Legislative Update by Robert S. Pastel, Esq
PIWA¡¯s Legislative Representative
On the budget front, the Governor has proposed including fines that specify insurance entities acting without a license and to increase the fines on regulated entities to a minimum of $10,000 for failure to pay a claim or making a false statement to the Superintendent. (A.9507-A/S.5707-A.)
Senator Seward and Assemblyman Brindisi have amended their proposals to allow for the insurability of punitive damages (S.423-A/A.4753-A). The amendment removes personal lines and commercial auto, and permits insuring punitive damages for vicarious liability.
PIWA supports legislation which provides CE credits for belonging to producer organizations which have educational components. S.3960 by Senator Seward, was reported to the floor of the Senate. Assembly member Pamela Hunter (D-Syracuse) is sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, A.7012.
PIWA also supports A.29 by Assemblyman Cahill and S.422 by Senator Seward, which would remove the declination requirement of the medical malpractice residual market mechanism prior to placing business in the highly capitalized non-admitted market. These bills remain in their respective insurance committees.
PIWA has concerns with A.8484/S.6445 requiring a uniform license date for all business entity licenses. These bills would establish June 30 of odd-numbered years as the one common expiration date for all business entity producer licenses. There can be instances that the increased work load on DFS will prevent timely renewals if centered into one expiration date. PIWA suggests that the uniform date is a worthy goal, but suggests that its application be staggered throughout the year. PIWA proposes leaving it up to the DFS to set up the dates on a unified basis to stagger the workload, one suggestion is that DFS could divide the licensees into quarters, so that ¨ù of the licensees could have concurrent expiration dates. This could also extend help the CE providers who have once a year rushes.
Legislation to reestablish the NYC Fire Patrol, S.2604, was reported to the Senate Floor. The Fire Patrol had limited usefulness, but was costly to maintain, since it was funded out of assessments on insurance.