|George E. Pataki
Gregory V. Serio
The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on December 18, 2002, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
RE: Disclosure of Policy Limits
Are motor vehicle insurers required to disclose policy limits when requested in writing to do so?
Yes. N.Y. Ins. Law §§ 2601 and 3420 (McKinney 2000) provide that insurers must disclose the bodily injury limits of liability of their insured to an individual or that individuals duly authorized representative who has filed a claim for damages against the insured and has made a written request for such information.
No facts were presented. The inquiry is general in nature.
Chapter 547 of the Laws of 1997 amended Sections 2601 and 3420 of the Insurance Law to provide that insurers must disclose the bodily injury limits of liability of their insured to an individual or that individuals duly authorized representative who has filed a claim for damages against the insured and has made a written request for such information. The information must be provided within 45 days of the written request. See Circular Letter No. 17 (1997).
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2601(a)(6) (McKinney 2000) provides:
(a) No insurer doing business in this state shall engage in unfair claim settlement practices. Any of the following acts by an insurer, if committed without just cause and performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, shall constitute unfair claim settlement practices.
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(6) failing to promptly disclose coverage pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph two of subsection (f) of section three thousand four hundred twenty of this chapter.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 3420(f)(2)(A) (McKinney 2000) provides in pertinent part:
Upon written request by any insured covered by supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance or his duly authorized representative and upon disclosure by the insured of the insured`s bodily injury and supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance coverage limits, the insurer of any other owner or operator of another motor vehicle against which a claim has been made for damages to the insured shall disclose, within forty-five days of the request, the bodily injury liability insurance limits of its coverage provided under the policy or all bodily injury liability bonds. The time of the insured to make any supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, shall be tolled during the period the insurer of any other owner or operator of another motor vehicle that may be liable for damages to the insured, fails to so disclose its coverage.
For further information you may contact Supervising Attorney Joan Siegel at the New York City Office.