New York Loosens Regulatory Requirements on Some Commercial Insurance

Nov 21, 2011

The following article was published in Property Casualty360º on November 21, 2011:

N.Y. Loosens Regulatory Requirements on Some Commercial Insurance

By Arthur D. Postal

New York has implemented new speed-to-market rules that eliminate rate and form regulation of most commercial-risk insurance policies.

Benjamin Lawsky, New York State superintendent of Financial Services, says regulations have been issued that exempt insurers from rate filing and form approval requirements when issuing a policy to businesses that generate annual commercial risk insurance premiums of more than $25,000 in property and casualty insurance.

The new rule also applies when insurers retain special-risk managers to assist in negotiating and purchasing the policies, Lawsky says.

The regulation went into effect Nov. 15, according to Ron Klug, a spokesman for the New York DFS.
The legislation the regulation implements passed the New York State Senate June 21, and the New York Assembly the next day. The bill was signed by Gov. Cuomo Aug. 17.

Insurers and brokers laud the decision.

Gary Henning, northeast regional vice president for the American Insurance Association, says, “We are appreciative of the legislature’s and the Cuomo administration’s efforts to modernize commercial-insurance regulation.”

Henning says that while AIA believes even more rate and form freedom in New York would be appropriate, bringing additional benefits to both policyholders and insurers, “the new law is a positive step in AIA’s ongoing commercial-lines modernization efforts in the Empire State.”

Joel Wood, senior vice president, government affairs, for the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, says that for many years now there has been an emerging consensus about sophisticated business insureds and the most effective way for companies and brokers to provide the best possible and most affordable protection to them.  “New York has always been a primary portal for insurance regulation, and we hope others will continue to follow in this direction,” Wood adds.

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