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A01643 Summary:

BILL NOA01643
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01594
 
SPONSORSkoufis
 
COSPNSRGalef, Weprin, Crespo, Mayer, Malliotakis, Cusick, Raia, Curran, Otis, Harris
 
MLTSPNSRColton, Perry, Rivera, Simon
 
Add 215, Ins L
 
Creates a task force on disasters; provides that such task force shall consist of twenty-three members.
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A01643 Actions:

BILL NOA01643
 
01/12/2017referred to insurance
02/13/2017reported referred to ways and means
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A01643 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1643              Revised 02/10/17
 
SPONSOR: Skoufis (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to creating a task force on disasters   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to create a task force to examine and report on whether policyholders and communities have adequate insurance cover- age and if they are able to rely upon that coverage in the event of a disaster.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: § 215. (a) Creates a task force to examine how insurers who write poli- cies that cover loss of or damage to real property, personal property, or other liabilities for loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or property in New York State respond to disasters, in what ways state and local agencies such as the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services can assist claim- ants in connecting with insurance companies, and what steps the industry can take to improve its response in the future. (b) 1. The task force would consist of 23 members, including the Super- intendent of the Department of Financial Services or his or her desig- nated representative and Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services or his or her designated representative (who shall serve as co-chairs), 5 members appointed by the Governor, 5 members appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Speaker of Assembly, 5 members appointed by Governor upon the recommendation of the temporary president of the Senate, 3 members shall be appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the minority leader of the assembly, and 3 of whom shall be shall be appointed by the Governor based upon the recommendation of the minority leader of the Senate. The task force would report to the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Temporary President of the Senate, and the Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Insurance Committees one year after the effective date of its authorizing legislation. The appointees shall include 4 insurers who write policies that cover loss or damage to real property, or injury to persons or property, and at least one insurer who writes for the national flood insurance program; 10 local officials who respond to disaster and emergencies including police officials, professional and volunteer fire and emergency services personnel, and local officials responsible for the coordination of emergency services, these appointees shall include representation from the following geographic regions: New York City, Long Island, mid-Hudson, Capital Region, north country, Mohawk Valley, Southern tier, Central New York, Finger Lakes, and West- ern New York; 2 organizations that represent independent public adjus- ters; 2 non-profits that have experience with disaster relief; and 2 consumer advocacy groups The report would be required to include the following information: (1) Steps insurers currently take in order to respond to disaster-relat- ed claims in a timely fashion. (2) Challenges insurer experience when responding to disasters. (3) Steps insurers currently take to adequately assess damage so that homeowners and municipalities can remove debris and make repairs quick- ly. (4) Additional steps insurers and state and local agencies can take to better respond to the needs of communities and policyholders affected by a disaster. (5) Ways insurers and state and local agencies can proactively reach out to policyholders and communities following a disaster. (6) Ways insurers assist homeowners and businesses affected by a disas- ter whose premiums are due. (7) Steps insurers can take if their employees are affected by a disas- ter in order to ensure that they are still able to respond to claims in a timely fashion. (8) Whether or not New Yorkers have adequate insurance coverage and if not, identifying what barriers exist that may prevent people from purchasing adequate coverage. (9) Identifying measures to encourage homeowners and businesses to purchase flood insurance as needed. (10) Steps insurers take to prevent disputes with policy holders and to resolve those which do occur as well as additional steps insurers can take. (11) Legislative actions that can be considered to address such issues. § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Following Super-storm Sandy and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, it was found that there were lengthy delays in the time to investigate and process claims, conducting site inspections of damaged property, and making payments to policyholders. This was due to the large volume of claims received and obstacles the storms presented to insurance compa- nies, such as washed away roads and displaced policyholders. Such delays made it difficult for homeowners and communities to begin to make repairs and rebuild in a timely fashion and were especially troublesome when repairs were necessary for the health and safety of individuals and the community. In addition, disasters have a significant impact upon businesses, espe- cially small businesses. For example, following Sandy, many businesses in downtown Manhattan were unable to open, resulting in not only lost income for the businesses but also lost wages for their employees. This can make it difficult for business owners and individuals to make premi- um payments, putting them at risk for losing their insurance coverage when they need it the most. Furthermore, following the storms many policyholders were surprised to learn that they did not have adequate coverage. Many policyholders were unaware that their homeowner's policy did not cover flood damages or, if they were aware, did not purchase a separate flood policy. Policyholders also expressed confusion over what types of damages homeowners and flood policies cover and what the coverage limits were under their policies. As a result, many policyholders received payments that were far less than what they expected to receive. Because of these issues and the increasing frequency with which the State is seeing destructive storms like Sandy, Irene, and Lee, it is important to examine how the insurance industry responds to disasters and what steps the industry can take to improve its response in the future. This task force will in effect create a public/private partnership between both New York State and the insurance industry. Working togeth- er, issues brought on by future disasters will address in a more effec- tive manner.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Skoufis - 05/09/16 passed assembly Latimer - 01/06/16 Referred to Insurance   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE: To be determined   LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
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A01643 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1643
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 12, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. SKOUFIS, GALEF, WEPRIN, CRESPO, MAYER, MALLIOTAK-
          IS, CUSICK, RAIA, SALADINO, CURRAN, OTIS, HARRIS -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A.  COLTON, PERRY, RIVERA, SIMON -- read once and referred to
          the Committee on Insurance
 
