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A02596 Summary:

BILL NOA02596A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S04469
 
SPONSOREnglebright
 
COSPNSRCahill
 
MLTSPNSRColton, Cymbrowitz, Ortiz
 
Add Art 6 601 - 606, 2353 & 343, amd 2321, 2305, 3231 & 4308, Ins L; add Art 44-A 945 - 947, amd 149, Exec L; amd 202, St Ad Proc Act
 
Enacts the "automobile insurance consumer information act"; provides for automobile insurance consumer information and complaint ranking; creates office of public insurance consumer advocate and powers and duties therefor; makes related provisions.
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A02596 Actions:

BILL NOA02596A
 
01/20/2017referred to insurance
01/27/2017amend and recommit to insurance
01/27/2017print number 2596a
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A02596 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2596A
 
SPONSOR: Englebright (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to improving disclosure to automobile insurance consumers; and to amend the executive law, the insurance law and the state administrative procedure act, in relation to establishing an independent office of public insurance consumer advocate and establishing its powers and duties   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To enact reforms to protect consumers and reduce premiums, including creation of an Office of Insurance Consumer Advocate, making premium and complaint information available to consumers from the department of financial services, and allowing municipalities to petition for reductions in auto insurance rates.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: *Establish an Office of Insurance Consumer Advocate (the "office") in the executive department to represent consumers in ratemaking and other matters *Establishes the position of Public Insurance Consumer Advocate ("the advocate") *Requires the superintendent of the department of financial services to maintain a database containing automobile insurance rate information and complaint rankings for all companies licensed to do business in the State *Requires the department to hold hearings when called for by the advo- cate *The office shall create an annual report with accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the office. *The office may assess the impact of insurer practices and insurance rates and advocate on behalf of positions that are most advantageous to a substantial number of insurance consumers. *Authorize municipalities to petition the department of financial services for rate changes; the department must hold a public hearing within 15 days of receipt of such petition *Requires auto insurance rate filings to include full statistical justi- fication and conform to standards of uniformity established by the Superintendent in regulation   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):   JUSTIFICATION: New York's special Task Force on Automobile Insurance was created to investigate the cost and availability of private passenger auto insur- ance in New York State, and to review the effectiveness of laws due to expire that year that regulate access to, and affordability of these policies. The task made findings and recommendations in its report: "Asleep at the Wheel, 1994-1998, NY's Move to the Top of the List in Auto Insurance Rates," (http://assembly.state.ny.us/Reports/Auto/199805/). Among the Task Force findings is that overly generous rate increases granted to New York auto insurers have led New York to the brink of becoming the most expensive state for auto insurance in the nation. The Task Force found that during the period 1990-1996, New York average auto insurance premiums jumped by 36%, while the costs of providing coverage went up by a mere 12% (countrywide premiums increased by only 20%, closely tracking an 18% rise in costs). With premiums rising faster than costs, insurer profits have soared. In 1996, New York insurers' profits on insurance transactions were twice as high as those of their counterparts in the rest of the country. Rankings released in March 1999 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners show a disturbing continuance of these trends. For the second year in a row, New York is the second most expensive state in the nation for auto insurance, with rates 35% above the national average. At the same time, New York insurers are pocketing underwriting profits four times the national average, and profits on insurance transactions more than 150% above the national norm. Modeled on such an office in Texas, it is expected that this new office could match that state's experience, in which auto insurance consumers saved $549 million in 1997, $602 million in 1996, and $778 million in 1995. Aiming to reverse New York's move to the top of the list in auto rates, the Task Force developed a comprehensive package of reforms, which, when fully implemented, could save consumers over $1 billion on auto insur- ance premiums per year.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 1999-00 A6171 passed assembly 2001-02 A7324 referred to insurance 2003-04 A4126 referred to insurance 2005-06 A2663 referred to insurance 2007-08 A890 referred to insurance 2009-10 A1746 referred to insurance 2011-12 A3744 referred to insurance 2013-14 A1937 referred to insurance 2015-16 A5064 referred to insurance   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A02596 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         2596--A
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 20, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. ENGLEBRIGHT, CAHILL -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
          of A. COLTON, CYMBROWITZ, ORTIZ --  read  once  and  referred  to  the
          Committee  on Insurance -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to  improving  disclosure
          to automobile insurance consumers; and to amend the executive law, the
          insurance  law and the state administrative procedure act, in relation
          to establishing an independent office  of  public  insurance  consumer
          advocate and establishing its powers and duties
 
