N.Y.: Two PIA-supported bills introduced in state Legislature amid budget negotiations

April 17, 2024

The New York state Legislature might be in the process of negotiating the budget, but it took the time to introduce two PIA-supported bills that could have a significant impact on the homeowners and auto marketplace, respectively. 


Assemblyman Steven Otis, D-91, has introduced legislation in the state Assembly that would broaden the insurance options for property owners in coastal areas. 

The legislation would expand the number of properties eligible to receive coverage through the state’s Coastal Market Assistance Program. Under the legislation, properties within one mile of the shore—including freshwater lakes like Lake Erie and Ontario, as well as freshwater rivers such as the Saint Lawerence and Niagara rivers—would be eligible for coverage in C-MAP.  

Currently, the law makes no specific reference to freshwater bodies of waters, so this change is needed to ensure all coastal properties in New York state would be eligible for coverage in C-MAP. 

Same-as legislation was introduced and passed in the state Senate earlier this year: read about it on PIA Northeast News & Media.

Supplemental spousal liability 

In the state Senate, Sen. Neil Breslin, D-46, has introduced legislation that would make important changes to the supplemental spousal liability coverage in auto policies. 

Supplemental spousal liability coverage provides liability coverage to a person if his or her spouse is responsible for an accident and person is injured or killed as a result. For example, if a person negligently hit his or her spouse with the family car while pulling into the driveway, SSL coverage would apply.  More information about SSL can be found here.

This coverage received a lot of attention last year, when a legislative change made the coverage standard in auto policies unless the first-named insured opted-out of coverage. This created confusion for policyholders who did not have a spouse or want the coverage. 

In response, S.9021 would turn the clock back in a way. Under S.9021, policyholders would have to choose to opt-in to receiving SSL coverage for it to appear in the policy. 

There is an exception though. In situations in which the first-named insured has indicated he or she has a spouse on the insurance application, SSL coverage will be included on the policy automatically. The first-named insured is permitted to decline the coverage, provided he or she gives notice to the carrier of that decision in writing. 

This bill is one of several measures aimed at amending SSL coverage law. Both Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Senate have included the issue in their budgets, and legislation very similar to S.9021 was introduced in that state Assembly (A.9407) last month.

Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.
PIA Northeast | + posts

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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