senate Bill S4425A

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to the issuance of certificates of insurance

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 21, 2012 committed to rules
Jun 18, 2012 amended on third reading 4425b
Jun 06, 2012 advanced to third reading
Jun 05, 2012 2nd report cal.
Jun 04, 2012 1st report cal.994
May 30, 2012 print number 4425a
amend (t) and recommit to insurance
Jan 04, 2012 referred to insurance
Apr 05, 2011 referred to insurance

Votes

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Jun 4, 2012 - Insurance committee Vote

S4425A
16
0
committee
16
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show Insurance committee vote details

Insurance Committee Vote: Jun 4, 2012

aye wr (1)
excused (1)

Bill Amendments

Original
A
B (Active)
Original
A
B (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S4425 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6925A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Insurance Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 5 §§501 - 505, Ins L

S4425 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the issuance of certificates of insurance and requires the issuance of a certificate of insurance as a summary or evidence of property or casualty insurance.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4425

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the insurance law, in relation to the issuance of certificates
of insurance

PURPOSE:
To establish standards for the proper issuance of
certificates of insurance and authorize the insurance department to
impose penalties against any person who violates the provisions of
this article.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new article five to the
insurance law, which sets forth specific standards for the issuance
of certificates of insurance.

Section 501 provides for definitions of the terms "certificate",
"certificate of insurance", "certificate holder", "insurance
producer", "insurer", "person", and "policyholder."

Section 502 sets forth prohibited practices, including filing a
certificate of insurance that is not filed and approved by the
superintendent, altering or modifying an approved form, requesting
the issuance of a certificate of insurance that contains false or
misleading information, issuing a certificate of insurance that
alters the terms or coverage provided by the insurance policy,
issuing an opinion letter or similar document that is inconsistent
with this section.
However, an accompanying addendum with clarifying information is
permissible.

Section 503 sets forth specific standards for certificate of insurance
forms.

Section 504 provides for the applicability of the provisions of this
section.

Section 505 allows an insurance producer to charge reasonable service
fees for issuing certificates of insurance.

Section 506 provides for enforcement powers of the superintendent
Specifically, the superintendent may impose up to a one thousand
dollar penalty for violations of this section and shall have the
power to investigate any activities prohibited under this section.

Section 507 provides for rules and regulations to be adopted by the
superintendent.

EXISTING LAW:
Under current law, an insurance producer may not add
terms or clauses to a certificate of insurance which alter, expand or
otherwise modify the terms of the actual policy, unless authorized by
the insurer which has filed an appropriate endorsement with the


Superintendent of Insurance. The Department may take disciplinary
actions against producers that engage in this practice.

However, those parties that make the request for a certificate that
alters the terms of the policy are not regulated by the insurance
department and the department has no authority to prohibit them from
demanding improper certificates of insurance.

Additionally, existing law does not define certificates of insurance,
sets standards for forms, nor does it require them to be filed and
approved by the Superintendent of Insurance.

JUSTIFICATION:
Insurance producers are often asked by their commercial
insurance clients to provide certificates of insurance to various
third parties. A certificate of insurance is commonly used in
business transactions as proof that a policy of insurance is in
effect. It is a simple document that merely summarizes the essential
terms, conditions, and duration of the contract of insurance that is
in effect between the insured and the insurer. Usually, the request
for a certificate is made by a party the insured has contracted with
to provide services, including city, state, and municipal agencies,
public authorities, as well as private contractors.

A problem has existed for many years where various government agencies
have required, as a condition of doing business, that an insured
supply evidence of insurance on preprinted forms supplied by the
agency. These forms often times alter, expand or modify the terms of
the subject policy. In other cases, government agencies or private
contractors may demand that terms be added to the standard ACORD
certificate of insurance form which do not appear in the insurance
policy. For example, requests are often made for the certificate to
include "hold harmless" agreements or other clauses that alter the
language of the policy, as well as statements that the wording of the
certificate will control in the event of any inconsistency or
conflict between the certificate and the policy.

An insurance producer that is asked to provide these types of altered
certificates may not legally do so. The Insurance Department has made
it clear that an insurance producer may not add terms or clauses to a
certificate of insurance which alter, expand or otherwise modify the
terms of the actual policy unless authorized by the insurer which has
filed an appropriate endorsement with the Superintendent of
Insurance. The Department may seek disciplinary measures against
producers who do this.

Insurance producers are being placed in an untenable position If they
do not comply with the request to issue an improper certificate,
their insurance client will not be allowed to perform work for the
party asking for the certificate. Unfortunately, an insurance
producer that complies with the law and refuses to issue an improper
certificate will often lose the client, who will find another
insurance producer willing to ignore the law and issue the improper
certificate.