          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 article 6  to
     2  read as follows:
     3                                  ARTICLE 6
     4                  AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CONSUMER INFORMATION
     5  Section 601. Title; legislative declaration and purpose.
     6          602.  Automobile  insurance  consumer  information and complaint
     7                 rankings.
     8          603. Consumer rating factors.
     9          604. Disclosure procedures.
    10          605. Noninterference with obtaining coverage.
    11          606. Public outreach.
    12    § 601. Title; legislative declaration and purpose. This article  shall
    13  be known and may be cited as the "automobile insurance consumer informa-
    14  tion act".
    15    The  legislature  finds  and  declares  that  automobile  insurance is
    16  required by law for all residents who drive and that the cost of automo-
    17  bile insurance represents a substantial expense for many consumers.  The
    18  legislature  further finds that the premium costs for any given individ-
    19  ual for identical insurance coverage from  different  licensed  insurers
    20  can  vary  widely  and that wide variations also exist in the quality of

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03626-02-7

        A. 2596--A                          2
 
     1  service provided by insurers as  measured  by  the  department's  annual
     2  complaint handling rankings. In addition, the legislature finds that few
     3  consumers  are  aware  of  these  wide cost and quality of service vari-
     4  ations,  that  as  a  result  consumers  as  a group may pay hundreds of
     5  millions of dollars annually for overpriced policies and that individual
     6  consumers may encounter unnecessary difficulty in having  their  automo-
     7  bile  insurance claims and complaints handled expeditiously.  The legis-
     8  lature further finds and declares that it intends for the superintendent
     9  and the department to  have broad authority under this article to estab-
    10  lish mechanisms to fully inform  consumers  as  to  which  policies  are
    11  available to them at the lowest possible cost and which insurers provide
    12  the  highest quality of service. The legislature intends with this arti-
    13  cle to create certain disclosure requirements that will make such infor-
    14  mation more readily available to all consumers.  Increased  availability
    15  of  information is intended to make the automobile insurance system more
    16  competitive with respect to both cost of coverage  and  the  quality  of
    17  service.
    18    §  602.  Automobile insurance consumer information and complaint rank-
    19  ings. (a)  The  superintendent  shall  maintain  a  database  containing
    20  nonbusiness automobile insurance rate information and complaint rankings
    21  for all companies licensed to do business in the state.
    22    (b) Every person, upon making an inquiry to the department and provid-
    23  ing the information specified in section six hundred three of this arti-
    24  cle, shall be mailed within five business days, or, at the option of the
    25  person, receive at the time of such inquiry:
    26    (1)  The  names, addresses, telephone numbers and, if appropriate, web
    27  site addresses of the five companies having the lowest premiums for  the
    28  requested  package  of  coverage  that  would  write  insurance for such
    29  person; the total cost for the package of coverage from each such insur-
    30  er; and the most recent complaint ranking of each such insurer;
    31    (2) The names, addresses, telephone numbers and, if  appropriate,  web
    32  site  addresses of the five companies having the best complaint rankings
    33  that would write insurance for such person, and the total cost  for  the
    34  package of coverage from each insurer listed;
    35    (3)  An  explanation  of  how to obtain from such companies the names,
    36  addresses, telephone numbers, and, if appropriate, web site addresses of
    37  those agents, brokers or sales representatives of  such  companies  that
    38  are situated in a location reasonably convenient to the person; and
    39    (4)  Until  such database is established, the department shall provide
    40  persons making an inquiry the department's Annual Ranking of  Automobile
    41  Insurance  Complaints  and Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance.  After the
    42  database is established, if the person making an  inquiry  prefers,  the
    43  department  may  provide,  in lieu of the information specified in para-
    44  graphs one, two and three of this subsection,  the  department's  Annual
    45  Ranking  of  Automobile Insurance Complaints, and Consumer Guide to Auto
    46  Insurance.
    47    § 603. Consumer rating factors. In order to receive the list of lowest
    48  cost insurers described in section six hundred two of this article,  the
    49  person shall provide the following information:
    50    (a)  The  place  in  which  the vehicle is garaged or stored, or other
    51  information needed to determine geographical territory;
    52    (b) The age, sex, marital  status  and  other  information  needed  to
    53  determine the driver class of the principal and occasional operators;
    54    (c) The make, model and year of the automobile;
    55    (d) Information relating to qualification for discounts;

