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
06/04/2013 REFERRED TO INSURANCE
01/08/2014 DIED IN SENATE
01/08/2014 RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
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
06/19/2014 REFERRED TO RULES
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A02287 Votes:

A02287A06/04/2013 118/26
AbbateYColtonYGarbariYKearnsYMillmanYRiveraYStevensY
AbinantYCookYGibsonERKellnerYMontesaNORobertsYStirpeY
ArroyoYCorwinNOGiglioYKimYMorelleYRobinsoYSweeneyY
AubryYCrespoYGjonajYKolbNOMosleyYRodriguERTediscoNO
BarclayNOCrouchNOGlickYLalorNOMoyaYRosaYTenneyNO
BarrettYCurranYGoldfedYLavineYNojayNORosenthYThieleY
BarronYCusickYGoodellNOLentolYNolanYRozicYTitoneY
BenedetYCymbrowYGottfriYLiftonYOaksNORussellYTitusY
BlankenNODenDekkYGrafYLopezYO'DonneYRyanYWalterNO
BorelliYDinowitYGuntherYLupardoYOrtizYSaladinYWeinsteY
BoylandYDiPietrNOHawleyNOLupinacYOtisYSantabaYWeisenbY
BraunstYDupreyNOHeastieYMageeYPalmesaNOScarborYWeprinY
BrennanYEnglebrYHennessYMagnareYPaulinYSchimelYWrightY
BrindisYEspinalYHevesiYMaiselYPeoplesYSchimmiNOZebrowsY
BronsonYFahyYHikindYMalliotYPerryYSepulveYMr SpkrY
Brook-KERFarrellYHooperYMarkeyYPretlowYSimanowY
BuchwalYFinchNOJacobsYMayerYQuartYSimotasY
ButlerNOFitzpatNOJaffeeYMcDonalYRaYSkartadY
CahillYFriendNOJohnsYMcDonouYRabbittYSkoufisY
CamaraYGabryszYJordanNOMcKevitYRaiaYSolagesY
CerettoYGalefYKatzNOMcLaughYRamosYStecNO
ClarkYGanttYKavanagYMillerYReilichNOSteckY

A02287A06/19/2014 107/23
AbbateYCorwinNOGlickYLavineYNolanYRozicYTitusY
AbinantYCrespoYGoldfedYLentolYOaksYRussellYWalterNO
ArroyoERCrouchNOGoodellNOLiftonYO'DonneYRyanYWeinsteY
AubryYCurranYGottfriABLopezYOrtizYSaladinYWeisenbER
BarclayNOCusickYGrafYLupardoYOtisYSantabaYWeprinY
BarrettYCymbrowYGuntherYLupinacYPalmesaNOScarborYWrightY
BenedetYDavilaYHawleyNOMageeYPalumboYSchimelYZebrowsY
BlankenNODenDekkYHeastieERMagnareYPaulinYSchimmiNOMr SpkrY
BorelliYDinowitYHennessYMalliotYPeoplesYSepulveY
BraunstYDiPietrNOHevesiYMarkeyERPerryYSimanowY
BrennanYDupreyNOHikindERMayerYPichardYSimotasY
BrindisYEnglebrYHooperYMcDonalYPretlowYSkartadY
BronsonYFahyYJacobsYMcDonouYQuartYSkoufisY
Brook-KYFarrellYJaffeeYMcKevitYRaYSolagesY
BuchwalYFinchNOJohnsYMcLaughNORaiaYStecNO
ButlerNOFitzpatNOKatzNOMillerYRamosYSteckY
CahillYFriendNOKavanagYMillmanYRiveraYStirpeY
CamaraERGalefYKearnsYMontesaNORobertsYSweeneyY
CerettoYGanttYKellnerABMorelleYRobinsoERTediscoNO
ClarkYGarbariYKimYMosleyYRodriguYTenneyER
ColtonYGiglioYKolbNOMoyaYRosaYThieleY
CookYGjonajYLalorNONojayNORosenthYTitoneY

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A02287 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2287A
 
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.
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A02287 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         2287--A
 
                               2013-2014 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 11, 2013
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. SILVER, TITONE, CUSICK, MORELLE, GOLDFEDER, WEIS-
          ENBERG, SKOUFIS, BROOK-KRASNY, CYMBROWITZ, HENNESSEY, WEINSTEIN, GOTT-
          FRIED,  LUPARDO,  NOLAN,  PERRY, SANTABARBARA, MILLMAN, OTIS, RAMOS --
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ABINANTI, BENEDETTO,  BRENNAN,  COLTON,
          ENGLEBRIGHT,  GALEF, GLICK, GUNTHER, JACOBS, JAFFEE, LAVINE, V. LOPEZ,