The Insurance Department has recognized this problem over the years
and has issued numerous opinions and two circular letters on this


topic (Circular Letter 8 (1995) and Circular Letter 15 (1997)).
Circular letter 15 was also issued to city, state, and municipal
agencies and other public authorizes and corporate, as well as to
producers. In the circular letter, the department acknowledges that
these government agencies were making requests for improper
certificates and advised insurance producers that they may not
provide them.

Despite the department's efforts, government agencies continue to
insist upon certificates of insurance that do not merely act as
evidence of insurance, but seek to modify the terms and conditions of
coverage.

This bill will remedy this problem by making it a violation of law for
any person to request the issuance of a certificate of insurance that
contains any false or misleading information. Additionally, no person
may require a certificate of insurance unless the form has been filed
with and approved by the Superintendent of Insurance.
Standard certificate forms developed by ACORD would be deemed approved
for use.

The bill gives the Superintendent of Insurance the authority to levy
fines of up to $1,000 against those who violate the law, including
any person who requests the issuance of a certificate that does not
comport with the requirements of the bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
180 days after it shall have become a law, with provisions.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4425

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance

AN ACT to amend the insurance  law,  in  relation  to  the  issuance  of
  certificates of insurance

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new article  5  to
read as follows:
                                 ARTICLE 5
                        CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE
SECTION 501. DEFINITIONS.
        502. PROHIBITIONS.
        503. STANDARDS FOR FORMS.
        504. APPLICABILITY.
        505. FEES.
        506. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.
        507. RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  S 501. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE:
  (A)  "CERTIFICATE" OR "CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE" MEANS ANY DOCUMENT OR
INSTRUMENT, NO MATTER HOW TITLED OR  DESCRIBED,  WHICH  IS  PREPARED  OR
ISSUED  BY  AN INSURER OR INSURANCE PRODUCER AS A SUMMARY OR EVIDENCE OF
PROPERTY OR CASUALTY INSURANCE COVERAGE. "CERTIFICATE"  OR  "CERTIFICATE
OF INSURANCE" SHALL NOT INCLUDE A POLICY OF INSURANCE OR INSURANCE BIND-
ER.
  (B)  "CERTIFICATE HOLDER" MEANS ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN A POLICYHOLDER,
THAT IS IDENTIFIED ON THE CERTIFICATE AS A CERTIFICATE HOLDER.
  (C) "INSURANCE PRODUCER" HAS THE MEANING ASCRIBED TO IT BY  SUBSECTION
(K) OF SECTION TWENTY-ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER.
  (D)  "INSURER"  MEANS ANY PERSON "DOING AN INSURANCE BUSINESS" AS SUCH
PHRASE IS DEFINED IN SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10456-01-1

