What you need to know:
The New York State Senate and Assembly have adjourned for the year.
Several bills that Big I NY opposed, including business interruption coverage mandates and “bad faith" liability were not passed.
The legislature will hold joint hearings on COVID-19 between July 28th and August 25th.
As of July 24th, the NY Senate and Assembly stand adjourned at the call of the Majority Leader and Speaker, respectively. Unlike in past years, all bills “on third reading," meaning those that have passed the relevant committee(s) and are eligible for a vote by the full house, remain on third reading. Legislative leaders can call legislators back to session at any point during the remainder of the year, and can resume voting on bills. The legislature will hold joint hearings on COVID-19 between July 28th and August 25th, and the prevailing opinion is they are likely to reconvene session in the early fall.
Business Interruption Bills Defeated:
From their first introduction, Big I NY strongly opposed bills to retroactively mandate that business interruption coverage apply to pandemic related-losses. Such proposals would decimate the private insurance market, harm all NY policyholders, provide limited benefit to hurting businesses, and are almost certainly unconstitutional. We further oppose legislation to that would proactively mandate such coverage, as it would also create a crisis of cost and availability for business interruption coverage. During the final crucial weeks of session, we launched a grassroots campaign pressuring legislators to reject these harmful bills, resulting in well over six hundred emails sent and four dozen phone calls to members of the NY Assembly.
“Bad Faith" Liability Bills Defeated:
Big I NY worked closely with the carrier trades to oppose legislation that would impose sweeping legal liability on insurers for a range of “bad faith" claim settlement conduct. This legislation, which is a priority for the plaintiff's bar, would result in an avalanche of litigation against insurers, driving up premiums for all New York customers.
Dog Breed Legislation Withdrawn from Committee Agenda:
On Monday, the Senate Insurance Committee was scheduled to vote on S.7924, which would prohibit insurers from canceling, refusing to issue or renew, or charging higher premiums for homeowners’ insurance based on the breed of a dog. Big I NY opposed this legislation, and it was subsequently pulled from the committee agenda at the sponsor's request. The bill therefore did not advance.
Bill Authorizing Sale of Group Fleet For-Hire Auto Passed:
Both the Senate and Assembly passed legislation requiring NY insurers to establish a group fleet policy insuring against the losses or liabilities arising out of the ownership of motor vehicles engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers for-hire, having a seating capacity of not less than eight passengers. The legislation takes effect immediately upon signature by the governor.
Police Liability Insurance Legislation Not Considered:
Legislation to require police officers to carry liability insurance garnered attention nationally, but was not acted on in either the Senate or Assembly.