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A07910 Summary:

BILL NOA07910
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07298
 
SPONSORWeprin
 
COSPNSRReyes, Gallagher, Levenberg, Lee, Shimsky, Gunther, Dickens, Gonzalez-Rojas, Burdick, Hevesi, Lucas, Seawright, Aubry, Cruz, Lunsford, Glick, Ardila, Simone, Wallace, Septimo
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §2618, Ins L
 
Prohibits insurance discrimination because of the affordability of residential buildings and residential construction projects.
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A07910 Actions:

BILL NOA07910
 
08/04/2023referred to insurance
01/03/2024referred to insurance
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A07910 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7910
 
SPONSOR: Weprin
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting discrimi- nation because of affordability of residential buildings and residential construction projects   PURPOSE OF BILL: To ensure that affordable housing is not subject to discrimination in purchasing and retaining insurance.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends the insurance law by adding a new section 2618 which stipulates that refusing to issue an insurance policy, or modifying an existing insurance policy for less than the full value of the policy, is strictly prohibited when based on the inclusion of affordable housing units in a residential building. Section two sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2021, the Legislature and the Governor enacted a statute (Chapter 790, S5231/A5574 Kavanagh/Cymbrowitz), which directed the Department of Finance Services (DFS) and Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) to conduct a study to examine the increasing costs of insurance premiums and decreasing availability of insurance coverage for affordable housing developments. The study, published in November 2022, collected stake- holder feedback from affordable housing developers; analyzed the insur- ance costs and coverage of affordable housing projects within HCR's portfolio; and examined factors that may contribute to the underwriting, rating, and price-setting of premiums of fire and casualty insurance plans. The report states that although the "Insurance Law does not explicitly prohibit consideration of whether a property is comprised of, in part, affordable, subsidized, or Section 8 units when making under- writing or rating determinations," "insurer inquiries about affordable housing raise legitimate concerns from stakeholders about the potential for unfairly discriminatory results." In the study, affordable housing owners indicated that insurance compa- nies and producers often ask whether buildings contain affordable, subsidized, or Section 8 units, and what proportion of the buildings are such units. Presumably insurers intend to use responses to these inquiries to make decisions about which properties to insure and at what price. According to the study, affordable housing owners indicated that the "reasons that the insurers would not write the risks included an inability to consider NYC Habitational and/or Affordable Housing risks at this time,' to a lack of appetite for affordable housing developments in New York City, to only being willing to consider housing with 'no more than 20%' section 8 housing." New York Insurance Law allows insurers to consider underwriting and rating factors that are reasonably related to actual or anticipated. losses to ensure that rates are adequate and that policyholder claims will be paid. While the Insurance Law explicitly prohibits the use of certain factors in underwriting or rating, such as race, color, creed, national origin, disability, and status, it does not explicitly prohibit consideration of whether a property is comprised of, in part, afforda- ble, subsidized, or Section 8 units when making underwriting or rating determinations. However, these insurer inquiries about affordable hous- ing raise legitimate concerns from stakeholders about the potential for unfairly discriminatory results. This legislation addresses these concerns by prohibiting discrimination against affordable, subsidized, or Section 8 housing in underwriting or insurance policies.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A07910 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          7910
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     August 4, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. WEPRIN -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Insurance
 
        AN  ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting discrimi-
          nation because of affordability of residential buildings and  residen-
          tial construction projects
 
          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  2618
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  2618. Discrimination because of affordability of residential build-
     4  ings  and  residential  construction  projects.    Notwithstanding   the
     5  provisions  of  section  three thousand four hundred twenty-nine of this
     6  chapter, no individual or entity  subject  to  the  supervision  of  the
     7  superintendent  shall refuse to issue any policy of insurance, or cancel
     8  or decline to renew the policy; make any distinction  or  discrimination
     9  as  to  the premiums or rates charged for such policies; make or require
    10  any rebate, discrimination or discount upon the amount to be paid or the
    11  service to be rendered on any policy; insert in the  policy  any  condi-
    12  tion,  or make any stipulation, whereby the insured binds themselves, or
    13  their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, to accept any sum  or
    14  service  less  than the full value or amount of such policy in case of a
    15  claim thereon except such conditions and  stipulations  as  are  imposed
    16  upon  others  in similar cases; or fix any lower rate or discriminate in
    17  the fees or commissions of agents or brokers  for  writing  or  renewing
    18  such a policy, due to any of the following factors:
    19    (a)  The  presence within such a residential building or a residential
    20  construction project of dwelling units that are subject to  restrictions
    21  on  the maximum amount of rent that may be charged pursuant to a statue,
    22  regulation, regulatory agreement or restrictive declaration with a city,
    23  state, or federal agency;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10702-05-3

        A. 7910                             2
 
     1    (b) The presence within such a residential building or  a  residential
     2  construction  project  of  tenants  with rental assistance provided by a
     3  city, state, or federal agency, housing authority, or other entity wher-
     4  ein the tenant's portion of the rent is limited to a percentage  of  his
     5  or her income; or
     6    (c)  Whether  such  residential  building  or residential construction
     7  project is a limited-equity cooperative or  limited-equity  condominium;
     8  owned  by  a public housing authority; or owned by a housing development
     9  fund corporation as defined in the private housing finance law.
    10    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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