It is a good day for PIANY members! On Monday, the New York state Assembly unanimously passed A.4688, which would restrict the adverse “bait-and-switch’ practice in personal auto insurance.
Bait and switch is the colloquial term used to describe when an insurance company verifies an insurance applicant’s driving history after the applicant has paid the premium on a personal auto policy.
Generally, a person’s driving history is used by insurance companies as an underwriting factor in setting premium. Verifying an applicant’s driving history after the policy is bound and the premium is paid can have a significant impact on the premium. This can lead to a situation in which a policyholder’s premium increases substantially shortly after the auto policy is bound. In many cases, policyholders are unaware when they agree to the terms and the price of the policy, that the policy could be re-rated, and the premiums could increase.
For insurance companies that use driving history as a rating or underwriting factor, this legislation would require those insurers to verify an applicant’s driving history, as well as any named drivers listed on the insurance application, before binding the policy or accepting any premium. If a representative of the insurance company fails to verify the driving history prior to binding the policy, an adjustment of premium would be prohibited until the policy is renewed.
The bill was delivered to the state Senate and referred to the Senate Insurance Committee for consideration by the committee.
PIANY will advocate for the bait-and-switch bill in the state Senate and thanks member of the Assembly Chairman David Weprin, D-24, for his sponsorship of the bill.
This is just one of the legislative priories that PIANY will continue to advocate for this legislative session. For more information, see the association’s legislative agenda for 2023.
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.
Theophilus W. Alexander joined PIA Northeast as a government & industry affairs specialist for the Government & Industry Affairs Department in 2023. Prior to joining PIA, Theo had served in both houses of the New York State Legislature. Previously, he worked as a legislative analyst for Hon. New York State Sen. Samra G. Brouk, D-55, and he served at the New York State Assembly, as a policy analyst with New York Assembly Program & Counsel. Theo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.