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New York's Certificate Law Addresses Governmental Agencies

Feb. 4, 2015 AAIS Advisory notice

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New York has joined the growing list of states to enact laws or regulations to govern the use of certificate of insurance.

A recent New York law, like similar laws in many, makes it illegal for anyone to request or prepare a certificate that seeks to alter or amend the coverage provided by the referenced policy, or claims to meet the requirements of another contract. The takes effect at the last week of April.

A legislative memo that accompanies the law explains that it was already illegal in New York to prepare a certificate that sought to alter policy coverage, but that it was not, until now, illegal to request to request such an action.

As a result, according to the memo, governmental agencies in New York often required contractors to show proof of insurance using certificates provided by those agencies; those certificates often did not reflect that actual terms of the referenced policies. Scrupulous insurance producers who refused to endorse such certificates could lose clients to producers wiling to ignore the law.

In light of that, the new law expressly states in several places that "no person or governmental entity" is to violate its provisions.

AAIS Advisory notices are posted periodically to announce AAIS product developments, and to provide news items that are relevant to our program users. Advisory notices are news summaries that paraphrase documents which should be consulted directly for complete, authoritative information. 

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