Tri-State Area Boosts Efforts on Behalf of Disaster Victims

January 24, 2013

Author: Thomas F. Quinn

The Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a joint statement praising members of the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Disaster Relief Appropriations bill. It is expected that the bill will pass the Senate without incident.

By order effective January 16, 2013, the New York Department of Financial Services (New York Department) extended for the fifth time the moratorium on the enforcement of certain insurance law provisions; this extension is limited to residents located in designated zip code areas. The Fifth Amended Order Regarding the Suspension of Certain Insurance and Banking Law Provisions (Fifth Amended Order) prohibits termination, cancellation or non-renewal of any covered policy and suspends any automatic renewal provisions in any such policy until January 30, 2013. The Fifth Amended Order includes a list of the zip codes to which the extension of the moratorium applies.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee approved a bill that would require insurers to provide homeowners with a one-page summary explaining the terms of their homeowners’ policy. The bill, which would amend a section of New Jersey law requiring insurers to provide a consumer information brochure at the time that the insurance policy is issued or renewed, would now mandate that insurers also include a summary of “notable coverages and exclusions” contained in the policy. The details concerning what constitutes “notable coverages and exclusions” would be provided through regulations or other guidance to be issued by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. The bill is being introduced to address various issues arising out of claims filed after Superstorm Sandy, particularly with respect to flood losses. It is expected that the bill will be amended, however, to address certain concerns of the insurance industry, including language to clarify that the summary is not made a part of the insurance policy.

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