New York Eases Certain Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act Requirements | White and Williams LLP
After significant pushback from insurers and defendants, in late February the New York Legislature made changes that reduce the burden of some of the initial disclosure requirements of the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act (CIDA). In particular, insurance applications are no longer required and the obligations only apply to files opened this year or after.
On December 31, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law CIDA. This law amended CPLR 3101(f) by imposing new disclosure obligations on defendants and defense attorneys, which had to be disclosed within 60 days of service of the response. Obligations included mandatory disclosure of all insurance policies that may be used to satisfy a judgment, information in lawsuits involving payment of attorney’s fees that erode policy limits, and police claims of assurance. In addition, defense counsel and defendants were required to certify that the disclosures were accurate and complete – an obligation continuing until 60 days after any settlement or entry of final judgment in the case, including including all calls. The law applied to new trials, as well as ongoing trials.
Although many of the disclosure requirements remain and are automatic, recent changes have relaxed some of the original CIDA requirements. Now, disclosures are only required under CIDA for lawsuits filed after December 31, 2021. In addition, the amendments extend the original time for disclosure from 60 to 90 days after a response is served. In addition, the disclosure of insurance claims is no longer required and the information that must be disclosed has been restricted. Now declaration pages rather than full copies of policies can be filed (although if a policy is filed instead of a declarations page, the full policy must be provided). No information on other lawsuits or payment of attorneys’ fees should be provided, but the total of available policy limits, taking into account erosion and other compensation, should always be provided.
Make no mistake: the obligations of the defendants remain. CIDA as a whole is still introducing changes to New York’s procedure regarding insurance disclosures in litigation. Defendants and their attorneys should seek to familiarize themselves with the new requirements in order to prepare for the obligations that now apply to all cases filed in New York State in 2022.