S. 4425                             2

  (E) "PERSON" MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, PARTNERSHIP,  CORPORATION,  ASSOCI-
ATION,  OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY, INCLUDING ANY PUBLIC ENTITY AS DEFINED IN
PARAGRAPH FIFTY-ONE OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION ONE  HUNDRED  SEVEN  OF
THIS  CHAPTER,  ANY  STATE  AUTHORITY  AS  DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF
SECTION  TWO  OF  THE  PUBLIC  AUTHORITIES  LAW,  ANY LOCAL AUTHORITY AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW,
AND ANY INTERSTATE OR INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITY AS DEFINED IN  SUBDIVISION
THREE OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  (F)  "POLICYHOLDER"  MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS CONTRACTED WITH A PROPERTY
OR CASUALTY INSURER FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE.
  S 502. PROHIBITIONS. (A) NO PERSON SHALL PREPARE,  ISSUE,  OR  REQUIRE
THE  ISSUANCE  OF  A CERTIFICATE UNLESS THE FORM HAS BEEN FILED WITH AND
APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT. NO  PERSON  SHALL  ALTER  OR  MODIFY  AN
APPROVED CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM.
  (B)  NO PERSON, WHEREVER LOCATED, SHALL DEMAND OR REQUEST THE ISSUANCE
OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FROM AN INSURER,  INSURANCE  PRODUCER,  OR
POLICYHOLDER  THAT CONTAINS ANY FALSE OR MISLEADING INFORMATION CONCERN-
ING THE POLICY OF INSURANCE TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE MAKES REFERENCE.
  (C) NO PERSON, WHEREVER LOCATED, SHALL KNOWINGLY PREPARE  OR  ISSUE  A
CERTIFICATE  OF  INSURANCE  THAT PURPORTS TO ALTER, AMEND, OR EXTEND THE
TERMS OR COVERAGE PROVIDED BY THE  POLICY  OF  INSURANCE  TO  WHICH  THE
CERTIFICATE MAKES REFERENCE.
  (D)  NO PERSON SHALL PREPARE, ISSUE, OR REQUEST, EITHER IN ADDITION TO
OR IN LIEU OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE, AN  OPINION  LETTER  OR  OTHER
DOCUMENT  OR  CORRESPONDENCE  THAT  IS  INCONSISTENT  WITH THIS SECTION;
HOWEVER, AN INSURER OR INSURANCE PRODUCER MAY PREPARE OR ISSUE AN ADDEN-
DUM TO A CERTIFICATE THAT CLARIFIES AND EXPLAINS THE  COVERAGE  PROVIDED
BY A POLICY OF INSURANCE AND OTHERWISE COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF
THIS SECTION.
  S  503. STANDARDS FOR FORMS. (A) THE SUPERINTENDENT OF INSURANCE SHALL
DISAPPROVE A FORM FILED UNDER THIS SECTION, OR WITHDRAW  APPROVAL  OF  A
FORM, IF THE FORM:
  (1) IS MISLEADING, OR DECEPTIVE, OR VIOLATES PUBLIC POLICY; OR
  (2) VIOLATES ANY LAW, OR REGULATION ADOPTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT.
  (B) STANDARD CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORMS PROMULGATED BY THE ASSOCI-
ATION  FOR  COOPERATIVE  OPERATIONS  RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ARE DEEMED
APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT AND ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE FILED  IF  THE
FORMS OTHERWISE COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION.
  (C) NO CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE SHALL CONTAIN REFERENCES TO CONTRACTS,
INCLUDING  CONSTRUCTION  OR SERVICE CONTRACTS, OTHER THAN THE REFERENCED
CONTRACT OF INSURANCE. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY REQUIREMENT, TERM, OR  CONDI-
TION  OF  ANY CONTRACT OR OTHER DOCUMENT WITH RESPECT TO WHICH A CERTIF-
ICATE OF INSURANCE MAY BE ISSUED OR MAY PERTAIN, THE INSURANCE  AFFORDED
BY  THE  REFERENCED  POLICY  OF  INSURANCE  IS SUBJECT TO ALL THE TERMS,
EXCLUSIONS AND CONDITIONS OF THE POLICY ITSELF.
  (D) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL NOT APPROVE A  CERTIFICATE  OF  INSURANCE
FORM THAT DOES NOT STATE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE IS NOT A POLICY
OF  INSURANCE AND DOES NOT AMEND, EXTEND, OR ALTER THE COVERAGE AFFORDED
BY THE POLICY TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE MAKES  REFERENCE.  A
CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE SHALL NOT CONFER TO A CERTIFICATE HOLDER NEW OR
ADDITIONAL  RIGHTS  BEYOND  WHAT  THE  REFERENCED  POLICY  OF  INSURANCE
EXPRESSLY PROVIDES.
  (E) A CERTIFICATE HOLDER SHALL ONLY HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT  TO  NOTICE  OF
CANCELLATION,  NONRENEWAL, OR ANY MATERIAL CHANGE, OR ANY SIMILAR NOTICE
CONCERNING A POLICY OF INSURANCE IF  THE  CERTIFICATE  HOLDER  IS  NAMED
WITHIN  THE  POLICY  OR  ANY  ENDORSEMENT  AND THE POLICY OR ENDORSEMENT

S. 4425                             3

REQUIRES NOTICE TO BE PROVIDED TO THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER.  THE TERMS AND
CONDITIONS OF THE NOTICE, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED TIMING OF  THE  NOTICE,
ARE  GOVERNED  BY  THE  POLICY  OF  INSURANCE AND CANNOT BE ALTERED BY A
CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE.
  S  504.  APPLICABILITY.  THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO
ALL CERTIFICATE HOLDERS, POLICYHOLDERS, INSURERS,  INSURANCE  PRODUCERS,
AND  CERTIFICATE  OF  INSURANCE  FORMS  ISSUED  AS EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE
COVERAGES ON PROPERTY, OPERATIONS,  OR  RISKS  LOCATED  IN  THIS  STATE,
REGARDLESS  OF  WHERE  THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER, POLICYHOLDER, INSURER, OR
INSURANCE PRODUCER IS LOCATED.
  S 505. FEES. AN INSURANCE PRODUCER MAY CHARGE A REASONABLE SERVICE FEE
FOR ISSUING A CERTIFICATE  TO  A  POLICYHOLDER  OR  CERTIFICATE  HOLDER,
PROVIDED  THAT  THE  INSURANCE  PRODUCER COMPLIES WITH THE PROVISIONS OF
SECTION TWENTY-ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN OF THIS CHAPTER.
  S 506. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES. (A) THE  SUPERINTENDENT  SHALL  HAVE
THE  POWER TO LEVY A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH
VIOLATION AGAINST ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION.
  (B) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO EXAMINE AND INVESTIGATE
THE ACTIVITIES OF ANY PERSON THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT REASONABLY BELIEVES
HAS BEEN OR IS ENGAGED IN AN ACT OR PRACTICE PROHIBITED BY THIS SECTION.
THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO  ENFORCE  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
THIS  SECTION  AND  IMPOSE  ANY AUTHORIZED PENALTY OR REMEDY AGAINST ANY
PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION
  S 507. RULES AND REGULATIONS. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY  ADOPT  RULES  OR
REGULATIONS  AS  HE  OR  SHE  CONSIDERS  APPROPRIATE  TO  CARRY  OUT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  S 2.  This act shall take effect on  the  one  hundred  eightieth  day
after  it  shall  have  become  a law; provided, however, that effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or  regu-
lation  necessary  for  the  implementation of this act on its effective
date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on  or  before
such effective date.

