Financial Services Committee Update
June 28, 2012
End of Session Report
The Business Council was engaged in discussions on a number of bills before both Houses of the legislature this session that impacted both the Insurance and Banking sectors. Here is a brief summary of the priority bills that were either approved by both Houses or rejected by one or both Houses.
- Expanded Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
A.10090-B (Morelle)/S.7312-B (Seward)
Clarifies that employees of a volunteer firefighter or first responder crew while acting in the scope of their duties will be covered under their employers supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) policies. Bill exempts business entities from these new requirements.
- Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits
A.9845-B (Morelle)/S.6943-A (Seward)
Requires life insurers to do quarterly matching of their in-force and lapsed life insurance policies and accounts against the U.S. Social Security Administration Death Master File of potentially deceased individuals and to make a good faith attempt to locate missing beneficiaries for unclaimed life insurance benefits that are positively determined as a result of that search.
- Employer Choice Group and Blanket Disability Policies.
S.2557 (Seward) / A.4098 (Morelle).
Require disability income insurers to make available to employers who purchase group or blanket disability insurance the option of a contract with a pre-existing condition exclusion provision.
- Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012.
S.7759 (Saland) / A.10629-A (Weinstein).
Imposes misdemeanor and felony level penalties on those who engage in fraudulent practices during mortgage foreclosure process.
- Foreign Debt Obligations.
S.3767-C (Bonacic) / A.7967 (Simotas)and S.6949 (Bonacic) / A.9953-A (Simotas, MS).
The first bill applies only to debt obligations of foreign states, the second to all applications of the “merger doctrine” under the state’s civil practice laws and rules; both bills limit the merger of certain individual claims into a final judgment related to debt obligation, impairing the ability for cases such as bankruptcies and defaults to achieve final settlements.
- Martin Act Expansion.
S.7465 (Libous) / A.9627 (Abbate).
Would authorize public retirement systems to direct the Attorney General to investigate alleged violations of the “Martin Act;” would direct any recoveries through settlement or judgment to be returned to the damaged pension fund.
- Allow Paycheck Payment Cards.
S.6288-A (Robach) / A.6894-A (Wright).
This bill allows for payment of wages with payroll cards (i.e., debit cards), in addition to checks and direct deposit. It also establishes provisions for issuance and use of payroll cards, including making the use of payroll cards at the discretion of the individual employees, and requirements of at least.