PIANY Notes Passage of N.Y. Insurance Bills as Senate Session Ends

June 23, 2003

The Professional Insurance Agents of New York has issued a bulletin commenting on the effects of legislation passed by the state’s Senate as it ended its spring session last week. The Assembly remains in session to act on several bills remaining on its legislative agenda.

The PIANY noted that “after a marathon session,” the Senate passed a bill, S.5700, that would extend the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association for one more year, to April 30, 2004. The association has repeatedly called for the NYPIUA’s authority to be renewed, and to make the authorization permanent. It also noted, however: “If this bill does not pass the Assembly, NYPIUA will remain shut down, and the nonrenewals will begin to take effect with policies expiring June 29 and later. PIANY supports this bill and will be working to ensure its passage in the Assembly.”

S.5700 also carries a provision to “restore auto ‘2 percent,’ most competitive rating/flex-rating rules” until June 30, 2006. “It also restores competitive rating/flex-rating provisions for all lines that previously enjoyed this rating system–EXCEPT for private passenger auto insurance, which would remain under prior approval rules. The rating law extenders also would run until June 30, 2006,” said the announcement.

The PIANY also noted the following legislative actions:

— Both the Senate and the Assembly passed S.4633-b. Initiated by PIANY in response to member concerns, this bill is designed to plug several “loopholes” that exist in current statutory policyholder protections.

–The Senate failed to act on a sweeping change to New York’s captive insurer laws. Instead, it passed S.5363, which would permit New York City to form a captive insurer to handle claims arising from Sept. 11 clean-up and rebuilding. The measure would pave the way for the city to receive federal funds. The Assembly had already passed the bill, which now goes to the governor.

— The Senate passed a four-year extender, S.5387, on June 18 for bank “wild card” parity rules and protections against coercion of consumers in the sale of insurance. The Assembly has agreed to do the four-year extender.

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