        AN  ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to creating a task force
          on disasters

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 215 to
     2  read as follows:
     3    §  215.  Task  force on disasters.  (a) There is hereby created a task
     4  force to examine how insurers who write policies that cover loss  of  or
     5  damage  to  real  property,  personal property, or other liabilities for
     6  loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or property in New  York  state
     7  respond  to disasters, in what ways state and local agencies such as the
     8  department of financial services and the department of homeland security
     9  and emergency services can assist in such response and  whether  policy-
    10  holders and communities have adequate insurance.
    11    (b)  (1)  The task force shall consist of twenty-three members, one of
    12  whom shall be the superintendent or  his  or  her  designated  represen-
    13  tative, one of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of home-
    14  land  security and emergency services or his or her designated represen-
    15  tative, five of whom shall be appointed by the governor,  five  of  whom
    16  shall  be appointed by the governor based upon the recommendation of the
    17  speaker of the assembly, five of whom shall be appointed by the governor
    18  based upon the recommendation of the temporary president of the  senate,
    19  three  of  whom shall be appointed by the governor based upon the recom-
    20  mendation of the minority leader of the  assembly,  and  three  of  whom
    21  shall  be appointed by the governor based upon the recommendation of the
    22  minority leader of the senate.
    23    (2) The appointees shall include representatives of the following:
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01156-01-7

        A. 1643                             2
 
     1    (A) four insurers who write policies that cover loss of or  damage  to
     2  real  property,  personal  property,  or  other liabilities for loss of,
     3  damage to, or injury to persons or property,  including  representatives
     4  from  companies  of varying sizes and locations and at least one insurer
     5  who writes for the national flood insurance program.
     6    (B)  ten  local  officials  who  respond to disasters and emergencies,
     7  including police officials, professional and volunteer fire and emergen-
     8  cy services personnel, and local officials responsible for  the  coordi-
     9  nation  of  emergency services and the locality's response to a disaster
    10  or emergency.  These appointments shall reflect the geographic diversity
    11  of the state and include representatives from  localities  with  varying
    12  population  densities.   These appointments shall also include represen-
    13  tatives from the following regions: New York city, Long Island, mid-Hud-
    14  son, capital  region,  north  country,  Mohawk  Valley,  Southern  tier,
    15  Central New York, Finger lakes, and Western New York.
    16    (C) two organizations that represent independent and public adjusters.
    17    (D) two non-profits that have experience with disaster relief.
    18    (E) two consumer advocacy groups.
    19    (F)  one  independent  insurance agent who obtains coverage for policy
    20  holders for loss of or damage to real property,  personal  property,  or
    21  other  liabilities for loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or prop-
    22  erty.
    23    (3) Recommendations and appointments shall take into consideration the
    24  expertise of other appointees, so that the task force reflects a  diver-
    25  sity of experience.
    26    (4)  The members of the task force shall not receive compensation, but
    27  shall be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses.
    28    (c) The superintendent, or his or her designated  representative,  and
    29  the  commissioner  of  the department of homeland security and emergency
    30  services, or his or her designated representative, shall  serve  as  the
    31  co-chairs of the task force.
    32    (d)  The  task  force shall report to the governor, the speaker of the
    33  assembly, the temporary president of the senate, and the  chair  of  the
    34  assembly  insurance  committee  and  the  chair  of the senate insurance
    35  committee on the results of its examination one year after the effective
    36  date of this section.  The report shall include information on the chal-
    37  lenges that insurers face when responding to a disaster,  possible  ways
    38  for  insurers to work better with community stakeholders and state agen-
    39  cies to facilitate timely claims investigation and processing, suggested
    40  legislation to address, issues identified by the  task  force,  and  any
    41  other  information  the  superintendent  and  the  commissioners  of the
    42  department of homeland security and emergency services deems relevant.
    43    (e) In completing its task, the task force will consider the following
    44  issues, as well as any other issue that it deems relevant:
    45    (1) Steps insurers currently take in order to respond to  disaster-re-
    46  lated claims in a timely fashion;
    47    (2) Challenges insurers experience when responding to disasters;
    48    (3)  Steps insurers currently take to adequately assess damage so that
    49  homeowners and municipalities can remove debris and make repairs  quick-
    50  ly;
    51    (4) Additional steps insurers and state and local agencies can take to
    52  better respond to the needs of communities and policyholders affected by
    53  a disaster;
    54    (5)  Ways  insurers and state and local agencies can proactively reach
    55  out to policyholders and communities following a disaster;

        A. 1643                             3
 
     1    (6) Ways insurers assist  homeowners  and  businesses  affected  by  a
     2  disaster whose premiums are due;
     3    (7)  Steps  insurers  can  take  if  their employees are affected by a
     4  disaster in order to ensure that they  are  still  able  to  respond  to
     5  claims in a timely fashion;
     6    (8) Whether or not New Yorkers have adequate insurance coverage and if
     7  not,  identifying  what  barriers  exist  that  may  prevent people from
     8  purchasing adequate coverage;
     9    (9) Identifying measures to encourage  homeowners  and  businesses  to
    10  purchase flood insurance as needed;
    11    (10) Steps insurers take to prevent disputes with policyholders and to
    12  resolve  those  which  do occur as well as additional steps insurers can
    13  take;
    14    (11) Legislative actions  that  can  be  considered  to  address  such
    15  issues.
    16    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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