        A. 2596--A                          3
 
     1    (e)  Information  relating  to  surcharges or credits based on driving
     2  record or driving courses taken;
     3    (f) Desired effective date of the policy;
     4    (g) Desired coverages; and
     5    (h)  Such  other  information  as the superintendent may by regulation
     6  require.
     7    § 604. Disclosure procedures. Every policy of  nonbusiness  automobile
     8  insurance  delivered, issued for delivery, renewed or issued for renewal
     9  in this state shall include a notice prescribed by the superintendent in
    10  regulation of the availability of  the  information  and  procedure  for
    11  obtaining such information described in sections six hundred two and six
    12  hundred  three  of  this  article. Such notice shall include the depart-
    13  ment's address, telephone number and web site address.
    14    § 605. Noninterference with obtaining coverage. No applicant for auto-
    15  mobile insurance shall be prevented or delayed in effecting or  applying
    16  for  coverage  by  the  requirements of section six hundred four of this
    17  article. In those cases where, prior to or at the time an application is
    18  taken, it is impractical to provide any disclosure documents  prescribed
    19  by  section  six  hundred  four of this article, such documents shall be
    20  furnished as soon thereafter as practical and, in any  event,  no  later
    21  than  at  the  time the policy is delivered.  Where any such document is
    22  not provided as required by section six hundred four  of  this  article,
    23  the  applicant  may,  no later than thirty days following receipt of the
    24  policy, and notwithstanding the provisions  of  section  three  thousand
    25  four  hundred  twenty-eight of this chapter, return the policy for a pro
    26  rata refund of premiums paid. A clear  and  conspicuous  written  notice
    27  explaining  this refund provision, in language promulgated by the super-
    28  intendent, shall be delivered with the policy.
    29    § 606. Public outreach. The department shall conduct public  education
    30  and  outreach  to  inform consumers as to the availability of and how to
    31  access the consumer information prescribed by this  article.    Notwith-
    32  standing  any inconsistent law to the contrary, no advertisement utiliz-
    33  ing electronic means, (including but not limited  to  radio,  television
    34  and  the  internet)  public  service  announcement  or  other  broadcast
    35  produced or distributed pursuant to this section shall feature the like-
    36  ness, picture or voice of a  statewide  elected  official  or  a  family
    37  member of such official.
    38    §  2.  If  any provision of section one of this act or the application
    39  thereof to any person or circumstances be adjudged invalid by any  court
    40  of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall be confined in its opera-
    41  tion to the provision or application or persons or circumstances direct-
    42  ly  involved  in  the controversy in which such judgment shall have been
    43  rendered and shall not affect or impair the validity of the remainder of
    44  this act or the application thereof to other persons or circumstances.
    45    § 3. The executive law is amended by adding a new article 44-A to read
    46  as follows:
    47                                 ARTICLE 44-A
    48                OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSURANCE CONSUMER ADVOCATE
    49  Section 945. Office of public insurance consumer advocate.
    50          946. Public insurance consumer advocate.
    51          947. Powers and duties.
    52    § 945. Office of public insurance consumer advocate.  There is  hereby
    53  created  in  the  executive  department  an independent office of public
    54  insurance consumer advocate (hereinafter referred to in this article  as
    55  "office")  to  represent  the  interests  of  nonbusiness automobile and
    56  health insurance consumers in the state.

