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PIANY: Cuomo's advice shows need for standard deductible triggers

ALBANY, N.Y.-Praising Gov. Cuomo today for reminding homeowners that they should proactively verify they have adequate coverage in the case of storm losses, the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc., once again called for legislation to protect homeowners from the problems associated with insurance companies use of widely varying deductible triggers.

The trade association, which represents thousands of professional independent insurance agents across New York state, has long fought to raise awareness of the potential coverage crisis and has sought legislation to protect consumers.

"We praise Gov. Cuomo for raising awareness of this important issue, and hope lawmakers will take notice, step up, and help New Yorks homeowners by standardizing the triggers each company uses to initiate policy deductibles," said PIANY President Rich A. Savino, CIC, CPIA.

The New York State Assembly passed legislation (A.3282-A/S.3387-A) sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg this spring to address the problem, but the Senate failed to pass the bill before adjourning or before hurricane season began this year.

"The majority of homeowners are unaware that insurance companies use different triggers to apply deductibles to their policies. This means one homeowner could have a completely different deductible trigger than his next-door neighbor, and the circumstances for which each policy covers windstorm damage could be different for both of them," Savino said. The next storm to hit New York could result in rightful outrage from consumers over this complicated puzzle of windstorm insurance deductibles and triggers. We hope the governors message reaches lawmakers and inspires them to take action by standardizing these triggers."

PIANY is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.