Gov. Kathy Hochul signed S.7882-A last week, which adds chapter amendments to the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act (S.7052/A.8041), and amends the law to remove insurance applications from the list of insurance documents required to be turned over during civil proceedings. The CIDA—which Hochul signed last year—requires defendants in civil lawsuits to provide plaintiffs with complete information for any insurance policy through which a judgment could be satisfied early in civil proceedings.
Previously, attorneys had to request insurance-policy information before it would be provided to them. Now, insurance-policy information—with the exception of insurance applications—must be provided without the need for attorneys to request them.
Before the chapter amendments were signed, insurance applications were among the documents that must be included in the insurance disclosures, per the CIDA. Because of this, PIA opposed the CIDA and advocated for the removal of insurance applications from the required disclosures.
The association argued that including the insurance application would expose private client information—such as health, financial and employment information—unnecessarily, without providing any additional, relevant insurance information. According to PIA, if any information on the application is relevant to the policy, it would be included on policy forms that would be part of the required disclosures already. Hochul agreed with PIA.
When Hochul signed the CIDA earlier this year, she indicated in her signing message that she had reached an agreement on chapter amendments to this law already—and her office informed PIA that insurance applications would be removed from the provisions of the bill.
PIA thanks its members who participated in the association’s grassroots campaign that urged Hochul to take the exact steps she did to amend this law. And, the association thanks Hochul for her support of the insurance industry.
Impact on agents
This law should have minimal impact on insurance producers. Most of the insurance information required to be disclosed by this law already is disclosed in civil lawsuits routinely. Now, the disclosure of the information will occur earlier in the civil proceedings and without attorneys needing to ask for it. Disclosure will be the responsibility of policyholders and their insurance carriers.
If you want to get involved with PIANY’s legislative and advocacy work, there are many ways to engage with the association:
- participate in PIANY’s District Office Visit Program;
- become a member of Agents Advocacy Coalition; and
- watch your PIA Northeast publications and PIA Northeast’s social-media channels for important New York updates, and share them with your followers.
Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.
Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., joined PIA as government affairs counsel for the Government & Industry Affairs Department in 2012 and then, after a four-month leave, he returned to the association in 2018 as director of government & industry affairs responsible for all legal, government relations and insurance industry liaison programs for the five state associations. Prior to PIA, Brad worked as an attorney for Steven J. Baum PC, in Amherst, and as an associate attorney for the law office of James Morris in Buffalo. He also spent time serving as senior manager of government affairs as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, a chamber of commerce serving the Buffalo, N.Y., region, his hometown. He received his juris doctorate from Buffalo Law School and his Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Politics from Utica College, Utica, N.Y. Brad is an active Mason and Shriner.