        A. 2596--A                          4
 
     1    § 946. Public insurance consumer advocate. 1. The governor,  with  the
     2  advice  and  consent  of  the  senate,  shall appoint a public insurance
     3  consumer advocate (hereinafter referred to in  this  article  as  "advo-
     4  cate") who shall serve as the executive director of the office of public
     5  insurance  consumer  advocate  and  shall receive an annual salary to be
     6  fixed by the governor within the amount available therefor by  appropri-
     7  ation.
     8    2.  (a)  To be eligible to serve as advocate, a person must be a resi-
     9  dent of the state. The advocate shall be a person who has demonstrated a
    10  strong commitment to and involvement in efforts to safeguard the  rights
    11  of  the public, and who possesses the knowledge and experience necessary
    12  to practice effectively in insurance proceedings.
    13    (b) A person shall not be eligible for appointment as advocate if such
    14  person or the person's spouse:
    15    (i) is employed by or participates in the  management  of  a  business
    16  entity  or  other  organization regulated by the department of financial
    17  services or receiving funds from such department;
    18    (ii) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than  ten  percent
    19  interest  in  a  business  entity or other organization regulated by the
    20  department of financial services or receiving funds from the  department
    21  of financial services or the office;
    22    (iii)  uses  or  receives  a  substantial  amount  of  tangible goods,
    23  services or funds from the  department  of  financial  services  or  the
    24  office,  other  than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for
    25  the department of financial services or office membership, attendance or
    26  expenses.
    27    3. The advocate shall serve for a term of two years.
    28    4. It shall be a ground for removal from office if the advocate:
    29    (a) does not have  at  the  time  of  appointment  the  qualifications
    30  required by this section;
    31    (b)  does  not  maintain during service as advocate the qualifications
    32  required by this section;
    33    (c) violates a prohibition established by this section; or
    34    (d) cannot discharge the advocate's duties for a substantial  part  of
    35  the term for which the advocate is appointed because of illness or disa-
    36  bility.
    37    5.  The  validity  of an action of the office shall not be affected by
    38  the fact that it is taken when a ground  for  removal  of  the  advocate
    39  exists.
    40    6.  (a) A person shall not serve as the advocate or act as the general
    41  counsel for the office of advocate if the person is required to register
    42  as a lobbyist pursuant to article one-A of the legislative law.
    43    (b) A person serving as the advocate shall not, for a  period  of  two
    44  years  after the date the person ceases to be an advocate, represent any
    45  person in a proceeding before the superintendent of  financial  services
    46  or  the  department  of  financial  services or receive compensation for
    47  services rendered on behalf of any person regarding a  case  before  the
    48  superintendent  of  financial  services  or  the department of financial
    49  services.
    50    (c) A person shall not serve as the advocate or be an employee of  the
    51  office  if  the  person  is an officer, employee or paid consultant of a
    52  trade association in the field of insurance.
    53    (d) A person who is the spouse of an officer, manager or paid consult-
    54  ant of a trade association in the field of insurance shall not serve  as
    55  the advocate and may not be an office employee.

