This week, Scott Hobson, Big I NY’s AVP of Government Relations, testified before the NYS Assembly Committees on Insurance and Environmental Protection on the impact of extreme weather on the state’s property and casualty insurance market. In the hearing, lawmakers sought testimony on the impact that these types of weather events have had on the New York property and casualty insurance market, including premium rates, policy cancellations and renewals, and explore what steps the Legislature can take to ensure a robust and affordable property and casualty insurance market in New York State going forward.
“Put simply, the impact of extreme weather events on the resiliency of the property and casualty insurance market is enormous and far reaching,” Said Hobson.
“The market is increasingly strained, and New York homeowners are facing dual challenges of rising costs and dwindling availability. The challenges are most acute on Long Island and in New York City. Driven by rising claim costs, carriers’ appetite to write coverage in New York is diminishing. This reduces competition and leaves consumers and businesses with fewer options.”
Hobson identified the key drivers of instability in the market, including increasing extreme weather events, rising reinsurance costs, inflation, the legal climate, and supply chain disruption. He urged the legislature to avoid passing new laws that would destabilize the market and drive up premiums, such as expansions of liability, underwriting restrictions, and coverage mandates. He called for measures to fortify communities against losses from extreme weather, and to promote innovation in underwriting.
“If you had a legislative magic wand,” Asked Assemblyman Blumencranz (R, Oyster Bay), “which legislation would you remove to affect premiums in a positive direction for consumers?” Hobson replied, “I’d say comprehensive tort reform would do that.”