Monday, January 3, 2011

New York State Insurance Department's Regulatory Agenda Proposed for First Half of 2011

The New York State Insurance Department recently  released its proposed regulatory agenda for the first half of 2011. Items of potential interest to property and casualty insurers and producers doing business in New York include (numbering from original; Agency contacts omitted):

4.  Adoption of a new part to 11 NYCRR to exercise the Superintendent's authority under Section 316 of the Insurance Law to require an insurer or other person or entity making a filing or submission with the Superintendent to submit the filing or submission by electronic means, unless the insurer or other person or entity applies for, and the Superintendent grants, an exemption  from the electronic filing requirement.

6.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 216.6 (Unfair Claims Settlement Practices and Claim Cost Control Measures - Standards for prompt, fair and equitable settlements) (Regulation 64) to codify the Insurance Department’s current interpretation with regard to releases of liability.

7.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 71 (Legal Defense Costs in Liability Policies) (Regulation 107) and 11 NYCRR 72 (Indemnification of Directors and Officers) (Regulation 110) to permit non-duty-to-defend liability policies for directors  and officers insurance.

8.  Amendment  of 11 NYCRR 89 (Audited  Financial Statements) (Regulation 118) to improve the Department's surveillance of the financial condition of insurers by requiring an annual audit of financial statements by independent certified public accountants, and the filing of audit reports and other related documents.

10.  Amendment  of 11 NYCRR 60-2 (Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Insurance) (Regulation 35-D) to revise all references in sections 60-2.3 and 60-2.4 from "AAA/American Arbitration Association” to "designated organization", amend rules related to the manner in which the organization designated by the Superintendent to administer the SUM arbitration program assesses the cost of the program to the insurance industry, and  make various editorial revisions to the prescribed endorsement and other portions of the regulation to clarify the intent and application of the coverage.

12.  Amendment  of 11 NYCRR 65-1, 65-2, 65-3, 65-4 (Regulations Implementing the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act) (Regulations 68-A, 68-B, 68-C & 4 68-D) to revise No-Fault endorsements and requirements for insurer claim practices, and to amend rules related to both the manner in which the organization designated by the Superintendent administers the first party motor vehicle insurance arbitration programs and assesses the costs of these programs to the  insurance industry.

14.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 216 (Unfair Claims Settlement Practices and Claim Cost Control Measures) (Regulation 64) to update the entire regulation  to, among other things, provide notice and time frame requirements for third party claims.

17.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 67 (Mandatory Underwriting Inspection Requirements for Private Passenger Automobiles) (Regulation 79) to include additional circumstances under which an insurer may voluntarily waive mandatory inspection of a motor vehicle for physical damage coverage, and to clarify that the use of digital photography and electronic access to inspection report data are permitted.

18.  Adoption of a new part to  11 NYCRR to provide requirements regarding policies written to cover owner-controlled and contractor-controlled insurance programs (wrap-ups).

19.  Amendment  of 11 NYCRR 74 (Homeowner's Insurance Disclosure Information) (Regulation 159) to provide minimum standards for the uniform use of mandatory hurricane deductibles in homeowner and dwelling fire (personal lines) policies.

20.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 19 (Homeowner's Insurance; Application for Withdrawal from Marketplace) (Regulation 154) to revise the definition of "material reduction of volume of policies" to include a  reduction of the net number of homeowner policies within a county.

23.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 65-1 & 65-2 (Regulations Implementing the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act) (Regulations 68-A & 68-B) to comply with Chapter 303 of the Laws of 2010, which prohibits insurers from excluding from coverage a driver who is injured while operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition or while the ability to operate such a vehicle is impaired by the use of a drug and who receives necessary emergency health services rendered in a hospital, including ambulance services attendant thereto and related medical screening.

68.  Adoption of a new part to 11 NYCRR to provide that cancellation notices subject to section 3425 of the Insurance Law should include the date and hour of cancellation, the date of the notice, and for nonpayment of premium cancellations, a statement informing the consumer that cancellation will not take place if the consumer makes timely payment of the premium.

69.  Adoption of a new part to 11 NYCRR to provide rules and guidelines to assure full disclosure of all relevant information in  advertisements that describe or solicit the purchase of property/casualty insurance coverage, which are published, issued or distributed  through various advertising media.

70.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 26 (Independent Adjusters) (Regulation 25) to establish a crop adjuster’s license and examination for that license. New York will tailor the license and exam to comply with federal requirements that necessitate the state to continue licensing supervision of adjusters who adjust claims for damages to crops insured under the federal insurance program for crop multi-peril.

72.  Amendment of 11 NYCRR 86.6 (Fraud Prevention Plans and Special Investigations Unit) (Regulation 95) to establish a requirement that any amendment to a fraud prevention plan that the Frauds Bureau had  previously approved must be submitted to the Frauds Bureau within thirty days of its implementation.

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