AIA Statement Responding to the 2015 Construction Insurance Transparency Act

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Alison Cooper, Northeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), issued a statement in response to the introduction of New York Assembly Bill 4718, the 2015 Construction Insurance Transparency Act.

Alison Cooper, Northeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), issued a statement in response to the introduction of New York Assembly Bill 4718, the 2015 Construction Insurance Transparency Act. Sponsored by Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D - Queens County), the legislation would require insurers to file annual financial statements and claims data to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) regarding liability under the Scaffold Act, Section 240 of the New York Labor Law.

The Scaffold Act places an absolute liability standard on contractors if they are determined to be the least bit at fault, regardless of the fault of the injured worker. New York remains the only state with an absolute liability standard.

Ms. Cooper’s Statement Follows:

“AIA believes that the 2015 Construction Insurance Transparency Act is unnecessary in light of the 308 inquiry issued by DFS and that it diverts attention away from the unacceptable societal costs imposed by the Scaffold Act’s absolute liability standard. Since the 308 inquiry was issued last fall, insurers have complied with the request and DFS is currently analyzing the data that was submitted. There is simply no benefit to placing additional, duplicative demands on both insurers and DFS while this review process is underway.

“A. 4718 would require insurers to give DFS even more data elements specifically in regard to liability coverage related to the Scaffold Act and information on policies from the last 10 years. This data would add no new insights into the problem of availability and affordability of liability coverage for contractors in New York State.

“This legislation does nothing to solve the real problem, which is the absolute liability standard imposed by the Scaffold Act and the need to reform this antiquated law.”

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