|STATE OF NEW YORK
GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
GOVERNOR INTRODUCES "CIVIL AUTHORITY" INSURANCE LEGISLATION
Would Enhance Insurance Protections for Businesses In Times Of Emergencies
Governor George E. Pataki today announced that he has introduced legislation to provide enhanced insurance protections for New York State business owners. The Governors legislation would allow for the availability of more meaningful, adequate and flexible coverage options for economic loss resulting from business interruptions in times of emergencies.
The bill creates a new stand-alone line of coverage called 'civil authority insurance,' which would authorize insurers to provide additional coverage to protect businesses when an action of a governmental authority results in the loss of business income. This bill would expand the benefits currently offered under Business Interruption insurance by eliminating the prerequisite of actual physical damage to the insureds premises as the trigger for such coverage.
"The civil authority insurance legislation will provide New York businesses with access to additional insurance coverage options to better suit their needs in times of an emergency," Governor Pataki said. "This legislation would be especially helpful to businesses that had to temporarily close or whose operations were negatively impacted as result of the tragic events of September 11th."
"After September 11th, it was clear that many downtown Manhattan businesses were not protected by the safety net previously afforded by business interruption coverage alone," Governor Pataki said. "This bill will help New York States business community, especially small businesses, stay in business during trying times."
"The Governors initiative exemplifies the administrations continued commitment to improving New York States business environment," said Superintendent Gregory V. Serio. "Natural disasters and other emergency situations show the need to bridge the gaps in coverage that exist under the terms of current policies. The Governors Program Bill again responds to this need and provides coverage that is a vital component for a business financial well being."
In recent years, millions of dollars have been lost by businesses as a result of necessary government action that forced business closures for a period of time because of circumstances beyond an insureds control.
The North Country Ice storm of January 1998 necessitated the closing of many roads due to the dangerous ice conditions. Similarly, in 1998, the dangerous conditions involving buildings in New York Citys Times Square and on Madison Avenue required the streets to be closed for extended periods of time, shutting down businesses that were physically undamaged, but in proximity to the hazardous conditions.
Likewise, in 2000, businesses along Delaware Avenue suffered devastating economic hardship as a result of landslides that occurred in the Town of Bethlehem, Albany County.