on February 1, 2000, made adjustments to the manner in which no-fault claims are presented and processed in order to address practices that have resulted in fraud and abuse in the New York automobile insurance marketplace.
Specifically, the new rules required injured victims to notify the insurance company of their injuries within 30 days, down from the previous 90 days. Doctors were required under the new rules to submit claims for treatment within 45 days instead of the previous 180 days.
On June 9, 2000, Justice Phyllis Gangel-Jacob of the New York State Supreme Court, issued an order and memorandum decision which declared the recent amendments to Regulation 68 “… null and void as contrary to law and lawful procedure, and their promulgation in violation of the State Administrative Procedures Act was unlawful, arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion…”
Levin, though, disagrees. “Regulation 68 is a necessary and effective tool in the fight to control insurance costs and create a stable rate environment. No-fault abuse and fraud costs New York’s consumers over $100 million a year,” Levin said. “By keeping this important consumer protection in place, there won’t be one day where New York’s insurance consumers are without the benefits contained within Regulation 68. Regulation 68 provides better safeguards for the consumer, better case management for the insurance industry and results in a fairer automobile insurance marketplace.”
The Department has issued a letter advising the industry that Regulation 68 remains in effect upon filing of the notice of appeal as a matter of law.
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