Galvanized by Superstorm Sandy, state lawmakers hit the ground running with a slew of measures designed to alleviate storm victims' insurance troubles. A year later, a few uncontroversial bills have been signed into law, but the future of high-impact pieces of legislation remains foggy.
Dennis Artese, an Anderson Kill PC shareholder who counsels policyholders, said lawmakers are on the right track. They have honed in on some of the key issues that storm victims face after disasters such as Sandy, including anti-concurrent clauses and the ability to bring bad faith actions, Artese said.
Though New York lawmakers have watered down the bill banning anti-concurrent causation clauses so that it applies only when flood exclusions are in play, they nonetheless are realizing that the policy provisions are “inherently unfair,” according to Artese.
“Any pro-policyholder legislation in New York is challenging. You're up against a massive insurance lobby,” Artese said. But “if there's ever a time something like this would pass, this is it.”
Robert Chesler, an Anderson Kill shareholder, expressed more skepticism about the future of the bad faith bill in New Jersey, however.
“People are a little wary about giving such broad insurance bad faith powers to people,” Chesler said. “Senators and assemblymen don't seem to be jumping on this.”