It's not all glamour being IIABNY's resident InsuranceGeek®. I know what you're thinking -- "Tim, you have the geek cave, the Flip Cam, the freedom to travel to the Indy 500, Hogwarts Castle, and the beach." Well, yes, but -- leaving aside the association's failure to date to honor my rather modest job perk requests (50 pound boxes of peanut M&M's; bottled Alpine spring water with expiration dates no sooner than December 31, 2012; and a Swedish masseuse named Helga) -- still, there are times when even I must engage in tasks that are somewhat less than intellectually challenging. In the vernacular: Grunt work.
One of these tasks is updating the Insurance Legislation pages on the IIABNY Web site. When our legislative representatives (Michael Barrett, Jill Muratori and Peter Carr) send us the raw file for the Capitol Report, they include a list of insurance-related bills recently introduced in the New York State Legislature. I take that information and enter it on the legislation pages on our Web site so that members can peruse the list and get more information about any particular bills that interest them. When a bill gets introduced, I normally put it for one week on the list of new bills, then move it to its appropriate category (auto, life and health, workers' comp, etc.) afterword.
If you click the link in the last paragraph, you will find no bills listed as having been recently introduced. That is because the latest Capitol Report had a list of bills that went on for eight pages. Eight frackin' pages. If there's one thing our representatives in Albany really enjoy, it's introducing legislation. I decided, in the interest of keeping the list of new bills reasonable, to just skip that step and put all the new introductions on their appropriate pages. I'm not done yet, but I'm more than halfway finished.
This blog post actually has a point, and it's not about how oppressive my workload is. Rather, as I was updating these pages, the interesting ideas our representatives have for state laws jumped out at me, and I thought you might find some of the proposals 1) interesting; 2) terrifying; 3) laughable. Bear in mind that thousands of bills get introduced each year but only a few even make it out of committee, let alone gain passage from both legislative chambers and the governor's signature. So don't barricade the doors as you read some of these. This is just a sample of what at least some members of the Assembly and Senate would like to do:
- Reduces a retired or disabled owner's no fault insurance premium by providing appropriate automobile insurance rates to reflect a reduced exposure to loss due to situations where drivers either have no wages to lose or are covered for lost wages by another first payer insurance policy. (Bill numbers A.530, S.803, Assemblyman Thiele, Senator LaValle)
- Prohibits the inclusion of any advertisement or other information in any mailing sent by the department of motor vehicles. (A.617, Assem. Sayward)
- Provides that an insurer may not hold nor acquire interest in a motor vehicle repair shop. (A.960, Assem. Destito)
- Requires motor vehicle repair shops to provide written notice to customers that an insurance company cannot require a person to use a specific repair shop. (A.1192, Assem. Gantt)
- Provides that reduction in auto insurance premium for insured who completes defensive driving course shall not be less than fifteen percent. (A.1236, Assem. Colton)
- Provides that motor vehicles manufactured after December 31, 2011 and operated in New York state shall be equipped with an event data recorder. (A.1870, Assem. Jeffries)
- Relates to prohibiting rate variations of over ten percent between counties within the city of New York for non-business private passenger automobiles. (S.1344, Sen. Dilan)
- Provides for the revocation of insurers license, and prohibits the sale of new policies where insurer cancels or fails to renew two percent or more of home owner policies in high risk areas, including coastal areas. (S.1118, Sen. Parker)
- Provides that the maximum deductible allowed in catastrophic windstorms shall not be greater than fifteen hundred dollars and shall be stated in the policy in numerical terms; also provides that deductibles shall only be applicable to losses incurred in windstorms with speeds greater than 125 miles per hour. (A.1413, S.1460, Assem. Thiele, Sen. Lavalle)
- Requires notice of cancellation or non-renewal of property/casualty insurance policies to be sent by an insurer to an insured by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. (S.833, Stavisky)
- Requires insurers to provide certificate holders with at least thirty days prior written notice of termination of group health insurance coverage. (A.2006, S.1167, Assem. Weprin, Sen. Parker)
That's just a smattering of the bills lawmakers have introduced. Probably very few of them will become law. What are your thoughts on these or some of the others you see listed on our Web site? Let me know in the comments.