senate Bill S780

Prohibits refusal to issue or renew certain insurance policies solely on the ground of the nature of the occupation of the applicant

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 15 / Jan / 2009
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Summary

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Bill Details

Versions:
S780
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Insurance
Law Section:
Insurance Law

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S780

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibited basis for
refusal to issue or renew a covered policy of property/casualty
insurance or for limiting coverage therein


PURPOSE :
To prohibit insurance companies from denying the application for or
renewal of a personal umbrella liability insurance policy based on an
applicant's occupation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1: Amends section 3425 of the insurance law by adding a new
subsection (i-1) which would prohibit an insurer from refusing to
issue or renew a covered policy or include a provision in the
insurance contract limiting coverage under the contract, based on the
nature of the occupation of the applicant or insured.

EXISTING LAW :
Currently, all insurance contracts for personal umbrella liability
insurance prohibit a person from applying or having their insurance
contract renewed if they are public office holders, seeking public
office, professional entertainers, professional athletes, radio and
television broadcasters, newspaper publishers, editors and reporters,
individuals convicted of libel or slander, labor leaders, private
detectives, sheriffs and police officers.

JUSTIFICATION :
Personal umbrella liability insurance is designed to cover personal
(non business) liability of individuals. Currently, certain
individuals because of their occupations are not able to apply for or
even renew an existing personal umbrella liability insurance policy.
The following occupations because they are considered to be a high
risk group are denied umbrella insurance coverage: public office
holders, professional entertainers, professional athletes, radio and
television broadcasters, newspaper publishers, editors and reporters,
individuals convicted of libel or slander, labor leaders, private
detectives, sheriffs and police officers.

Recognizing that public office holders should not be discriminated
against, states such as Oregon and Texas have enacted statutes to
exempt public office holders from this high risk group, permitting
them to apply for personal liability insurance.

The decision to grant insurance coverage or not should be made on a
case by case basis weighing various risk factors, not based on a
wholesale exclusion of a certain classes of people. Therefore, this
legislation does not mandate that insurance companies grant
individuals working in an excluded profession an umbrella policy. It
merely allows these individuals to apply for such coverage and be
granted or denied coverage based on their individual backgrounds and
experiences.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2007-2008 - Insurance.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect on the first day of the calendar month next
succeeding the 30th day after it shall have become a law.
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