        A. 2596--A                          5
 
     1    (e) For the purposes of this section, a trade association is a nonpro-
     2  fit,  cooperative  and  voluntarily  joined  association  of business or
     3  professional competitors designed to assist its members and its industry
     4  or profession in dealing with mutual business or  professional  problems
     5  and in promoting their common interest.
     6    §  947.  Powers  and duties. 1. The advocate, as executive director of
     7  the office, shall be charged with the responsibility  of  administering,
     8  enforcing  and  carrying  out  the provisions of this article, including
     9  preparation of a budget for the office, employing all necessary  profes-
    10  sional,  technical  and  other employees to carry out provisions of this
    11  article, approval of expenditures for professional services, travel, per
    12  diem and other actual and necessary expenses incurred  in  administering
    13  the  office.  The compensation of employees of the office shall be fixed
    14  by the advocate within the appropriation provided therefor.
    15    2. The office shall file annually with the governor, temporary  presi-
    16  dent  of  the senate and speaker of the assembly a complete and detailed
    17  written report accounting for all funds received and  disbursed  by  the
    18  office  during  the preceding fiscal year. The annual report shall be in
    19  the form and reported as part of the executive budget.
    20    3. All money paid to the office under this article shall be  deposited
    21  in the state treasury.
    22    4.  The office may assess the impact of insurer practices and proposed
    23  and in-force insurance rates, rules and regulations on nonbusiness auto-
    24  mobile and health insurance consumers in the state;  in  its  own  name,
    25  advocate on behalf of positions that are most advantageous to a substan-
    26  tial number of insurance consumers as determined by the advocate; and do
    27  all  things  necessary and proper for these purposes, including engaging
    28  attorneys, and experts  in  actuarial  science,  economics,  accounting,
    29  finance or any other discipline which may be appropriate.
    30    5. The advocate:
    31    (a)  may  appear  or  intervene as a matter of right before the super-
    32  intendent of financial services or department of financial services as a
    33  party or otherwise on behalf  of  insurance  consumers  as  a  class  in
    34  matters  involving  insurer  practices  and proposed and in-force rates,
    35  rules and regulations affecting nonbusiness automobile and health insur-
    36  ance;
    37    (b) may initiate or intervene as a matter of right or otherwise appear
    38  in any judicial proceeding involving or arising out of any action  taken
    39  by an administrative agency in a proceeding in which the advocate previ-
    40  ously appeared under the authority granted by this article;
    41    (c)  is  entitled to access any records of the department of financial
    42  services that are available to any party  in  a  proceeding  before  the
    43  superintendent of financial services or department of financial services
    44  under the authority granted by this article;
    45    (d)  is entitled to obtain discovery of any non-privileged matter that
    46  is relevant to the subject matter involved in a proceeding or submission
    47  before the superintendent of financial services or department of  finan-
    48  cial services as authorized by this article;
    49    (e) may recommend legislation to the legislature that, in the judgment
    50  of  the  advocate,  would affect positively the interests of nonbusiness
    51  automobile and health insurance consumers;
    52    (f) may appear or intervene as a matter of right as a party or  other-
    53  wise  on behalf of nonbusiness automobile and health insurance consumers
    54  as a class in all proceedings and actions in which the  advocate  deter-
    55  mines  that such consumers need representation, except that the advocate

