With billions in damage to property across New York due to severe weather and with the limited resources of first-responders being put to their limit, New York State has adopted legislation proposed in 2014 by Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo and Senator Jeff Klein which will incentivize property owners to make their dwellings more resilient to natural disasters through a home safety and loss prevention course. This is also a win-win for insurance companies who provide homeowners with authorized courses in disaster preparedness as this would reduce claims on the company.

The 2016-2017 State Budget which was adopted yesterday included the original legislation (A.6846/S.1529) which was vetoed by Governor Cuomo last year. With over $30 billion in property damage due to Superstorm Sandy alone, it became clear that more needed to be done to help New Yorkers become better prepared and more resilient to a major natural disaster. Across the State, outbreaks of severe weather in the form of flooding and tornadoes have also inflicted millions in property damage.

The new law permits the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to provide an actuarially appropriate reduction in homeowner’s insurance premiums upon a homeowner’s completion of a home safety and loss prevention course. This new law establishes that: Applicants have the ability to submit a home safety and loss prevention course to DFS for review; DFS will examine the course to discern if it warrants an actuarially appropriate reduction in rates of a homeowner’s insurance policy; and, Once DFS approves the course and the insured (the homeowner) produces a completion certificate proving they have completed the approved course, the insurer can provide the actuarially appropriate reduction in rates of a homeowner’s insurance policy for a period of 3 years.

“I am proud to once again partner with Senator Klein to work on programs which will improve public safety, save lives and better prepare our residents to cope with natural disasters which we have seen cripple communities,” stated Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance.

This is the second bill of three proposed in a report released by Assemblyman Crespo in May of 2013 to improve public safety from growing severe weather threats. “Tornadoes Rising: The Increasing Rates of Tornadoes in New York State” highlighted the dangers facing most New Yorkers from severe weather.

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