I got a phone call from a member while I was driving to work this morning (disclaimer: I have hands-free access in my car), and it got me thinking that some New York insurance producers need more information. As I've reported in this space before (and discussed in a July webinar,) ACORD introduced a new form specific to New York last May. The form is New York Construction Certificate of Liability Insurance Addendum, form number ACORD 855 NY (2014/05).
Since ACORD launched the form for use, I've received a number of inquiries from members wanting to know how they can get a copy. This morning's caller asked if she should go to the Web site of the New York State Department of Financial Services to get it. This told me two things, one of which I already knew: 1) Agencies are not yet able to download the form from their agency management systems, and 2) some are under the misimpression that the New York State government created and is mandating this form.
To be clear, the NYSDFS had nothing to do with the creation of this form. Zippo. I assume they now know that it exists, but that's the extent of their involvement. ACORD created this form at the behest of several private organizations (IIABNY among them) because of conditions in the New York construction insurance market. True, state law (primarily the scaffold law) is a major influence on those conditions, so one could say that the state government indirectly influenced the form's creation. Members have also reported to me that at least one state government agency is now requiring contractors doing business with it to submit the addendum. However, it is simply incorrect to say or believe that this form came from the DFS. It didn't; it came from ACORD and a bunch of organizations who are trying to get some control for insurance producers over the proprietary certificate forms that different entities have foisted on us over the years.
Compared to many other states, New York taxes more and regulates more. There are many things we have to do in business, especially the insurance business, for which we can truthfully say, "The state is making me do this." The ACORD 855 NY is not one of them.
Any ACORD form user can download forms from ACORD's Web site. For less than $200 a year, agents can join the ACORD Advantage program and gain access to enhanced fillable forms. If your agency has an agency management system, that system may provide you with access. If it's not making available forms you need, such as the ACORD 855 NY, contact the vendor and tell them you need it.
Just don't go looking for it on the DFS Web site. You won't find it there.