N.J.: PIANJ-priority liability legislation passes state Senate

April 5, 2022

The weather in March may come in like a lion and out like a lamb. But legislatively, March ended with a mighty roar as two of PIANJ’s priority bills passed the state Senate recently, both with 37-0 votes.

Liquor liability insurance

Legislation (S-775) sponsored by Sens. Nellie Pou, D-35, and Joseph P. Cryan, D-20, passed the Senate on March 24, 2022. The bill would require  businesses with liquor licenses to carry liquor liability insurance. Amendments made to the bill in early March would require most holders of liquor licenses to carry liquor liability, referred to as “beverage liability insurance” in the bill, of at least $500,000.

If the bill is signed into law, those with a liquor license would have to provide proof of insurance to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control within 150 days of the bill being signed. Proof of the alcoholic beverage liability insurance would be required as a condition of annual license renewal. The legislation was sent to the state Assembly and referred to the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.

Business, rental liability insurance

S-1368, sponsored by Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari, D-22, passed the Senate on March 24, 2022, and would require business owners and rental unit owners to maintain certain levels of liability insurance. Under the legislation, business owners would be required to purchase liability insurance in an amount not less than $500,000, for combined property damage and bodily injury to or death of one or more persons in any one accident or occurrence. Owners of multifamily homes with four or fewer units would be required to maintain liability insurance in an amount not less than $300,000.

Amendments to the legislation would require both business owners and rental unit owners to register a certificate of insurance that demonstrates compliance with this insurance requirement with the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.

About the author…

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.

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