A02287 Summary:

SAME ASNo same as
COSPNSRCahill, Titone, Cusick, Morelle, Goldfeder, Weisenberg, Skoufis, Brook-Krasny, Cymbrowitz, Hennessey, Weinstein, Gottfried, Lupardo, Nolan, Perry, Santabarbara, Millman, Otis, Ramos, Titus, Weprin, Moya, Abinanti
MLTSPNSRBenedetto, 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.
Go to top    

A02287 Actions:

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

A02287 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Silver (MS)
  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, informa- tion related to claims investigation and processing, the rights of the insured under the law, that the provisions of the policy could be modi- fied 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 commer- cial 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 practice. 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 informa- tion 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 expla- nation 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 sepa- rate 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 cover- age for water damage and other catastrophic losses caused by these storms. Often, there were long delays in the investigation and settle- ment 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 bene- fits 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 infor- mation 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 deter- mined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
Go to top