PIANY Urges lawmakers to End NYPIUA Stalemate

May 15, 2003

The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc., issued a bulletin “imploring lawmakers in Albany to end the stalemate that threatens to deny tens of thousands of New Yorkers access to home and commercial property insurance.”

The PIANY explained that the law authorizing the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA), which expired nearly two weeks ago, is “a casualty of disagreements between the Senate and the Assembly over the terms of an extender bill.”

As a result the NYPIUA, which usually handles around 50 new applications a day, cannot accept new business, as its authority to do so expired on April 30. “It is already returning applications and deposits with an explanatory letter to property owners,” said the PIANY, adding, “If the standoff in Albany continues, NYPIUA will tomorrow be forced to start sending nonrenewals to current policyholders affecting policies with expiration dates of June 29 and later. The move is mandated by NYPIUA’s Plan of Operation, requiring at least 45 days’ notice of nonrenewal.”

NYPIUA insures more than 49,000 homeowners and nearly 7,000 businesses, and its applications for new policies grew by 63 percent in the past year, with the growth in applications for commercial properties jumping by 118 percent.

“Failure to take immediate action to resolve this impasse is unfair to the many New Yorkers who must turn to NYPIUA for their property insurance, and to the agents and brokers they depend on to find insurance,” stated PIANY President David Isenberg. “We implore the Senate and Assembly to find common ground on their respective bills to address the NYPIUA extender. In fact they should prevent this recurrent disruption by giving NYPIUA a permanent statutory basis comparable to the New York Automobile Insurance Plan.”

The PIANY supports making NYPIUA a permanent legal entity, which would end the frequent cliffhangers affecting NYPIUA policyholders and agents. Plus, legal stability would allow NYPIUA to take on additional roles if needed. “Past discussions of NYPIUA’s powers always have had to face the fact of NYPIUA’s provisional nature,” Isenberg stressed.

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