PIWA’s ‘Day on the Hill’ and how the 2018
session wrapped up
PIWA Board Member Kyle Burch; PIWA President Tony Sidoni; Sen. Seward’s
Counsel Morgan Halloran; PIWA Legislative Chair Wil Cote; and Sen. James L.
President Tony Sidoni, PIWA Legislative Chair Wil Cote and PIWA Board
Member Kyle Burch spent May 14 at the state Capitol to meet with
legislators, including Sen. James L. Seward, R-51, and staff to discuss the
wholesalers view on legislation before the state Assembly and Senate. The
PIWA representatives explained that its members provide hard-to-place
specialty insurance that help retail insurance professionals to help
minimize risk for New York individuals and businesses, which allows
businesses to operate in challenging environments and provides compensation
told its legislative representatives that its members provide insurance in
both the licensed and excess-line market (e.g., in 2017, wholesalers
accounted for 283,787 transactions with nearly $2.5 billion dollars of New
York premiums, placed in the excess line market). PIWA members account for
a similar amount in the licensed market.
their meetings with legislators, PIWA representatives discussed the issue
important to its members. Some of the bills were acted on before the New
York state legislative session ended on June 20:
CE for association membership (S.3960/A.7012-A).
Under the terms of the bill, sponsored by Sen. James Seward, R-51, and
Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter, D-128, active members of a statewide
professional insurance producer association would be granted six
continuing-education credits. PIWA provided a memo in support of the
legislation to the state Assembly. This bill passed both houses before
the legislative session ended.
Punitive damages (S.423-A/A.4734-A).
Legislation advanced by the Excess Line Association of New York, which
would permit insurance for punitive damages was amended by the bill
sponsors, Sen. Seward and Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119. New
York’s highest court has ruled that insurance does not cover punitive
damages. These bills would change New York law to permit insurance coverage
of punitive damages and civil penalties. The bill excludes personal lines
and commercial auto; does not cover insureds for conduct that was intended
to cause the relevant harm; and states that coverage must be expressly
provided for by an insurance policy. Some insurance companies and insurance
trade associations oppose this bill, because they are concerned that there
will be more demands made for punitive damages if this coverage is
available. This bill did not pass either house before the legislative
Medical malpractice insurance (S.422/A.29).
Also advanced by ELANY and supported by PIWA, this legislation is sponsored
by Sen. Seward and Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103. It would remove the
declination requirement by the residual market for medical malpractice
insurance. Currently, doctors and dentists have limited viable medical
malpractice options, as either scandal or onerous government regulation has
limited their choices. Also, risk retention groups, whose New York state
regulation is preempted under federal law, operate freely in New York.
However, well-capitalized, high-rated nonadmitted companies are not
available to New Yorkers under the present statutory regime. PIWA is
preparing a comparison for policymakers to compare differences in protection
under New York state law for insureds in the licensed market, the residual
market, virtually unregulated risk retention market, and the highly
capitalized, nonadmitted market (if New York allowed placement). This
bill did not pass either house before the legislative session ended.
Short-term rentals of private dwellings (S.5978-A/A.8065-A).
Sen. Rich Funke, R-55, introduced amendments to his legislation that would
regulate AirBnB-type rentals. One provision in the amended bill would
mandate minimum insurance by licensed insurance companies only. This bill
would prevent such insurance to be written in the well-capitalized,
high-rated nonadmitted market. Funke and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy,
D-109, who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, were receptive to PIWA’s
concerns about these bills and amended the language to allow placement
through duly licensed excess-line brokers. This change is similar to the
amendments PIWA’s efforts obtained for security guards in a similar bill
several years ago. This bill did not pass either house before the
legislative session ended.
Additional wins for PIWA members
you may know, the governor’s proposal for a 900-percent increase in
insurance fines in certain instances did not make the final budget. The
proposal that would have allowed insurance adjusters with felony
convictions also was not adopted.
following additional PIWA-supported legislation passed both houses of the
Legislature before the session ended:
ELANY authority extender (S.7626/A.10584).
Sponsored by Sen. Seward and Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, D-67, the
bill would extend the authority of the Excess Line Association of New York
until 2024. This bill passed both houses before the legislative session
Prelicensing coursework via internet (S.7634-A/A.9527-A). This
legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione, R-43, and
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-113, would ensure that prelicensing courses
for all forms of insurance are offered in both classroom and
correspondence/distance learning formats. This bill passed both houses
before the legislative session ended.
Exemptions for certain filing requirements (S.7746-A/A.10634).
This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Seward and Assemblyman Phillip
Steck, D-110, would extend the authority of Free Trade Zone, class-three
risks until 2023. This bill passed both houses before the legislative
Electronic delivery of notices (S.5061/A.2476-B).
PIWA raised concerns (e.g., under this proposal, the wholesaler is not
required to be notified) with these bills, which the sponsors Sen. Seward
and Assemblyman Andrew D. Hevesi told PIWA they would consider. This
bill did not pass either house before the legislative session ended.
At the close
was an eventful year for New York state when you consider: the corruption
trials; the departure of a popular attorney general; the return of the
Senate Independent Democratic Conference to the mainline Democrats; and the
31-31 tie in the Senate, in which 32 votes are needed to pass a bill. Gov.
Andrew M. Cuomo also found himself another challenger for the governor’s
office after the start of another executive-connected corruption trial
(involving the Buffalo Billions and Syracuse former-Mayor Stephanie Miner,
who also was a former State Committee Chair).
the legislative session concluded at the end of June, there is talk already
that Cuomo may recall the Legislature to Albany to adopt authority to
extend speed cameras in New York City. The current authority expires in
Were you at the PIWA Spring Reception?
than 60 insurance professionals gathered for PIWA’s Spring Reception, May
17, at The Standard Biergarten, New York City. Company and Agency attendees
gathered at the restaurant for an enjoyable evening of networking.
event offers attendees the chance to catch up with industry peers and keep
a pulse on what’s going on in the wholesaler industry,” said PIWA President
more information about the event, including photos, click here.
What’s next …
you interested in how the wholesalers market is stacking up? PIWA has
compiled this infographic.
the date for the PIWA Fall Reception, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, at the
HAVEN Rooftop, New York, N.Y.
the next issue of the PIWA eBulletin in October for more information