June 20, 2014

Silver, Cahill Announce Passage of Bills to
Protect New York Auto Policyholders

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Cahill announced the passage of a series of bills this week that would enhance consumer protections for auto insurance policyholders, ensuring better coverage, affordability, oversight and safeguards against discriminatory practices.

"It's essential for the residents of this state to have access to auto insurance coverage that provides solid coverage, is affordable and free of practices that discriminate or compromise consumer rights," said Silver. "These bills ensure that the auto insurance available to New Yorkers meets the highest standards of integrity, delivers reliable insurance coverage and protects consumers."

"This legislative package approved by our House addresses many of the concerns consumers expressed to us at an Assembly public hearing earlier this year about the auto insurance products sold in this state," said Cahill. "With these measures, we put into place policies that will give consumers better auto insurance coverage for their money, make the industry more responsive to the needs of policyholders and protect consumers from unfair insurance practices."

Among the approved bills in the Assembly's auto insurance legislation, which aims to protect consumers and enhance the quality of auto insurance available to New Yorkers, are measures that prohibit auto insurers from discriminating against policyholders based on an individual's education or occupation (A.9935, Crespo) as well as a bill directing the Department of Financial Services to study current minimum auto insurance coverage and report their findings to the Legislature by April 15 as to whether such basic coverage should be increased (A.10115, Brennan).

To make consumers aware of the coverage that can be purchased to protect against being injured by an inadequately insured driver, the approved legislative package also includes a bill (A.6727, Morelle) that requires insurers to send policy holders a notice about the availability of supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage. This provision would inform consumers of the additional protections they could purchase through SUM coverage that would equal their policy's bodily injury limits.