OGC Op. No. 09-03-03
The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on March 2, 2009, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department
RE: Applicability of Insurance Law § 3411 and Regulation 79 to For-Hire Vehicles
Are Insurance Law § 3411 and 11 N.Y.C.R.R. § 67 applicable to for-hire vehicles?
Yes, Insurance Law § 3411 and 11 N.Y.C.R.R. § 67 are applicable to for-hire vehicles.
The inquiry is of a general nature, without reference to particular facts.
Relevant to the inquiry is Insurance Law § 3411, which governs the mandatory physical damage inspection requirements for private passenger automobiles registered in the state of New York. Insurance Law § 3411(a) states that the statute “shall be applicable to all automobile physical damage insurance policies covering private passenger automobiles registered in this state, notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter.”
Regulation 79, which implements the inspection requirements of Insurance Law § 3411, defines “private passenger automobile” as “all owned or leased 4-wheeled motor vehicles including: station wagons, jeep-type vehicles, pick-up trucks, delivery sedans and vans, except vehicles weighing more than 6,500 pounds unloaded. This definition shall apply solely to the mandatory inspection requirements for private passenger automobiles contained in section 3411 of the Insurance Law.” (Emphasis added.) This language encompasses all four-wheeled vehicles under the specified weight, regardless of use. See OGC Opinion No. 03-10-12 (October 17, 2003).
Thus, Insurance Law § 3411, as implemented by Regulation 79, includes for-hire commercial vehicles in its reference to “private passenger automobiles.” An insurer may waive or dispense with the inspection requirements only under certain circumstances, as set forth in 11 N.Y.C.R.R. 67.3(b). With respect to commercial vehicles in particular, an insurer may waive mandatory inspection if the vehicle is insured under a commercially-rated policy that covers five or more vehicles. See 11 N.Y.C.R.R. 67.3(b)(5).
For further information you may contact Supervising Attorney Sam Wachtel at the New York City office.