Co-Sponsors

S4425A - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6925A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Insurance Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 5 §§501 - 505, Ins L

S4425A - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the issuance of certificates of insurance and requires the issuance of a certificate of insurance as a summary or evidence of property or casualty insurance.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4425A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the insurance law, in relation to certificates of insurance

PURPOSE:
To establish standards for the proper issuance of
certificates of insurance and to authorize the department of
financial services to impose penalties against any person who
violates the provisions of this article.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new article five to the
insurance law, which sets forth specific standards for the issuance
of certificates of insurance.

Section 501 provides for definitions of the terms "certificate",
"certificate of insurance", "certificate holder", "insurance
producer", "insurer", "person", and "policyholder."

Section 502 sets forth prohibited practices, including, altering or
modifying a certificate of insurance form, requesting the issuance of
a certificate of insurance that contains false or misleading
information, issuing a certificate of insurance that alters the terms
or coverage provided by the insurance policy, issuing an opinion
letter or similar document that is inconsistent with this section.
However, an accompanying addendum with clarifying information is
permissible.

Section 503 provides for the applicability of the provisions of this
section.

Section 504 provides for enforcement powers of the superintendent.

Section 505 provides for rules and regulations to be adopted by the
superintendent.

Section 2 of the bill provides for a 90 day effective date.

EXISTING LAW:
Under current law, an insurance producer may not add
terms or clauses to a certificate of insurance which alter, expand or
otherwise modify the terms of the actual policy, unless authorized by
the insurer which has filed an appropriate endorsement with the
Department of Financial Services. The department may take
disciplinary actions against producers that engage in this practice.

However, those parties that make the request for a certificate that
alters the terms of the policy are not regulated by the Department of
Financial Services and the department has no authority to prohibit
them from demanding improper certificates of insurance.

Additionally, existing law does not define certificates of insurance
or sets standards for forms.


JUSTIFICATION:
Insurance producers are often asked by their
commercial insurance clients to provide certificates of insurance to
various third parties. A certificate of insurance is commonly used in
business transactions as proof that a policy of insurance is in
effect. It is a simple document that merely summarizes the essential
terms, conditions, and duration of the contract of insurance that is
in effect between the insured and the insurer. Usually, the request
for a certificate is made by a party the insured has contracted with
to provide services, including city, state and municipal agencies.
public authorities, as well as private contractors

A problem has existed for many years where various government agencies
have required, as a condition of doing business, that an insured
supply evidence of insurance on preprinted forms supplied by the
agency. These forms often times alter, expand or modify the terms of
the subject policy. In other cases, government agencies or private
contractors may demand that terms be added to the standard ACORD
certificate of insurance form which do not appear in the insurance
policy For example, requests are often made for the certificate to
include "hold harmless" agreements or other clauses that alter the
language of the policy, as well as statements that the wording of the
certificate will control in the event of any inconsistency or
conflict between the certificate and the policy.

An insurance producer that is asked to provide these types of altered
certificates may not legally do so. The Department of Financial
Services has made it clear that an insurance producer may not add
terms or clauses to a certificate of insurance which alter, expand or
otherwise modify the terms of the actual policy unless authorized by
the insurer which has filed an appropriate endorsement with the
Superintendent of Financial Services. The department may seek
disciplinary measures against producers who do this.

Insurance producers are being placed in an untenable position. If they
do not comply with the request to issue an improper certificate,
their insurance client will not be allowed to perform work for the
party asking for the certificate. Unfortunately, an insurance
producer that complies with the law and refuses to issue an improper
certificate will often lose the client, who will find another
insurance producer willing to ignore the law and issue the improper
certificate.

The department has recognized this problem over the years and has
issued numerous opinions and two circular letters on this topic
(Circular Letter 8 (1995) and Circular Letter 15 (1997)). Circular
letter 15 was also issued to city, state, and municipal agencies and
other public authorizes and corporate, as well as to producers. In the
circular letter, the department acknowledges that these government
agencies were making requests for improper certificates and advised
insurance producers that they may not provide them.

