Bill Text: NY S01634 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates a task force on disasters to examine how insurers who write policies that cover loss of or damage to real property, personal property or other liabilities for loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or property in the state respond to disasters.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-02-04 - referred to insurance [S01634 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S01634-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          1634
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 15, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sen.  BROOKS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance
        AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to creating a task  force
          on disasters
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 215 to
     2  read as follows:
     3    § 215. Task force on disasters.  (a) There is hereby  created  a  task
     4  force  to  examine how insurers who write policies that cover loss of or
     5  damage to real property, personal property,  or  other  liabilities  for
     6  loss  of,  damage to, or injury to persons or property in New York state
     7  respond to disasters, in what ways state and local agencies such as  the
     8  department of financial services can assist in such response and whether
     9  policyholders and communities have adequate insurance.
    10    (b)  (1)  The task force shall consist of twenty-three members, one of
    11  whom shall be the superintendent or  his  or  her  designated  represen-
    12  tative,  six  of  whom  shall be appointed by the governor, five of whom
    13  shall be appointed by the governor based upon the recommendation of  the
    14  speaker of the assembly, five of whom shall be appointed by the governor
    15  based  upon the recommendation of the temporary president of the senate,
    16  three of whom shall be appointed by the governor based upon  the  recom-
    17  mendation  of  the  minority  leader  of the assembly, and three of whom
    18  shall be appointed by the governor based upon the recommendation of  the
    19  minority leader of the senate.
    20    (2) The appointees shall include representatives of the following:
    21    (A)  four  insurers who write policies that cover loss of or damage to
    22  real property, personal property, or  other  liabilities  for  loss  of,
    23  damage  to,  or injury to persons or property, including representatives
    24  from companies of varying sizes and locations and at least  one  insurer
    25  who writes for the national flood insurance program.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD06900-01-9

        S. 1634                             2
     1    (B)  ten  local  officials  who  respond to disasters and emergencies,
     2  including police officials, professional and volunteer fire and emergen-
     3  cy services personnel, and local officials responsible for  the  coordi-
     4  nation  of  emergency services and the locality's response to a disaster
     5  or emergency.  These appointments shall reflect the geographic diversity
     6  of  the  state  and include representatives from localities with varying
     7  population densities.  These appointments shall also  include  represen-
     8  tatives from the following regions: New York city, Long Island, mid-Hud-
     9  son,  capital  region,  north  country,  Mohawk  Valley,  Southern tier,
    10  Central New York, Finger lakes, and Western New York.
    11    (C) two organizations that represent independent and public adjusters.
    12    (D) two non-profits that have experience with disaster relief.
    13    (E) two consumer advocacy groups.
    14    (F) one independent insurance agent who obtains  coverage  for  policy
    15  holders  for  loss  of or damage to real property, personal property, or
    16  other liabilities for loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or  prop-
    17  erty.
    18    (3) Recommendations and appointments shall take into consideration the
    19  expertise  of other appointees, so that the task force reflects a diver-
    20  sity of experience.
    21    (4) The members of the task force shall not receive compensation,  but
    22  shall be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses.
    23    (c) The superintendent, or his or her designated representative, shall
    24  serve as the chair of the task force.
    25    (d)  The  task  force shall report to the governor, the speaker of the
    26  assembly, the temporary president of the senate, and the  chair  of  the
    27  assembly  insurance  committee  and  the  chair  of the senate insurance
    28  committee on the results of its examination one year after the effective
    29  date of this section.  The report shall include information on the chal-
    30  lenges that insurers face when responding to a disaster,  possible  ways
    31  for  insurers to work better with community stakeholders and state agen-
    32  cies to facilitate timely claims investigation and processing, suggested
    33  legislation to address, issues identified by the  task  force,  and  any
    34  other information the superintendent deems relevant.
    35    (e) In completing its task, the task force will consider the following
    36  issues, as well as any other issue that it deems relevant:
    37    (1)  Steps insurers currently take in order to respond to disaster-re-
    38  lated claims in a timely fashion;
    39    (2) Challenges insurers experience when responding to disasters;
    40    (3) Steps insurers currently take to adequately assess damage so  that
    41  homeowners  and municipalities can remove debris and make repairs quick-
    42  ly;
    43    (4) Additional steps insurers and state and local agencies can take to
    44  better respond to the needs of communities and policyholders affected by
    45  a disaster;
    46    (5) Ways insurers and state and local agencies can  proactively  reach
    47  out to policyholders and communities following a disaster;
    48    (6)  Ways  insurers  assist  homeowners  and  businesses affected by a
    49  disaster whose premiums are due;
    50    (7) Steps insurers can take if  their  employees  are  affected  by  a
    51  disaster  in  order  to  ensure  that  they are still able to respond to
    52  claims in a timely fashion;
    53    (8) Whether or not New  Yorkers  have  adequate  access  to  insurance
    54  coverage  and  if  not, identifying what barriers exist that may prevent
    55  people from purchasing adequate coverage;

        S. 1634                             3
     1    (9) Identifying measures to encourage  homeowners  and  businesses  to
     2  purchase flood insurance as needed;
     3    (10) Steps insurers take to prevent disputes with policyholders and to
     4  resolve  those  which  do occur as well as additional steps insurers can
     5  take;
     6    (11) Legislative actions  that  can  be  considered  to  address  such
     7  issues.
     8    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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