        A. 2596--A                          6
 
     1  shall not intervene in any  enforcement  or  parens  patriae  proceeding
     2  brought by the attorney general;
     3    (g)  may  conduct any inquiry, hearing, investigation, survey or study
     4  which  the  advocate  deems  necessary  to  effectively  carry  out  the
     5  provisions  of  this  article  and,  for  that purpose, to take and hear
     6  proofs and  testimony,  subpoena  witnesses,  compel  their  attendance,
     7  administer oaths, examine any person under oath and to compel any person
     8  to subscribe to his or her testimony after it has been correctly reduced
     9  to writing, and in connection therewith to require the production of any
    10  books,  papers,  records,  accounts,  correspondence  or other documents
    11  which the advocate deems relevant to  the  inquiry.  A  subpoena  issued
    12  under  this  section  shall  be  regulated by the civil practice law and
    13  rules.
    14    6. (a)  The  office  shall  prepare  information  of  public  interest
    15  describing the functions of the office. The office shall make the infor-
    16  mation  available  to  the public, lawmakers and appropriate state agen-
    17  cies.
    18    (b) The  office  shall  prepare  and  maintain  a  written  plan  that
    19  describes  how  each  person  who does not speak English can be provided
    20  reasonable access to the office's programs.
    21    (c) The office shall prepare and distribute public education materials
    22  for consumers, legislators and regulators.
    23    (d) The office may participate in trade associations.
    24    7. The office shall be subject to articles six and six-A of the public
    25  officers law; provided, however, that documents, records, files, reports
    26  or other information concerning confidential matters of  the  board,  as
    27  defined  and  described  in  regulations  promulgated  by the board, are
    28  specifically exempted from disclosure pursuant to  section  eighty-seven
    29  of the public officers law.
    30    § 4. Subsection (d) of section 2321 of the insurance law is amended to
    31  read as follows:
    32    (d)  Proceedings  pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) [hereof] of this
    33  section may be instituted upon the initiative of the  superintendent  or
    34  upon  written  application to the superintendent by any aggrieved person
    35  or organization, other than a rate service organization, for a  hearing,
    36  if  the  superintendent finds that the application is made in good faith
    37  and that the grounds otherwise justify  holding  such  a  hearing  which
    38  shall  be  held  within  fifteen days of the request; provided, however,
    39  that the superintendent shall hold such a hearing within fifteen days of
    40  an application therefor from  the  public  insurance  consumer  advocate
    41  established under article forty-four-A of the executive law. In the case
    42  of  a  denial  of  an  application  for a hearing filed by any aggrieved
    43  person or any other organization, the superintendent shall  provide  the
    44  reasons therefor in writing to the applicant within fifteen days of such
    45  denial.
    46    § 5. Subsection (c) of section 2305 of the insurance law is amended to
    47  read as follows:
    48    (c)  (1)  Rates  filed with the superintendent shall be accompanied by
    49  the information upon which the insurer supports the rate as set forth in
    50  subsection (b) of section two thousand three hundred four of this  arti-
    51  cle.
    52    (2)  With  respect to rates filed for nonbusiness automobile policies,
    53  such filings shall include all statistical data relied upon  to  support
    54  the  filing  and  such  other  information  as  the superintendent shall
    55  require. Such filings and  supporting  information  shall  conform  with
    56  standards  of  uniformity  which  the  superintendent shall prescribe by

        A. 2596--A                          7

     1  regulation within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of  this
     2  paragraph.
     3    § 6. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2353 to read
     4  as follows:
     5    §  2353.  Municipal petitions; motor vehicle insurance for nonbusiness
     6  automobiles. (a) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law,  any
     7  municipality  or  combination  of contiguous municipalities may petition
     8  the department for a reduction in rates of policies covering  losses  or
     9  liabilities arising out of the ownership of a motor vehicle predominant-
    10  ly  used  for  nonbusiness  purposes, when a natural person is the named
    11  insured under a policy of auto insurance, when such rates do not reflect
    12  accurately the current data pertinent to the risk of loss in the munici-
    13  pality or municipalities based on reasonable and sound underwriting  and
    14  actuarial criteria.
    15    (b) Within  fifteen days of receipt of such a petition, the department
    16  shall hold a public hearing thereon, at which municipal representatives,
    17  insurers and the public shall have the right to be heard. The department
    18  shall explain in writing its reasons for granting or denying,  in  whole
    19  or  in part, the relief sought in the petition. If the department grants
    20  such relief, it shall immediately order an appropriate reduction,  which
    21  may include retroactive relief, if justified, notwithstanding any incon-
    22  sistent provision of law.
    23    (c) For  the  purposes  of this section, the term "municipality" shall
    24  mean any county not wholly contained within a city and any city compris-
    25  ing more than one county.
    26    § 7.  The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 343 to read
    27  as follows:
    28    § 343. Cooperation with office of public insurance consumer  advocate.
    29  (a)  The superintendent, and every deputy and employee of the department
    30  shall cooperate fully and completely with the office of public insurance
    31  consumer advocate and provide without charge to such office, access and,
    32  upon request of the public insurance consumer advocate,  copies  of  all
    33  books,  records  and files of the department and of each licensee of the
    34  department to the extent that the department has  access  or  copies  of
    35  such  books,  records and files, which such advocate deems necessary and
    36  appropriate to carry out the purposes of  article  forty-four-A  of  the
    37  executive  law,  including,  but not limited to filings and applications
    38  which may be subject to a hearing pursuant  to  this  section,  and  all
    39  information  furnished the superintendent in support of such filings and
    40  applications.
    41    (b) Notwithstanding any inconsistent law, rule or  regulation  to  the
    42  contrary, the superintendent shall notify the office of public insurance
    43  consumer  advocate  of all rate-related filings made under article twen-
    44  ty-three of this chapter with respect to nonbusiness  automobile  insur-
    45  ance, filings for rate increases pursuant to sections three thousand two
    46  hundred thirty-one and four thousand three hundred eight of this chapter
    47  and applications for material change in benefits or delivery of benefits
    48  under  a  contract,  within  five  business days of having received such
    49  filings and applications.  Such notification shall include a summary  of
    50  each  filing  or  application,  to  include,  but not be limited to: the
    51  number of policyholders, subscribers or enrollees affected;  the  amount
    52  of rate increase; the regions or territories affected; and a description
    53  of  the  change in benefits or delivery of benefits.  The superintendent
    54  shall simultaneously submit for publication in the  state  register  all
    55  such  notifications  to  the public insurance consumer advocate.  Within
    56  five business days of the request of such advocate,  the  superintendent

