New Law Requires Notice of Workers’ Comp Premium Hikes in New York

January 8, 2018

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed Assembly Bill No. 1620 into law, requiring insurance companies to notify employers in advance of some workers’ compensation insurance premium increases.

The law was written by Big I New York, the state’s oldest insurance producer trade association, to protect New York’s businesses. It applies to all policies issued or renewed on and after April 17, 2018.

Assembly Bill 1620 requires insurers to give businesses written notice of when their workers’ comp policy premiums will rise by more than ten percent upon renewal by an affiliated insurer. They must send the notice at least 30 days before the existing policies expire. The requirement applies only to premium components within the insurer’s control. Insurers will not have to send a notice when the increase results from changes in factors related to the risk, such as an increase in the business’ payroll, or surcharges or discounts based on the business’ loss history.

A 1986 law requires insurers to notify businesses in advance when premiums increase more than ten percent. However, it exempts workers’ comp insurance.

As a result, businesses would often learn of large workers’ comp premium increases days before their policies were to renew, according to Big I New York in a press release announcing the bill’s signing.

“The new law…will give businesses fair warning of premium increases within the insurance company’s control,” said Big I New York Chair of the Board Richard E. MacDonald in the release. “They will have time to respond that they did not have before.”

In his signing message, Cuomo called on the State Legislature to make technical amendments to the law in the upcoming session.

“We intend to work closely with lawmakers on a bill to make the governor’s requested changes,” MacDonald added in the release.