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Friday, 03 June 2022 10:00

New York Auto Regulation on the Ropes After Senate Vote

Written by Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square

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The New York State Senate on June 1 passed a bill that aims to do away with a nearly 45-year-old auto insurance regulation.

S.6028 would do away with the requirement for insurance policyholders to get their vehicles photographed in order to obtain comprehensive and collision coverage. Policyholders also face a timeframe requirement to get the pictures taken or else they risked having their policy terminated.

 

The bill, sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Neil Breslin (D-Albany),was supported by more than 20 business groups and a petition backing the legislation garnered more than 1,700 signatures. Since its compainion bill passed the Assembly in March, the bill now will go to Gov. Kathy Hochul for her consideration.

 

In a letter to members, Scott Hobson, the assistant vice president of government relations for Big I New York, the group representing independent insurance agents, said it took “persistent pressure from agents” and numerous meetings with lawmakers to get the bill passed.

 

“This is a truly historic accomplishment; for over a decade this bill has never moved,” Hobson wrote. “Today, it is one stroke of a pen away from becoming law.”

 

Supporters of the bill say the photo requirement no longer served a useful purpose for fighting insurance fraud. Insurance companies will still have the option to require the photos.

 

“For too long, the car insurance photo inspection mandate has been a burden and an inconvenience for both insurance agents and our customers,” Big I NY Chair Nick Masterpole said in a statement. “Modern solutions for combatting fraud have made the regulation unnecessary and obsolete.”

 

Even though the legislative session ended June 2, Hochul may not receive the bill until later in the year. Once she does, she has 10 days to sign it into law.

 

If that happens, it will take effect Jan. 1.

 

We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.