          MAISEL,  MARKEY,  ORTIZ,  PAULIN,  SOLAGES,  SWEENEY,  THIELE,  TITUS,
          ZEBROWSKI  --  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 creating a homeowners'
          bill  of  rights and a consumer guide on insuring against catastrophic
          loss caused by natural 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 3444-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  3444-a.  Homeowners'  bill  of  rights. (a) Any insurer that writes
     4  personal lines insurance as defined in paragraph two of  subsection  (a)

     5  of  section  three  thousand four hundred twenty-five of this article or
     6  commercial lines insurance policies that cover loss of or damage to real
     7  property, personal property, or other liabilities for loss of or  damage
     8  to  property  shall,  upon  issuance  and  renewal of any such policy or
     9  contract, provide to an insured or potential  insured  written  detailed
    10  disclosure  in  a  notice  prescribed  or approved by the superintendent
    11  describing clearly and in plain language the following:
    12    (1) any and all coverage  for  loss  caused  by  certain  occurrences,
    13  including but not limited to fire, wind, windstorm, mudslide, hurricane,
    14  snow,  ice,  water surge, or flood, coverages provided under the policy,

    15  any limitations on or exclusions from coverage, circumstances that would
    16  invalidate coverage under the policy, any  applicable  deductibles,  and
    17  when such deductibles shall be triggered;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07472-03-3

        A. 2287--A                          2
 
     1    (2)  all  information  related to claims investigation and processing,
     2  including but not limited to the process by which the insured may file a
     3  claim, all applicable time frames required by law  and  regulation,  all
     4  necessary  proof  of  loss information and other information the insurer

     5  may  require from the insured, the process by which the insured may file
     6  a complaint with the department, and any other information deemed neces-
     7  sary by the superintendent;
     8    (3) any and all rights a claimant has under the laws and policy when a
     9  claim is denied or when the claimant rejects a settlement offer from the
    10  insurer, including their right to file a complaint with the department;
    11    (4) that the provisions of this policy  may  be  modified  or  changed
    12  pursuant  to  state  or  federal  law when a local state of emergency is
    13  declared pursuant to section twenty-four of the executive law, when  the
    14  governor  declares a disaster emergency pursuant to section twenty-eight
    15  of the executive law, or when the President of the United States  issues

    16  a  major  disaster  or  emergency  declaration pursuant to the Robert T.
    17  Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288)  and
    18  how  the  insured may obtain information about any such modifications or
    19  changes;
    20    (5) information on how the insured may contact the insurer,  including
    21  the insurer's business hours, mailing address, phone number, fax number,
    22  website address and email; and
    23    (6)  information  on how the insured can obtain the consumers guide on
    24  insuring against catastrophic losses created by the department  pursuant
    25  to  section  three  hundred  thirty-eight  of this chapter and any other
    26  guides, pamphlets, or other information the department has made publicly

    27  available that would be beneficial to the insured.
    28    § 2. Section 3444 of the insurance law, as amended by  chapter  21  of
    29  the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
    30    §  3444. Flood insurance notice and flood zone disclosure. 1. Insurers
    31  shall provide to their  homeowners  and  dwelling  fire  personal  lines
    32  insureds  an annual notice prescribed or approved by the superintendent,
    33  explaining clearly and in plain language that: (a) such policies do  not
    34  provide coverage for loss caused by mudslide or flood; and (b) insurance
    35  is  available  under  separate  policies  issued  in accordance with the
    36  National Flood Insurance Program, 42 U.S.C. § 4001  et  seq.,  including
    37  information regarding flood insurance eligibility and access.
    38    2.  The policyholder notice required by subsection one of this section

    39  shall accompany all new homeowners  and  dwelling  fire  personal  lines
    40  policies and all renewal homeowners and dwelling fire policies.
    41    3.  (a)  An  insurer  or  producer  shall,  prior to the time a policy
    42  subject to subsection (a) of section three thousand four hundred  forty-
    43  four-a of this article is sold or purchased and upon renewal of any such
    44  policy,  disclose  to the potential insured that the real property which
    45  would be covered by the policy is in a flood zone, which flood zone  the
    46  real  property is located in, and what the level of risk associated with
    47  that flood zone is, as determined by the  Federal  Emergency  Management
    48  Agency.  This  disclosure  shall  be  in a form and manner prescribed or
    49  approved by the superintendent.