        A. 2596--A                          8
 
     1  shall forward any filings and applications so requested and all informa-
     2  tion furnished in support of such filings and applications.
     3    (c) The public insurance consumer advocate may request the superinten-
     4  dent  hold  a  hearing on any matter deemed necessary and appropriate to
     5  carry out the purposes of article forty-four-A  of  the  executive  law,
     6  which  shall  be  held  within  fifteen days of the request. No proposed
     7  change in rule or regulation, filing for a nonbusiness automobile  rate-
     8  related  change or rate increase, filing for a rate increase pursuant to
     9  sections three thousand two hundred thirty-one and four  thousand  three
    10  hundred  eight  of  this  chapter, or application for material change in
    11  benefits or delivery of benefits subject to a hearing under this section
    12  shall become effective pending the close of such hearing, provided  that
    13  such request is made within thirty days of such advocate having received
    14  notice  of  such  proposed change, filing or application. Within fifteen
    15  days after the close of the hearing, or such time as the  superintendent
    16  approves  the  proposed  rule,  regulation,  filing  or application, the
    17  superintendent shall issue a written  opinion  based  upon  the  hearing
    18  record,  explaining the reasons for approving or denying, in whole or in
    19  part, the change sought.
    20    § 8. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph 2 of subsection (e) of section 3231
    21  of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 107 of the laws of 2010,  is
    22  amended to read as follows:
    23    (A)  Until  September  thirtieth,  two  thousand  ten, as an alternate
    24  procedure to the requirements of paragraph one of  this  subsection,  an
    25  insurer  desiring  to  increase or decrease premiums for any policy form
    26  subject to this section may instead submit a rate filing or  application
    27  to  the  superintendent  and  such application or filing shall be deemed
    28  approved, provided that: (i) the anticipated minimum loss  ratio  for  a
    29  policy  form  shall  not be less than eighty-two percent of the premium;
    30  and (ii) the insurer submits, as part of such filing, a certification by
    31  a member of the  American  Academy  of  Actuaries  or  other  individual
    32  acceptable  to the superintendent that the insurer is in compliance with
    33  the provisions of this paragraph, based upon that person's  examination,
    34  including  a  review  of  the  appropriate  records and of the actuarial
    35  assumptions and methods used by  the  insurer  in  establishing  premium
    36  rates for policy forms subject to this section, unless the public insur-
    37  ance  consumer  advocate  has  requested  a  public hearing on such rate
    38  filing or application pursuant to section three hundred  forty-three  of
    39  this  chapter.    An  insurer  shall not utilize the alternate procedure
    40  pursuant to this paragraph to implement a change in rates to  be  effec-
    41  tive on or after October first, two thousand ten.
    42    §  9.  Paragraph  1 of subsection (g) of section 4308 of the insurance
    43  law, as amended by chapter 107 of the laws of 2010, is amended  to  read
    44  as follows:
    45    (1)  Until  September  thirtieth,  two  thousand  ten, as an alternate
    46  procedure to the requirements of  subsection  (c)  of  this  section,  a
    47  corporation  subject  to  the  provisions  of  this  article desiring to
    48  increase or decrease premiums for any contract subject to  this  section
    49  may  instead  submit  a rate filing or application to the superintendent
    50  and such application or filing shall be deemed approved,  provided  that
    51  (A) the anticipated incurred loss ratio for a contract form shall not be
    52  less  than eighty-two percent for individual direct payment contracts or
    53  eighty-two percent for small group and small group remittance contracts,
    54  nor, except in the case of individual direct payment  contracts  with  a
    55  loss  ratio  of  greater  than  one hundred five percent during nineteen
    56  hundred ninety-four, shall the loss ratio for any direct payment,  group

