PIANY-priority bill, A.6877, was reported out of the state Assembly Insurance Committee today. If it is signed into law, the bill—sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-96—would allow carriers to waive the photo inspection of private-passenger automobiles before providing physical damage coverage. This would permit carriers to give policyholders the option to save time and money by skipping the state’s photo inspection requirement, otherwise known as Regulation 79.
Currently, Regulation 79 requires drivers in New York to conduct an independent photo inspection of their vehicles within 14 days of purchasing auto insurance to obtain collision coverage for their vehicles. If the insured fails to get the inspection done, the insurance company is forced to remove the coverage that the drive already purchased. For drivers in certain areas of the state, the nearest inspection site may be more than 20 miles away with limited availability. This places an unnecessary burden on the driver.
Technology has rendered the independent inspection obsolete. Insurance companies no longer need independent photographs as protection against fraud. Most drivers have access to a camera if an insurance company asks for additional information about the vehicle from the driver directly. Other technological changes have made it easier to track vehicles through databases.
PIANY and insurance carriers have called for reform of Regulation 79 for years, testifying that, when carriers receive the photos, they store them away and they don’t use them. PIANY has testified that the requirement to take and store hard-copy photographs is outdated and unnecessary, and the regulation should be repealed.
PIANY thanks Assemblyman Zebrowski for his continued support to remove this outdated requirement. This bill is one of PIANY’s 2021 legislative priorities. You can track this and other bills with the PIAdvocacy bill tracker.
Clare Irvine, Esq.
Clare Irvine, Esq., graduated from Fordham University School of Law and Arizona State University.