    50    (b) At the time of the disclosure required by paragraph  (a)  of  this
    51  subsection, an insurer or producer shall notify potential insureds, in a
    52  form  and  manner  prescribed  or approved by the superintendent, of the
    53  availability of additional coverage options for damage as  a  result  of
    54  weather  conditions,  natural disasters, or other occurrences, including
    55  but not limited to fire, wind,  windstorm,  mudslide,  hurricane,  snow,
    56  ice, water surge, and flood. Such notification shall contain information

        A. 2287--A                          3
 
     1  on  additional  available  policies  and  riders,  the New York Property
     2  Insurance  Underwriting  Association,  the  Coastal  Market   Assistance

     3  Program,  the  National  Flood  Insurance Program, and any other options
     4  authorized  by  state  or federal law.   The notification must include a
     5  concise statement that additional types of coverage  are  available  and
     6  the  types  of  coverage that can be purchased from the insurer and from
     7  another party.
     8    (c) The potential insured shall acknowledge receipt of the  disclosure
     9  and  notification  required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection
    10  through a signed writing,  electronic  signature,  or  any  other  means
    11  prescribed or approved by the superintendent, evidencing that the poten-
    12  tial  insured  has received the disclosure. Such acknowledgment shall be
    13  presumptive evidence that the obligations of disclosure and notification

    14  stated within this subsection have been  fulfilled  by  the  insurer  or
    15  producer and shall not be required upon renewal.
    16    4. (a) If the flood zone in which the insured real property is located
    17  changes,  the  insurer  or  producer  shall, prior to the renewal of the
    18  policy, provide the insured with an  updated  disclosure  informing  the
    19  insured of the new flood zone and what the level of risk associated with
    20  that  flood  zone  is, as determined by the Federal Emergency Management
    21  Agency. This updated disclosure shall be provided in a form  and  manner
    22  prescribed or approved by the superintendent.
    23    (b)  The  insured  shall acknowledge receipt of the updated disclosure
    24  required by paragraph (a) of this subsection through a  signed  writing,

    25  electronic  signature,  or any other means prescribed or approved by the
    26  superintendent, evidencing that the potential insured has  received  the
    27  disclosure.  Such  acknowledgment shall be presumptive evidence that the
    28  obligations of disclosure and notification stated within this subsection
    29  have been fulfilled by the insurer or producer.
    30    § 3. Paragraph 6 of subsection (a) of section 2601  of  the  insurance
    31  law, as amended by chapter 388 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new
    32  paragraph 7 is added to read as follows:
    33    (6)  failing  to promptly disclose coverage pursuant to subsection (d)
    34  or subparagraph (A) of paragraph two of subsection (f) of section  three
    35  thousand four hundred twenty of this chapter[.]; or

    36    (7) knowingly misrepresenting or failing to provide pertinent facts of
    37  policy  provisions  to  claimants  as required by section three thousand
    38  four hundred forty-four-a of this chapter and not  complying  with  such
    39  policy  provisions, including established time frames for investigation,
    40  claims processing and settlement, and payment of claims.
    41    § 4. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 338 to  read
    42  as follows:
    43    § 338. Consumer guide on insuring against catastrophic losses. (a) Six
    44  months  after  the  effective  date  of this section, the superintendent
    45  shall issue and update, as  necessary,  a  consumer  guide  on  insuring
    46  against catastrophic losses that shall contain comprehensive information

    47  written  in plain language in a clear and understandable format, includ-
    48  ing the following:
    49    (1) the ways in which different types of weather  conditions,  natural
    50  disasters, or other occurrences can cause catastrophic losses, including
    51  but  not  limited to damage from fire, wind, windstorm, mudslide, hurri-
    52  cane, snow, ice, extreme cold, water surge, and flood;
    53    (2) the types of insurance available  that  provide  coverage  against
    54  catastrophic  losses  for  both  homeowners and businesses, a listing of
    55  companies that provide such coverage, and recommendations as to how best

        A. 2287--A                          4
 
     1  to shop for and compare prices, service and quality of insurance  cover-
     2  age;

     3    (3)  a  list  of  the  exclusions typically found in such coverage and
     4  information on how a consumer may obtain coverage for  such  exclusions,
     5  including  a  listing  of  companies  that  provide such coverage and an
     6  explanation of, information on, and the types of coverage available from
     7  the New York Property Insurance Underwriters  Association,  the  Coastal
     8  Market Assistance Program, and the National Flood Insurance Program, and
     9  other options authorized by state or federal law;
    10    (4)  steps  a  consumer  can take to prepare for a natural disaster or
    11  other catastrophic loss;
    12    (5) steps a consumer can take following a catastrophic loss  in  order
    13  to  facilitate  the  timely processing of the consumer's insurance claim

    14  and an explanation of policyholders' rights as provided in law and regu-
    15  lation; and
    16    (6) a department toll  free  consumer  hot-line  and  website  address
    17  through  which  consumers  may  initiate complaints, and request general
    18  information about insurance.
    19    (b) The requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this  section  may
    20  be satisfied by separate or supplemental publications and updates.
    21    (c)  The  superintendent  shall  post  the  consumer guide on insuring
    22  against catastrophic losses on the department's website.
    23    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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