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NY Legislature Amends CIDA, Lessening a Defendant's Insurance Disclosure Obligations Under the Act

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The Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act (“CIDA”) was signed into New York law late last year and has caused quite a stir. CIDA, as initially enacted, requires that a civil defendant automatically disclose a staggering amount of insurance policy information including insurance applications and complete copies of all primary, excess, and umbrella policies, among other things, within 60 days after service of an answer, or by March 1, 2022, in pending cases. To put things in perspective, prior to CIDA, in response to a discovery request or standard preliminary conference order (i.e., not automatically), defendants typically satisfied their insurance information disclosure obligations by providing a copy of the declarations pages of the applicable policy and the total limits of insurance.

Fortunately (for defendants), the original version of CIDA was never intended to remain the law. Specifically, Governor Hochul announced that she was signing CIDA into law on the condition that the New York Legislature act swiftly to amend it for its intended purpose, provide plaintiff with accurate information about remaining limits on insurance policies available to satisfy a judgment or liability, and she provided a red-lined version of the bill to kick off the process. Proposed amendments were introduced two weeks later and, after a month of discussions, Senate Bill 7882A—a gutted version of CIDA—has now been passed in both houses of the New York Legislature. Governor Hochul signed it into law on February 28, 2022.

Under the new version of CIDA, the required disclosures are significantly less onerous and do not apply to defendant policyholders in cases filed on or before December 31, 2021.

Affected Parties - Defendant policyholders in civil actions commenced after January 1, 2022.

  • Not applicable to personal injury protection benefits recovery cases under Insurance Law Article 51 or Insurance Regulation 68.

Timing - 90 days of serving the answer.

  • Updated insurance information must also be provided when the note of issue is filed, when engaging in court conducted or supervised settlement negotiations, at mediation, and when the case is called for trial, and 60 days after any settlement or entry of final judgment in the case, inclusive of all appeals.

Scope and Extent of Mandatory Disclosures

  • Complete copies of insurance policies and programs that “relate to the claim being litigated.”

              Declaration pages of a policy may be provided if the plaintiff agrees in writing. Plaintiff can always revoke and request complete copies.  

  • The name and e-mail address of the claims adjuster.
  • Total amount of “actual funds” remaining under the policy, after account erosion and offsets.

Other

  • Compliance with CIDA does not constitute an admission that the alleged injury or property damage is covered by the policy.
  • No specific penalties assigned for non-compliance.
  • Certification by defendant policyholders attesting that the information provided pursuant to CPLR 3101(f) is complete and accurate.

Chartwell Law is actively monitoring legislative developments, as events continue to unfold. We will keep you apprised of any changes that may affect your insurance information disclosure obligations. Please contact the Chartwell attorney handling your case for further information or guidance, or if you have any questions relating to the above.