Despite the department's efforts, government agencies continue to
insist upon certificates of insurance that do not merely act as
evidence of insurance, but seek to modify the terms and conditions of
coverage


This bill will remedy this problem by making it a violation of law for
any person to request the issuance of a certificate of insurance that
contains any false or misleading information. The bill gives the
Superintendent of Insurance the authority to impose penalties against
those who violate the law, including any person who requests the
issuance of a certificate that does not comport with the requirements
of the bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
90 days after it shall have become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4425--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  SEWARD,  LANZA, MARTINS, PARKER -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Insurance  --  recommitted to the Committee on Insurance in accordance
  with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to certificates of insur-
  ance

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new article  5  to
read as follows:
                                ARTICLE 5
                        CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE
SECTION 501. DEFINITIONS.
        502. PROHIBITIONS.
        503. APPLICABILITY.
        504. ENFORCEMENT.
        505. RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  S 501. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
  (A)  "CERTIFICATE" OR "CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE" MEANS ANY DOCUMENT OR
INSTRUMENT, NO MATTER HOW TITLED OR  DESCRIBED,  WHICH  IS  PREPARED  OR
ISSUED  BY  AN INSURER OR INSURANCE PRODUCER AS A SUMMARY OR EVIDENCE OF
PROPERTY OR CASUALTY INSURANCE COVERAGE. "CERTIFICATE"  OR  "CERTIFICATE
OF INSURANCE" SHALL NOT INCLUDE A POLICY OF INSURANCE OR INSURANCE BIND-
ER,  AND  DOES  NOT  AMEND, EXTEND OR ALTER THE COVERAGE PROVIDED BY THE
POLICY OF INSURANCE TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE  MAKES  REFERENCE,  AND  IS
SUBJECT TO ALL THE TERMS, EXCLUSIONS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH POLICY.
  (B)  "CERTIFICATE HOLDER" MEANS ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN A POLICYHOLDER,
THAT IS IDENTIFIED ON THE CERTIFICATE AS A CERTIFICATE HOLDER.
  (C) "INSURANCE PRODUCER" HAS THE MEANING ASCRIBED TO IT BY  SUBSECTION
(K) OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER.
  (D)  "INSURER"  MEANS ANY PERSON "DOING AN INSURANCE BUSINESS" AS SUCH
PHRASE IS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS  CHAP-
TER.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10456-04-2

S. 4425--A                          2

  (E)  "PERSON"  MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, ASSOCI-
ATION, OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY, INCLUDING ANY PUBLIC ENTITY AS DEFINED  IN
PARAGRAPH  FIFTY-ONE  OF  SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED SEVEN OF
THIS CHAPTER, ANY STATE AUTHORITY  AS  DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF
SECTION  TWO  OF  THE  PUBLIC  AUTHORITIES  LAW,  ANY LOCAL AUTHORITY AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW,
AND ANY INTERSTATE OR INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITY AS DEFINED IN  SUBDIVISION
THREE OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  (F)  "POLICYHOLDER"  MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS CONTRACTED WITH A PROPERTY
OR CASUALTY INSURER FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE.
  S 502. PROHIBITIONS. (A) NO PERSON SHALL PREPARE, ISSUE,  REQUEST,  OR
REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE UNLESS THE CERTIFICATE IS:
  (1)  A  STANDARD CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM PROMULGATED AND AUTHOR-
IZED FOR USE BY THE ASSOCIATION FOR COOPERATIVE OPERATIONS RESEARCH  AND
DEVELOPMENT (ACORD) OR THE INSURANCE SERVICES OFFICE (ISO);
  (2)  A FORM PROMULGATED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY THAT HAS UNDERWRITTEN
THE POLICY REFERENCED IN THE CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE; OR
  (3) A FORM PREPARED, ISSUED, OR REQUESTED AS EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE  IN
CONNECTION WITH A COMMERCIAL LENDING TRANSACTION IN WHICH THE UNDERLYING
PROPERTY SERVES AS THE PRIMARY COLLATERAL SECURING THE BORROWER'S REPAY-
MENT  OF  THE  LOAN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO A FORM PROMULGATED BY
THE MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION (MBA).
  (B) NO PERSON SHALL ALTER, MODIFY, REQUEST OR REQUIRE  THE  ALTERATION
OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM.
  (C) NO PERSON SHALL REQUEST OR REQUIRE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE
FORM  CONTAIN  ADDITIONAL TERMS, CONDITIONS, OR LANGUAGE OF ANY KIND NOT
FOUND IN THE INSURANCE POLICY TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE  MAKES  REFERENCE
OR TO AN ENDORSEMENT TO SUCH POLICY.
  (D)  NO  PERSON  SHALL  REQUEST OR REQUIRE EITHER IN ADDITION TO OR IN
LIEU OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE, AN OPINION LETTER, WARRANTY,  STATE-
MENT,  SUPPLEMENTAL  CERTIFICATE OR ANY OTHER DOCUMENT OR CORRESPONDENCE
THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROHIBITIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  (E) NO PERSON SHALL REQUEST OR REQUIRE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE
CONTAIN REFERENCES TO A CONTRACT OTHER THAN  THE  INSURANCE  POLICY,  OR
WARRANT THAT THE INSURANCE POLICIES REFERENCED IN THE CERTIFICATE COMPLY
WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF A PARTICULAR CONTRACT.
  S  503.  APPLICABILITY.  THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO
ALL CERTIFICATE HOLDERS, POLICYHOLDERS, INSURERS,  INSURANCE  PRODUCERS,
OR  ANY  OTHER  PERSON  AND  TO CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORMS ISSUED AS
EVIDENCE OF  INSURANCE  COVERAGES  ON  PROPERTY,  OPERATIONS,  OR  RISKS
LOCATED IN THIS STATE, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER, POLI-
CYHOLDER, INSURER, OR INSURANCE PRODUCER IS LOCATED.
  S  504.  ENFORCEMENT.    THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE THE POWER UNDER
SECTION FOUR HUNDRED THREE OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES LAW TO EXAMINE  AND
INVESTIGATE THE ACTIVITIES OF ANY PERSON THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT REASON-
ABLY BELIEVES HAS BEEN OR IS ENGAGED IN AN ACT OR PRACTICE PROHIBITED BY
THIS  ARTICLE.  THE  SUPERINTENDENT  SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND IMPOSE ANY AUTHORIZED PENALTY  OR  REMEDY
AS  PROVIDED  UNDER SECTION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES
LAW AGAINST ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ARTICLE.
  S 505. RULES AND REGULATIONS. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY  ADOPT  RULES  OR
REGULATIONS  AS  HE  OR  SHE  CONSIDERS  APPROPRIATE  TO  CARRY  OUT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

