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PIANY lauds Assembly for much-needed certificate of insurance reform bill

ALBANY, N.Y. -The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. lauds the New York State Assembly for passing A.9590 today. The bill would prohibit demands for certificates of insurance that may misrepresent coverages that are in place in order to do business. The New York State Senate passed its companion bill (S.6545-A) last month. The bill now will be sent to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his signature.

The bill, introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, D-136, would establish standards for certificates that would make it illegal for any person or government entity to knowingly request or require the issuance of a certificate that contains any false or misleading information. The bill also would encourage the use of standard certificate forms developed by ACORD and ISO.

"Thank you to Assemblyman Morelle and the New York State Assembly for passing this legislation for which PIANY has long advocated," said PIANY President Alan Plafker, CPIA. "This legislation would address fraudulent and improper certificate of insurance demands that often are placed on professional, independent insurance agents and contractors and we encourage the governor to sign this much-needed bill into law."

Presently, New York state law does not specifically regulate the improper use of certificates of insurance. While there are multiple opinions issued by the Office of General Counsel in the Department of Financial Services, current standards leave insurance agents and general contractors in need of this type of reform. Insurance certificate fraud is widespread and the victims are the injured parties who find that work was being done on the basis of a faulty certificate and that no insurance exists to compensate them for their injuries and loss.

Support for the legislation continues to be endorsed by a host of insurance agent associations, insurance carriers, construction attorneys and general contractors.

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