        A. 2596--A                          9
 
     1  or  group  remittance  contract be more than one hundred five percent of
     2  the anticipated earned premium, and (B) the corporation submits, as part
     3  of such filing, a certification by a member of the American  Academy  of
     4  Actuaries or other individual acceptable to the superintendent that that
     5  corporation  is  in  compliance  with the provisions of this subsection,
     6  based upon that person's examination, including a review of  the  appro-
     7  priate  records and of the actuarial assumptions and methods used by the
     8  corporation in establishing premium rates for contracts subject to  this
     9  section,  unless  the public insurance consumer advocate has requested a
    10  public hearing on such rate filing or application  pursuant  to  section
    11  three  hundred  forty-three  of  this chapter.   A corporation shall not
    12  utilize the alternate procedure pursuant to this subsection to implement
    13  a change in rates to be effective on or after October first,  two  thou-
    14  sand ten. For purposes of this section, a small group is any group whose
    15  contract  is  subject  to the requirements of section [forty-three] four
    16  thousand three hundred seventeen of this article.
    17    § 10. Section 149 of the executive law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    18  subdivision 4 to read as follows:
    19    4.  Notices submitted pursuant to section three hundred forty-three of
    20  the insurance law shall be in such format  as  the  secretary  of  state
    21  shall  require,  and  shall  be  published  in a separate section of the
    22  register which shall include telephone  numbers,  addresses  and  e-mail
    23  addresses  which  the  public  may  use  to contact the office of public
    24  insurance consumer advocate and the department of financial services.
    25    § 11. Section 202 of the state administrative procedure act is amended
    26  by adding a new subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
    27    1-a. In addition to the requirements of this section,  any  notice  of
    28  proposed rulemaking, notice of revised rulemaking or notice of emergency
    29  adoption  submitted by the department of financial services that impacts
    30  nonbusiness automobile or health insurance consumers shall also  include
    31  the  telephone  number,  address and e-mail address which the public may
    32  use to contact the office of public insurance consumer advocate.
    33    § 12. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however,  that
    34  within  twelve  months  of  the effective date of this act, the database
    35  required by section 602 of the insurance law, as added by section one of
    36  this act, shall be completed; and, provided further, that within  ninety
    37  days  of  the  effective date of this act, notice of the availability of
    38  the department of  financial  services'  Annual  Ranking  of  Automobile
    39  Insurance  Complaints  and  Consumers  Guide  to Auto Insurance, and the
    40  department of financial services' address, telephone number and web site
    41  address shall be  provided  with  all  nonbusiness  automobile  policies
    42  delivered,  issued  for  delivery, renewed or issued for renewal in this
    43  state.  The disclosure requirement of section 604 of the insurance  law,
    44  as  added  by  section  one  of this act shall take effect twelve months
    45  after the effective date of this act.   The  public  insurance  consumer
    46  advocate  shall  be appointed, pursuant to article 44-A of the executive
    47  law, as added by section three of this act for  a  two  year  term.  Any
    48  regulations  necessary  for the implementation of the provisions of this
    49  act shall be promulgated within one hundred eighty days after the effec-
    50  tive date of this act.
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