N.Y.: PIA-priority ‘bait and switch’ bill passes state Senate

June 8, 2023

PIANY’s legislative priority for the 2023 is enactment of legislation that would require that insurance companies attempt to verify a drivers’ driving history prior to binding a personal automobile insurance policy. This legislation got a giant step closer to becoming a law as S.5764B passed the New York state Senate unanimously today.

This bill, sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin, D-44, would address the harmful bait-and-switch practice by requiring insurance companies to make a good faith attempt to verify a driver’s driving history before binding and accepting down payment on a personal auto mobile insurance policy.

The legislation was amended prior to its passage. Prior to amendment, carriers would have been required run a motor vehicle report prior to binding of a policy. Insurance companies raised objections to this language as there may be situations in which an MVR cannot be run. As a result of negotiations between the insurance carriers, regulators and the PIANY, the legislation now requires the insurance companies make a good faith attempt to verify an individual’s driving history.

The legislation was further amended to require insurance companies to verify the driver history of all drivers used to rate the policy at renewal. There are exceptions to this requirement if an individual’s driver history is unavailable due to a service interruption or other event outside of an insurance company’s control. These amendments ensure that a check of an individual’s driving history is not intentionally ignored, while allowing for flexibility in situations in which an individual’s driving history is not available. This bill would ensure that consumers are presented a full and accurate quote prior to being required to pay any premium. This common-sense change would protect consumers from unexpected premium increases shortly after a policy is bound.

PIANY strongly supported the passage of S.5764B and would like to extend a big thank you to Sen. Breslin for his continued leadership on this issue.

Bait-and-switch legislation previously passed the state Assembly in March. However, since S.5764B was amended, the Assembly will be required to pass an identical version of the bill (referred to as a same-as bill). Currently, PIANY is advocating for Assembly leadership to pass a same-as and anticipates that the Assembly will do just that.

Learn more about bait and switch here.

Get involved

If you want to get involved with PIANY’s legislative and advocacy work, there are many ways to engage with the association:

Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.
PIA Northeast

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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