Establishes the "homeowner natural disaster preparedness, home safety and loss prevention program" to provide for the reduction of property/casualty insurance premiums on residential real property when the insured occupant completes a homeowner natural disaster preparedness, home safety and loss prevention course.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to reduction in rates of property/casualty insurance rates on residential property for insureds who complete an approved homeowner natural disaster preparedness course
PURPOSE OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to provide for an actuarially appropriate reduction in homeowners insurance and insurance that covers property damage for condominiums, cooperative residential units and for renters caused by a natural disaster. A residential property owner could obtain such an actuarially appropriate premium reduction upon completion of a natural disaster preparedness course that is approved by the Superintendent of the Financial Services Department. The goal of the bill is to raise the awareness of natural disaster preparedness by offering such a course for residential property owners. The ultimate goal being to help reduce the risk exposure faced by property owners from damage caused by a natural disaster such as a hurricane, ice storm, flood, tornado, or other disasters caused by nature.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Enacts the "Homeowner Natural Disaster Preparedness Program."
Section 2: Legislative intent.
Section 3: Amends Insurance Law section 2346 to add a new subsection (5) that provides for this actuarially appropriate reduction in homeowners insurance and for others who live in condominiums, cooperates, or are renters.
-Provides for a definition of "completion certificate", "natural disaster" and "homeowner natural disaster preparedness course".
-Authorizes the Superintendent of Financial Services to provide for an actuarially appropriate reduction on residential property insurance premiums for a period of 3 years upon the completion of a homeowner natural disaster preparedness course. The Superintendent may also provide for an actuarially appropriate reduction in premium rates for the installation of equipment, devices, or other capital improvements that can help to eliminate or mitigate natural disaster damage.
-Such coarse, after being submitted for approval to the Superintendent by a property/casualty insurer, shall provide useful information related to courses of action that can be taken by a homeowner before, during and after the occurrence of a natural disaster; strategies to reduce risk exposure to residential property owners, and information on the kinds of equipment, devices and other capital improvements made to real property to help reduce the risk of damage to real property, personal injury or loss of life.
-The insurer would provide for the reduction in insurance premiums upon completion of such a natural disaster preparedness course. A completion certificate would need to be issued by the approved natural
disaster preparedness course sponsor and submitted to the insurance carrier.
-The Superintendent, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, would establish standards and the curriculum to be used in such homeowner natural disaster preparedness course.
Over the last decade or so, it seems that more and more catastrophic weather events have struck the Northeastern portions of the United States. The purpose of this bill is to encourage homeowners to take a natural disaster preparedness course to help reduce the risk of property damage, personal injury, and loss of life that can occur as the result of these increasingly catastrophic weather events. In addition, by encouraging residential property owners to take such a class, it is the sponsor's hope to help reduce the economic and personal injuries that occur due to these weather events.
This bill will not adversely affect insurers.in that they would only give an actuarially appropriate premium reduction that is demonstrated to reflect real potential property/casualty losses that could be curbed. Further, this is not a mandate bill in that only those insurers that wish to offer the course or sanction such a course to provide for such a premium reduction would need to participate in the program.
New York State law already provides for an actuarially appropriate reduction on auto insurance rates to those that take a defensive driving course. This bill merely extends this concept to homeowners' insurance. Also, as is the case with the driver safety auto insurance premium reduction course that is already in state law, such premium reduction is for a three year period of time.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
January first, next succeeding when the law shall have gone into effect.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6782--A IN SENATE March 10, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance -- commit- tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom- mitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to reduction in rates of property/casualty insurance rates on residential property for insureds who complete an approved homeowner natural disaster preparedness course THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "homeowner natural disaster preparedness program". S 2. Legislative intent. The legislature declares that the purposes of this act are to provide homeowners, condominium owners, cooperative apartment owners, and renters with an incentive to take a course of instruction on how to make their residence more resilient to a natural disaster, reduce the potential loss of life or property damage that could result from a natural disaster, and raise their awareness of natural disaster preparedness by offering property/casualty insurance premium reductions. S 3. The section heading of section 2346 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 637 of the laws of 1993, is amended and a new subsection 5 is added to read as follows: Reduction in rates of fire insurance
[or], homeowners insurance OR PROPERTY/CASUALTY premiums for residential property. 5. (A) DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (1) "COMPLETION CERTIFICATE" MEANS A DOCUMENT WHICH CANNOT BE ALTERED AND WHICH IS PROVIDED TO A PERSON WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES A HOMEOWNER NATURAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COURSE. (2) "NATURAL DISASTER" MEANS THE OCCURRENCE OR IMMINENT THREAT OF WIDESPREAD OR SEVERE DAMAGE, INJURY, OR LOSS OF LIFE OR PROPERTY RESULT- ING FROM ANY NATURAL CAUSE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FIRE, FLOOD, EARTHQUAKE, HURRICANE, TORNADO, HIGH WATER, LANDSLIDE, MUDSLIDE, WIND,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13992-04-4 S. 6782--A 2
STORM, WAVE ACTION, ICE STORM, EPIDEMIC, AIR CONTAMINATION, BLIGHT, DROUGHT, INFESTATION, EXPLOSION, WATER CONTAMINATION, BRIDGE FAILURE, OR BRIDGE COLLAPSE. (3) "HOMEOWNER NATURAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COURSE" MEANS A NATURAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COURSE APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, IN CONSUL- TATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (D) OF THIS SUBSECTION. SUCH COURSE SHALL PROVIDE USEFUL INFORMATION TO PARTICIPANTS ON ITEMS INCLUD- ING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: COURSES OF ACTION THAT CAN BE TAKEN BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE OCCURRENCE OF A NATURAL DISASTER, STRATEGIES TO REDUCE RISK EXPOSURE TO INSURED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND RENTERS, AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE INSTALLATION OF EQUIPMENT, DEVICES OR OTHER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TO REAL PROPERTY WHICH CAN HELP TO ELIMINATE OR MITIGATE DAMAGE TO REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY, PERSONAL INJURY OR THE LOSS OF LIFE CAUSED BY A NATURAL DISASTER. (B) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY PROVIDE FOR AN ACTUARIALLY APPROPRIATE REDUCTION FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS IN RATES OF HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE AND PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE PREMIUMS APPLICABLE TO RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY FOR EACH TRIENNIAL COMPLETION OF A HOMEOWNER NATURAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COURSE BY THE INSURED OCCUPANT OF SUCH RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY. IN ADDITION, THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY ALSO PROVIDE FOR ACTUARI- ALLY APPROPRIATE REDUCTIONS IN SUCH RATES FOR THE INSTALLATION OF EQUIP- MENT, DEVICES OR OTHER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TO REAL PROPERTY WHICH CAN HELP TO ELIMINATE OR MITIGATE NATURAL DISASTER DAMAGE. (C) AN INSURER, UPON APPROVAL OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, MAY UPON SUBMISSION OF A COMPLETION CERTIFICATE BY AN INSURED, PROVIDE AN ACTUAR- IALLY APPROPRIATE REDUCTION, FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS, OF THE PREMIUM FOR SUCH INSURED'S HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE OR PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE ON THE RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY WHICH IS THE INSURED'S PLACE OF RESI- DENCE. (D) THE SUPERINTENDENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, SHALL ESTABLISH, BY RULE, STANDARDS AND A CURRICULUM FOR HOMEOWNER NATURAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COURSES. EVERY SUCH COURSE SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE SUPER- INTENDENT AND SUCH COMMISSIONER. S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, any actions necessary to be taken for the implementation of the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such effective date.