New York’s Superintendent of Insurance, James J. Wrynn, has proposed several key initiatives in an attempt to ensure homeowners insurance is available to all consumers.

Superintendent Wrynn states that his initiatives are designed at guaranteeing accessibility and affordability in the New York homeowners insurance market. The proposals, inter alia, would cover a catastrophe fund, windstorm deductibles and limits on nonrenewals.

National Underwriter Property & Casualty recently reported that the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) countered Wrynn’s recent proposal, saying the insurance superintendent is “trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.” Kristina Baldwin, assistant vice president for government affairs for PCI, was quoted in the article stating, “[w]e are concerned that these proposals could create marketplace conditions that negatively affect both the availability and affordability of coastal homeowners insurance for consumers.”

The New York Insurance Association (NYIA) said it is surprised by Superintendent Wrynn’s proposals and it is “unaware of an availability problem in New York.” The NYS insurance department’s proposal is “counterproductive, unnecessary, burdensome and unduly restrictive,” the NYIA said in a written statement. For a complete copy of NYIA’s statement, please click here.

In his press release, Superintendent Wrynn announced he had called a meeting of the Temporary Panel on Homeowners Insurance Coverage for October 13, a group he chairs that is charged by law with examining insurance and other issues facing coastal homeowners. In addition to the proposed regulations and catastrophe pool, Superintendent Wrynn also has directed the Temporary Panel on Homeowners Insurance Coverage to examine the following areas of concern:

  • Market assistance programs;
  • The catastrophe insurance pool;
  • Existing state and local building codes, and retrofitting current structures to mitigate damage from a major weather catastrophe;
  • Insurer preparedness for recovery and rebuilding after a catastrophe;
  • Public education about storm risks and mitigation techniques; and
  • Other coastal homeowners insurance issues.