Insurance Bill Needs Pataki’s Approval
The bill authorizing the insurance association that many locals rely on in order to keep their mortgages, has passed the legislature and now needs the signature of New York State Governor George Pataki.
The New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA), which was established by the state more than three decades ago, provides coverage to thousands who cannot find insurance on the private market. That number includes many in Rockaway and Broad Channel, who are commonly rejected because of their property’s "waterfront" status.
Because NYPIUA was created by a legislative act that carried an expiration date, the association must be renewed periodically. Both the senate and assembly passed the bill, last week, which will allow NYPIUA to operate through April of 2004. That temporary fix leaves the association in need of another extension in just another ten months, or it will pass into another "sunset," or lapse in service.
To locals who have already received cancellation notices, the short-term extension will be welcomed. NYPIUA representative Robin Pollack said the association would begin sending renewal notices and accepting new applications as soon it hears that its authority to do so has been extended.
Some insurance specialists are hopeful that the bill will pass quickly, but the governor is "still carefully reviewing the legislation at this point," according to spokesman Todd Alhart. At press time, the bill had not been signed.
The Wave first reported two weeks ago, that the bill was being bounced back and forth between the senate and assembly, largely because other provisions regarding auto insurance, known as extenders, were added.
The assembly has, in the past, tried to renew NYPIUA for a longer period of time, but the senate has not cooperated. Some in the insurance industry have speculated that the reason the expiration on NYPIUA is kept so short, is because it can then be more frequently packaged with other legislation, which is then almost certain to pass.
The biggest change for passenger vehicle drivers, if Pataki signs this bill, with the attached extenders, will be the reinstatement of the "two percent rule." It allows companies to cancel drivers more easily and in greater numbers.