Bill S7381-2013

Directs superintendent of financial services to establish a separate classification for liability insurance for installers of wind or solar electric generating systems

Directs superintendent of financial services to establish a separate classification for setting rates for liability insurance for installers of wind or solar electric generating systems; provides for a premium reduction to those installers which have no or minimal insurance claims.

Details

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  • May 14, 2014: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7381

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to directing the superintendent of financial services to establish a separate classification for liability insurance for businesses engaged in the installation of wind or solar electric generating systems

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill directs the superintendent of insurance to establish a separate classification for liability insurance for installers of wind or solar electric generating systems.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends the insurance law by adding a new section, 2346-b, to address the reduction in the rates of liability insurance for installers of wind or solar electric generating systems. This section goes on to define the terms "Solar electric generating system", "Wind electric generating system", and requires that the superintendent shall establish a separate classification for the determination of rates and premiums for liability, motor vehicle and workers' compensation provided to any person or entity engaged in the business of installing solar and/or wind electric generating systems.

The superintendent shall provide a reduction in the rates of liability, motor vehicle and workers' compensation insurance premiums applicable to solar and/or wind electricity generating system installers, when such installers have filed no or minimal insurance claims, and adhere to sound jobsite safety practices. The reductions provided for snail be proportionally related to the actuarially calculable decrease in losses in the aforementioned circumstances.

JUSTIFICATION:

To the average homeowner in New York State, the cost of installing a solar energy system continues to be a big investment, likewise being a solar contractor/installer continues to be a costly challenge. Although the solar industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, the state's insurance policy has not kept up with the pace of this new industry.

Most insurance companies offering Workers Compensation as well as liability insurance, have yet to create a classification tailored specifically towards the solar contractor installer as they have done with other trade industries. The New York State Insurance fund is a prime example. The majority of solar installers using the state insurance fund are often classified into the categories of roofers or ornamental iron brass workers, classes that are often more expensive and non reflective of the type of work the solar contractor performs.

Only a certain percentage of overall work a solar contractor performs on the average job actually involves being on the roof. More than half of

that work is usually in the less risky electrical work category, yet the contractor pays an insurance rate commensurate to the majority of the job being done on a roof.

Providing a separate class of insurance for the solar installer will establish a rate schedule that is more equitable to the line of work the solar contractor performs and in many cases reduce their overall costs of doing business.

Furthermore creating a separate class will enable various contractor and labor organizations across the state to provide discounted group insurance trusts and funds. This will further help to reduce the overall cost of solar both to the contractor and the homeowner.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATION:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed modified altered or amended on or after such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7381 IN SENATE May 14, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. BOYLE -- 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 directing the super- intendent of financial services to establish a separate classification for liability insurance for businesses engaged in the installation of wind or solar electric generating systems 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 section 2346-b to read as follows: S 2346-B. REDUCTION IN RATES OF LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR INSTALLERS OF WIND OR SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATING SYSTEMS. (A) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (1) "SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATING SYSTEM" MEANS A PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM THAT IS MANUFACTURED, INSTALLED AND OPERATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICA- BLE GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY STANDARDS, AND THAT IS CONNECTED TO THE ELECTRIC SYSTEM AND OPERATED IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN ELECTRIC CORPO- RATION'S TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES. (2) "WIND ELECTRIC GENERATING SYSTEM" MEANS ONE OR MORE WIND GENERA- TORS THAT ARE MANUFACTURED, INSTALLED AND OPERATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY STANDARDS, AND THAT ARE CONNECTED TO THE ELECTRIC SYSTEM AND OPERATED IN PARALLEL WITH AN ELECTRIC CORPO- RATION'S TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES. (B) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL ESTABLISH A SEPARATE CLASSIFICATION FOR THE DETERMINATION OF RATES AND PREMIUMS FOR LIABILITY, MOTOR VEHICLE AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROVIDED TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF INSTALLING SOLAR AND/OR WIND ELECTRIC GENERATING SYSTEMS. (C) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL PROVIDE FOR A REDUCTION IN THE RATES OF LIABILITY, MOTOR VEHICLE AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE PREMIUMS APPLICABLE TO SOLAR AND/OR WIND ELECTRICITY GENERATING SYSTEM INSTAL- LERS, WHEN SUCH INSTALLERS HAVE FILED NO OR MINIMAL INSURANCE CLAIMS, AND ADHERE TO SOUND JOBSITE SAFETY PRACTICES. THE REDUCTIONS PROVIDED FOR SHALL BE PROPORTIONALLY RELATED TO THE ACTUARIALLY CALCULABLE DECREASE IN LOSSES IN THE AFOREMENTIONED CIRCUMSTANCES.
S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such date.

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