N.Y. Sens. Larkin, Seward Introduce New Extender Bill

January 22, 2003

A bill designed to reintroduce 7 percent flex rating and 2 percent nonrenewal for insurers, commonly referred to as “extenders,” has been introduced by New York Sen. William J. Larkin (R, 39th district) and Sen. James L. Steward (R, 51st district) for the 2003 session.

“Since the Senate passed a similar bill reintroducing these extenders in last year’s legislative session, we believe S.B. 632 stands a good chance of a similar fate this year,” Gerald Zimmerman, senior counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), said. “Unfortunately, the obstacle to getting this bill passed in 2003 will again be Assembly Insurance Chairman Pete Grannis.”

Last year, Grannis blocked adoption of the Senate extenders bill in large part because of his opposition to the 7 percent flex rating extender, which would permit insurers to adjust their rates up or down as needed within a seven percent parameter.

“Flex rating helps insurers to stay competitive and respond quickly to marketplace changes without having to file for approval with the state insurance department,” Zimmerman said. “The system is beneficial for both insurers and consumers, and also spares the insurance department the time, cost and manpower of individually reviewing and approving small rate changes.”

S.B. 632 is expected to be on the first Senate Insurance Committee agenda and referred to the full Senate for further consideration.

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