Co-Sponsors

S4425B (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6925A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Insurance Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 5 §§501 - 505, Ins L

S4425B (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the issuance of certificates of insurance and requires the issuance of a certificate of insurance as a summary or evidence of property or casualty insurance.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4425B

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to certificates of
insurance

PURPOSE:
To establish standards for the proper issuance of certificates of
insurance and to authorize the department of financial services to
impose penal ties against any person who violates the provisions of
this article.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new article five to the insurance law, which sets
forth specific standards for the issuance of certificates of
insurance.

Section 501 provides for definitions of the terms "certificate",
"certificate of insurance", "certificate holder", "insurance
producer", "insurer", "person", and "policyholder."

Section 502 sets forth prohibited practices, including, altering or
modifying a certificate of insurance form, requesting the issuance of
a certificate of insurance that contains false or misleading
information, issuing a certificate of insurance that alters the terms
or coverage provided by the insurance policy, issuing an opinion
letter or similar document that is inconsistent with this section.
However, an accompanying addendum with clarifying information is
permissible.

Section 503 provides for the applicability of the provisions of this
section.

Section 504 provides for enforcement powers of the superintendent.

Section 505 provides for rules and regulations to be adopted by the
superintendent.

Section 2 of the bill provides for a 90 day effective date.

EXISTING LAW:
Under current law, an insurance producer may not add terms or clauses
to a certificate of insurance which alter, expand or otherwise modify
the teems of the actual policy, unless authorized by the insurer which
has filed an appropriate endorsement with the Department of Financial
Services. The department may take disciplinary actions against
producers that engage in this practice.

However, those parties that make the request for a certificate that
alters the terms of the policy are not regulated by the Department of
Financial Services and the department has no authority to prohibit
them from demanding improper certificates of insurance.

Additionally, existing law does not define certificates of insurance
or sets standards for forms.


JUSTIFICATION:
Insurance producers are often asked by their commercial insurance
clients to provide certificates of insurance to various third parties.
A certificate of insurance is commonly used in business transactions
as proof that a policy of insurance is in effect. It is a simple
document that merely summarizes the essential terms, conditions, and
duration of the contract of insurance that is in effect between the
insured and the insurer. Usually, the request for a certificate is
made by a party the insured has contracted with to provide services,
including city, state, and municipal agencies, public authorities, as
well as private contractors.

A problem has existed for many years where various government agencies
have required, as a condition of doing business, that an insured
supply evidence of insurance on preprinted forms supplied by the
agency, These forms often times alter, expand or modify the terms of
the subject policy. In other cases, government agencies or private
contractors may demand that terms be added to the standard ACORD
certificate of insurance form which do not appear in the insurance
policy. For example, requests are often made for the certificate to
include "hold harmless" agreements or other clauses that alter the
language of the policy, as well as statements that the wording of the
certificate will control in the event of any inconsistency or conflict
between the certificate and the policy.

