No-Fault Regulation 68
A Brief Legal History of No-Fault Regulation
Department of Insurance Regulation 68, which implemented New York"s No-Fault law, was first promulgated in 1974. A new revised Regulation 68 was filed August 2, 2001 with the Department of State and published in the State Register on August 22, 2001. By its terms, (new) Regulation 68 was to be effective as of September 1, 2001. The revised Regulation was divided into four different regulations that addressed four separate regulated aspects of the No-Fault reparations system (Prescribed Policy Endorsements, Rights and Liabilities of Self-Insurers, Claims for Personal Injury Protection Benefits and Arbitration).
On August 29, 2001, various plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court seeking a stay of enforcement of the revised regulation and challenging the authority of the Superintendent to promulgate the regulation. A temporary stay preventing the Department from implementing the revised regulation was issued on August 31, 2001.
Accordingly, from August 29, 2001 to April 4, 2002 (the period of the temporary stay) the prior version of Regulation 68 remained in effect, as modified by the emergency twenty-fourth amendment (which was filed and effective on September 18, 2001 and remained in effect on an emergency basis through April 4, 2002) and the emergency twenty-fifth amendment (which was filed and effective on December 31, 2001 and remained in effect on an emergency basis through April 4, 2002). These two amendments provided essential reforms to the No-Fault arbitration process; some of which took effect immediately and others took effect on March 1, 2002.
On February 19, 2002, Supreme Court Justice William Wetzel issued a decision upholding the State Insurance Department"s promulgation of the revised Regulation 68 and denying a request that it be overturned. On April 4, 2002, the Appellate Division, First Department, unanimously denied petitioners motion seeking injunctive relief pending appeal of Justice Wetzels decision upholding the Departments promulgation of revised Regulation 68 and also vacated the interim stay in effect against implementation of the revised regulation.
As a result of this decision, revised Regulation 68 (the Regulation as promulgated in August 2001 to be effective on September 1, 2001) was effective as of April 5, 2002.
On April 11, 2002 the Department promulgated, on an emergency basis, the First Amendment to Regulation No. 68-C (11 NYCRR 65) and the First Amendment to Regulation No. 68-D (11 NYCRR 65). These two emergency regulations amended the provisions of the revised Regulation 68 to conform it with the 25th Amendment to the old Regulation, and were finally adopted on April 5, 2003.
The Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the decision of Acting Justice Wetzel, Matter of Medical Society of the State of New York, et al., Appellants, v. Gregory Serio, &c., et al , Respondents, N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep"t, Oct. 22, 2002). The Court of Appeals ultimately upheld the decision of the First Department and affirmed the promulgation of the revised amendment, 2003 N.Y. LEXIS 3314 (Court of Appeals decision dated October 21, 2003 ).
The text of both the prior (old) Regulation 68, as well as revised (new) Regulation 68 and amendments thereto, No-Fault frequently asked questions concerning the effective date(s) of provisions in the revised regulation, and select opinions of the Departments Office of General Counsel applicable to No-Fault coverage may be found on the No-Fault Central Links page.