During the 2013 legislative session, a new bill regarding certificates of insurance has been passed by the Senate and the Assembly twice. The bill has now landed on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk, and awaits his decision to sign or veto the bill. All the Professional Insurances Agents of New York State Inc. (PIANY) want for Christmas this year is for this law to pass.
The purpose of the bill is to establish a set of standards of practice when it comes to issuing certificates of insurance. Currently, there is a problem with illegal and improper uses of certificates of insurance, and this bill is intended to prohibit those practices. Some of the illegal practices that are a serious concern are the altering and modification of a certificate of insurance form; certificates of insurance being issued that alter the current terms of coverage established by the existing insurance policy; and individuals or organizations knowingly filing for certificates of insurance that contain misleading or outright false information. If anyone is found to be in violation of provisions such as these, the new law would enable the Department of Financial Services and other authorities to impose penalties against them.
Current state laws do not have any kind of regulation for these types of actions in place, and PIANY, among other organizations, is working diligently to have the bill passed because of the necessity for regulation. “This bill would provide clarity and protection to several industries that have stated the need for it repeatedly,” explained Alan Plafker, President of PIANY.
The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. has been working with other professionals in a myriad of industries—attorneys, producers, general contractors, commercial lenders and carriers—to get as many people on board to support the passing of this bill as possible. By raising awareness of the importance of this proposal, the organization hopes to build a strong enough body of support to see the bill through to fruition.
Governor Cuomo has not yet said whether or not he plans to sign the bill into law. PIANY has been actively encouraging supporters of this bill to contact the governor directly and ask him for the one thing they want most this holiday season: a new law for certificates of insurance.