An insurance producer that is asked to provide these types of altered
certificates may not legally do so. The Department of Financial
Services has made it clear that an insurance producer may not add
terms or clauses to a certificate of insurance which alter, expand or
otherwise modify the terms of the actual policy unless authorized by
the insurer which has filed an appropriate endorsement with the
Superintendent of Financial Services. The department may seek
disciplinary measures against producers who do this.

Insurance producers are being placed in an untenable position. If they
do not comply with the request to issue an improper certificate, their
insurance client will not be allowed to perform work for the party
asking for the certificate. Unfortunately, an insurance producer that
complies with the law and refuses to issue an improper certificate
will often lose the client, who will find another insurance producer
willing to ignore the law and issue the improper certificate.

The department has recognized this problem over the years and has
issued numerous opinions and two circular letters on this topic
(Circular Letter 8 (1995) and Circular Letter 15 (1997). Circular
letter 15 was also issued to city, state, and municipal agencies and
other public authorizes and corporate, as well as to producers. In the
circular letter, the department acknowledges that these government
agencies were making requests for improper certificates and advised
insurance producers that they may not provide them.

Despite the department's efforts, government agencies continue to
insist upon certificates of insurance that do not merely act as
evidence of insurance, but seek to modify the terms and conditions of
coverage.


This bill will remedy this problem by making it a violation of law for
any person to request the issuance of a certificate of insurance that
contains any false or misleading information. The bill gives the
Superintendent of Insurance the authority to impose penalties against
those who violate the law, including any person who requests the
issuance of a certificate that does not comport with the requirements
of the bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
90 days after it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4425--B
    Cal. No. 994

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. SEWARD, LANZA, LARKIN, MARTINS, PARKER -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on  Insurance  -- recommitted to the Committee on Insurance in accord-
  ance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
  reported  favorably  from  said committee, ordered to first and second
  report, ordered to a third reading,  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,
  retaining its place in the order of third reading

AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to certificates of insur-
  ance

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new article  5  to
read as follows:
                                ARTICLE 5
                        CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE
SECTION 501. DEFINITIONS.
        502. PROHIBITIONS.
        503. APPLICABILITY.
        504. ENFORCEMENT.
        505. RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  S 501. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
  (A)  "CERTIFICATE" OR "CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE" MEANS ANY DOCUMENT OR
INSTRUMENT, NO MATTER HOW TITLED OR  DESCRIBED,  WHICH  IS  PREPARED  OR
ISSUED  BY  AN INSURER OR INSURANCE PRODUCER AS A SUMMARY OF PROPERTY OR
CASUALTY INSURANCE COVERAGE. "CERTIFICATE" OR "CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE"
SHALL NOT INCLUDE A POLICY OF INSURANCE OR INSURANCE  BINDER,  AND  DOES
NOT AMEND, EXTEND OR ALTER THE COVERAGE PROVIDED BY THE POLICY OF INSUR-
ANCE TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE MAKES REFERENCE, AND IS SUBJECT TO ALL THE
TERMS, EXCLUSIONS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH POLICY.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10456-05-2

