Recently, there has been a significant legislative amendment to the Civil Practice and Procedure Law (CPLR) of New York regarding the disclosure of insurance information involving cases filed on or after 12/31/2021. The Act spells out the obligations of the litigants and should be reviewed in its entirety by those practicing in New York. Nevertheless, as it stands today, all litigants and their defense counsel must comply with the following requirements (not exhaustive):
- Disclose complete information of any insurance agreement (primary, excess, and umbrella policies) through which a judgment could be satisfied within 90 days after serving an answer.
- The disclosure requirements include all applicable primary, excess, and umbrella policies, and a complete copy of those policies, including declarations, insuring agreements, conditions, exclusions, and endorsements. However, the parties may agree that this obligation is satisfied by producing a Declaration Page.
- Defendants are obligated to disclose “total limits available” under the policy (ies) taking into account any erosion (or other offsets) of the limits.
- Defendants have an ongoing obligation to make reasonable efforts throughout the litigation to ensure the information remains accurate and complete, especially when the note of issue is filed, settlement discussions are overseen by the court, any voluntary mediation is conducted and the case is called for trial.
- Disclosure of the contact information - the name and e-mail address - of any person(s) responsible for adjusting the claim.
- Disclosures require a certification of the information provided by both the defendant and its attorney that the information is accurate and complete.
Counsel should be mindful of and must take all necessary steps to comply with these new requirements. Best practices, include but are not limited to, monitoring the 90-day deadlines in all matters filed on or after 12/31/21, promptly advising clients of their obligation under the new law to certify the disclosures, and ensuring that copies of all certifications and disclosed insurance information are immediately provided to the insurance carriers whose policy information is disclosed upon transmittal to opposing counsel.
If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this article, please contact Frank Leddy, Esq. at email@example.com or by phone at (848) 229-3300.