A02287 Summary:

BILL NO    A02287A

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Silver (MS)

COSPNSR    Cahill, Titone, Cusick, Morelle, Goldfeder, Weisenberg, Skoufis,
           Brook-Krasny, Cymbrowitz, Hennessey, Weinstein, Gottfried, Lupardo,
           Nolan, Perry, Santabarbara, Millman, Otis, Ramos, Titus, Weprin,
           Moya, Abinanti

MLTSPNSR   Benedetto, Brennan, Colton, Englebright, Farrell, Galef, Glick,
           Gunther, Jacobs, Jaffee, Lavine, Markey, Ortiz, Paulin, Solages,
           Sweeney, Thiele, Zebrowski

Add SS3444-a & 338, amd SS2601 & 3444, Ins L

Creates a homeowners' bill of rights; directs the superintendent of financial
services to issue a consumers guide on insuring against catastrophic loss.
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A02287 Actions:

BILL NO    A02287A

01/11/2013 referred to insurance
05/17/2013 amend and recommit to insurance
05/17/2013 print number 2287a
05/23/2013 reported referred to codes
05/29/2013 reported referred to ways and means
05/30/2013 reported 
05/31/2013 advanced to third reading cal.459
06/04/2013 passed assembly
06/04/2013 delivered to senate
01/08/2014 DIED IN SENATE
01/08/2014 ordered to third reading cal.130
01/22/2014 committed to insurance
05/13/2014 reported referred to codes
05/20/2014 reported referred to ways and means
05/27/2014 reported 
05/30/2014 advanced to third reading cal.795
06/19/2014 passed assembly
06/19/2014 delivered to senate
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A02287 Votes:

A02287A06/04/2013 118/26
BronsonYFahyYHikindYMalliotYPerryYSepulveYMr SpkrY

A02287A06/19/2014 107/23
BlankenNODenDekkYHeastieERMagnareYPaulinYSchimmiNOMr SpkrY

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A02287 Memo:


TITLE OF BILL:  An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to
creating a homeowners' bill of rights and a consumer guide on insuring
against catastrophic loss caused by natural disasters

Purpose Or General idea Of Bill:  The purpose of this bill is to
establish a Homeowners' Bill of Rights that would educate consumers
about the details of their insurance policies and their rights under
the law.

Summary Of Specific Provisions:

Section 1 of the bill would amend the Insurance law by adding a new
section 3444-a, the "Homeowners Bill of Rights!" This section would
obligate certain insurers to provide to insured or potentially insured
parties written disclosures describing: coverage or limitations on
coverage for losses caused by certain catastrophic occurrences,
information related to claims investigation and processing, the rights
of the insured under the law, that the provisions of the policy could
be modified or changed pursuant to state or federal law following a
disaster or emergency, the insurer's contact information, information
on obtaining the Consumer's Guide on Insuring Against Catastrophic
Losses, and any other information deemed necessary by the
Superintendent In addition, when the insured's policy does not include
coverage for certain catastrophic occurrences, the insurer would be
required to provide information on additional coverage options.

Section 2 of the bill would require insurers, agents, and brokers to
disclose to consumers looking to purchase homeowners and certain
commercial policies which flood zone the real property to be covered
by the policy is located in and the level of risk associated with that
flood zone (as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency).
The insurer, agent, or broker would also have to provide notification
to the consumer about the availability of additional coverage options
for damage resulting from weather conditions, natural disasters, and
other occurrences, including floods. This notification would be
required to include information on the New York Property Insurance
Underwriting Association, the Coastal Market Assistance Program, the
National Flood Insurance Program, and other coverage options that are
available from the insurer and other parties. The consumer would have
to acknowledge receipt of the disclosure and notification required by
this bill through a signed writing, electronic signature, or other
means prescribed or approved by the Superintendent. This disclosure
would also be required upon the renewal of the policy.

If the flood zone in which the real property is located changes, the
insurer, agent, or broker would be required to provide the insured
with an updated disclosure informing the insured of the new flood zone
and the level of risk associated with that flood zone. The consumer
would have to acknowledge receipt of the disclosure and notification
required by this bill through a signed writing, electronic signature,
or other means prescribed or approved by the Superintendent.

Section 3 of the bill would amend Section 2601 of the insurance law to
include a new paragraph (7). This paragraph would state that the
knowing misrepresentation of or failure to provide pertinent facts of

policy provisions to claimants, and the failure to comply with those
policy provisions, shall constitute an unfair claim settlement

Section 4 of the bill would add a new section 338 to the Insurance
law. This section would instruct the Superintendent to create a
Consumers Guide.on Insuring Against Catastrophic Losses, and outlines
the information which the Superintendent must include in the Guide.
The Guide would include the ways in which certain occurrences can
cause catastrophic losses, the types of insurance that provide
coverage against catastrophic losses, information on which type of
weather, natural disasters, and other occurrences and catastrophic
losses are typically excluded from insurance policies and how a
consumer may obtain coverage for those exclusions, steps a consumer
can take to prepare for a natural disaster or other catastrophic loss,
steps a consumer can take to facilitate the timely processing of an
insurance claim and an explanation of policyholder's rights in law and
regulation, and a department toll-free consumer hotline and website
address through which consumers may initiate complaints and request
general information about insurance. The department would be able to
satisfy these requirements through separate or supplemental
publications and updates, and the Superintendent would be required to
post the "Consumer Guide on Insuring Against Catastrophic Losses" on
the Department's website.

Justification:  Following Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storms Irene
and Lee, many policyholders were surprised that their insurance
company either rejected their claim or offered them a settlement
amount that was significantly lower than the cost of the damages. Many
policyholders thought that their existing insurance policy provided
sufficient coverage for water damage and other catastrophic losses
caused by these storms. Often, there were long delays in the
investigation and settlement of claims, leaving home and business
owners in limbo for weeks, sometimes months. It became clear to the
victims of these storms that insurance policies can be complex, the
claims process can be burdensome for the policyholder, and insurance
companies can be unresponsive at a time when assistance is needed the
most.  Policyholders should be made aware of the different insurance
coverage options available, the benefits of each option, and their
rights under the law.

This bill would address these issues by requiring insurers to provide
insureds and prospective insureds with a notice containing a
Homeowners' Bill of Rights. The notice would inform consumers of the
coverage provided and any exclusions, what flood zone they are located
in and what the level of risk associated with that flood zone is, how
they can obtain additional coverage, their rights under the law, and
other information that will educate consumers about their insurance
coverage. This will ensure that policyholders have coverage that meets
their needs.

Prior Legislative History:  New bill.

Fiscal Implications For State Arid Local Governments:  To be

Effective Date:  Immediately.

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