S. 4425--B                          2

  (B)  "CERTIFICATE HOLDER" MEANS ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN A POLICYHOLDER,
THAT IS IDENTIFIED ON THE CERTIFICATE AS A CERTIFICATE HOLDER.
  (C)  "INSURANCE PRODUCER" HAS THE MEANING ASCRIBED TO IT BY SUBSECTION
(K) OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER.
  (D) "INSURER" MEANS ANY PERSON "DOING AN INSURANCE BUSINESS"  AS  SUCH
PHRASE  IS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAP-
TER.
  (E) "PERSON" MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, PARTNERSHIP,  CORPORATION,  ASSOCI-
ATION,  OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY, INCLUDING ANY PUBLIC ENTITY AS DEFINED IN
PARAGRAPH FIFTY-ONE OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION ONE  HUNDRED  SEVEN  OF
THIS  CHAPTER,  ANY  STATE  AUTHORITY  AS  DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF
SECTION TWO OF THE  PUBLIC  AUTHORITIES  LAW,  ANY  LOCAL  AUTHORITY  AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW,
AND  ANY INTERSTATE OR INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITY AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION
THREE OF SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  (F) "POLICYHOLDER" MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS CONTRACTED WITH  A  PROPERTY
OR CASUALTY INSURER FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE.
  S  502.  PROHIBITIONS. (A) NO PERSON SHALL PREPARE, ISSUE, REQUEST, OR
REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE UNLESS THE CERTIFICATE IS:
  (1) A STANDARD CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM PROMULGATED  AND  AUTHOR-
IZED  FOR USE BY THE ASSOCIATION FOR COOPERATIVE OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT (ACORD) OR THE INSURANCE SERVICES OFFICE (ISO);
  (2) A FORM PROMULGATED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY THAT HAS  UNDERWRITTEN
THE POLICY REFERENCED IN THE CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE; OR
  (3)  A FORM PREPARED, ISSUED, OR REQUESTED AS EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE IN
CONNECTION WITH A COMMERCIAL LENDING TRANSACTION IN WHICH THE UNDERLYING
PROPERTY SERVES AS THE PRIMARY COLLATERAL SECURING THE BORROWER'S REPAY-
MENT OF THE LOAN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO A  FORM  PROMULGATED  BY
THE MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION (MBA).
  (B)  NO  PERSON SHALL ALTER, MODIFY, REQUEST OR REQUIRE THE ALTERATION
OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM.
  (C) NO PERSON SHALL REQUEST OR REQUIRE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE
FORM CONTAIN ADDITIONAL TERMS, CONDITIONS, OR LANGUAGE OF ANY  KIND  NOT
FOUND  IN  THE INSURANCE POLICY TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE MAKES REFERENCE
OR TO AN ENDORSEMENT TO SUCH POLICY.
  (D) NO PERSON SHALL REQUEST OR REQUIRE EITHER IN  ADDITION  TO  OR  IN
LIEU  OF A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE, AN OPINION LETTER, WARRANTY, STATE-
MENT, SUPPLEMENTAL CERTIFICATE OR ANY OTHER DOCUMENT  OR  CORRESPONDENCE
THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROHIBITIONS OF THIS SECTION.  HOWEVER, AN
INSURER  OR  INSURANCE  PRODUCER  MAY  PREPARE OR ISSUE AN ADDENDUM TO A
CERTIFICATE THAT CLARIFIES AND EXPLAINS THE COVERAGE PROVIDED BY A POLI-
CY OF INSURANCE AND OTHERWISE COMPLIES WITH  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS
SECTION,  PROVIDED  SUCH  AUTHORITY  IS  GRANTED  TO THE PRODUCER BY THE
INSURER.
  (E) NO PERSON SHALL REQUEST OR REQUIRE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE
CONTAIN REFERENCES TO A CONTRACT OTHER THAN  THE  INSURANCE  POLICY,  OR
WARRANT THAT THE INSURANCE POLICIES REFERENCED IN THE CERTIFICATE COMPLY
WITH  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  A  PARTICULAR  CONTRACT  PROVIDED HOWEVER A
CERTIFICATE MAY INCLUDE A CONTRACT TITLE OR  DESCRIPTION  FOR  THE  SOLE
PURPOSE OF IDENTIFYING THE PROJECT FOR WHICH THE CERTIFICATE WAS ISSUED,
BUT  SUCH  INCLUSION  SHALL  NOT  BE  INTERPRETED AS WARRANTING THAT THE
INSURANCE  POLICIES  REFERENCED  IN  THE  CERTIFICATE  COMPLY  WITH  THE
REQUIREMENTS OF SUCH CONTRACT.
  (F)  NO  PERSON SHALL REQUEST, REQUIRE, PREPARE OR ISSUE A CERTIFICATE
OF INSURANCE THAT: (I) DOES NOT ACCURATELY STATE THE TERMS  OF  COVERAGE
PROVIDED BY THE POLICY OR POLICIES OF INSURANCE TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE

S. 4425--B                          3

MAKES  REFERENCE; OR (II) PURPORTS TO ALTER, AMEND, EXTEND, OR MISREPRE-
SENT THE TERMS OF COVERAGE TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE MAKES REFERENCE.
  S  503.  APPLICABILITY.  THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO
ALL CERTIFICATE HOLDERS, POLICYHOLDERS, INSURERS,  INSURANCE  PRODUCERS,
OR  ANY  OTHER  PERSON  AND  TO CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORMS ISSUED AS
EVIDENCE OF  INSURANCE  COVERAGES  ON  PROPERTY,  OPERATIONS,  OR  RISKS
LOCATED IN THIS STATE, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER, POLI-
CYHOLDER, INSURER, OR INSURANCE PRODUCER IS LOCATED.
  S  504.  ENFORCEMENT.    THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE THE POWER UNDER
SECTION FOUR HUNDRED THREE OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES LAW TO EXAMINE  AND
INVESTIGATE THE ACTIVITIES OF ANY PERSON THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT REASON-
ABLY BELIEVES HAS BEEN OR IS ENGAGED IN AN ACT OR PRACTICE PROHIBITED BY
THIS  ARTICLE.  THE  SUPERINTENDENT  SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND IMPOSE ANY AUTHORIZED PENALTY  OR  REMEDY
AS  PROVIDED  UNDER SECTION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES
LAW AGAINST ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ARTICLE.
  S 505. RULES AND REGULATIONS. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY  ADOPT  RULES  OR
REGULATIONS  AS  HE  OR  SHE  CONSIDERS  APPROPRIATE  TO  CARRY  OUT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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