Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511


A.1475-A (Colton) / S.3286-A (O'Mara)



Homeowners Insurance Discounts



June 12, 2013


The Business Council opposes this legislation which would provide for actuarially appropriate discounts on fire and homeowners insurance after completion of a certified residential home safety and loss prevention course.

There are a few problems with this bill. First, it is difficult to determine an appropriate reduction in premium associated with a course. Completing a course may have virtually no effect on the behavior or liability risks of the property, other residents in the home or guests visiting the home.

In addition, as noted by Governor George Pataki in Veto message #18 in 1999 of a similar bill, “homeowners' insurance premiums are already adjusted for a variety of measures that enhance home safety including the installation of smoke and radon detectors. As a result, the bill may not result in a reduction in homeowners' insurance premiums despite the time and expense incurred by the homeowner in taking the course.”
It is worth noting that many insurance companies already offer free home safety information to their policyholders. These courses should be taken advantage of but should not come with mandated discounts which may not result in any actual reduction in property loss.

For these reasons the Business Council recommends disapproval of A.1475-A / S.3268-A.