Moratorium on certain Insurance Policy Provisions
On October 26, 2012, in anticipation of an impending storm, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 47 declaring a State of Disaster Emergency for all 62 counties within the State of New York.
Storm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, causing extensive power outages, loss of life and property, and ongoing harm to public health and safety, heavily impacting the counties of New York, Bronx, Kings, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Orange.
Insurance law, Banking law and Financial Services law empower the Superintendent of Financial Services to modify or suspend certain provisions of the Law for a limited period for any area of the State declared by the Governor to be in a state of emergency due to disaster or catastrophe.
The Superintendent found that in the wake of Storm Sandy certain modifications to these laws were necessary to protect storm-affected consumers.
Effective October 26, 2012, the Superintendent ordered:
- A 30-day moratorium on the termination, cancellation, or non-renewal of any “covered policy," as that term is defined by Insurance law.
- A 30-day moratorium on any automatic policy renewal provision contained within a covered policy.
- That an owner of any covered policy may voluntarily terminate that policy during the Moratorium.
- That the Moratorium will not apply to any covered policy where the home, headquarters or principal base of operations of the policyholder is not located in one of the Designated Counties.
Effective November 5, 2012, these provisions were extended for an additional 21 days.
Effective December 16, 2012, the Superintendent determined that certain circumstances resulting from the storm emergency, still persisted in the counties of New York, Bronx, Kings, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk, requiring the continuation of the following aspects of the original order for an additional 21 days until January 6, 2012:
- The Moratorium which prohibited the termination, cancellation, or non-renewal of any "covered policy," and
- Provisions relating to automatic policy renewals and voluntary policy termination.
- The Order regarding suspension of other Insurance and Banking law Provisions that the Superintendent issued on November 23, were not extended.