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Your NY Connection Magazine 2022 Q2 (Spring 38)

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Published by NYIA, 2022-07-11 10:18:01

Your NY Connection Magazine 2022 Q2 (Spring 38)

Your NY Connection Magazine 2022 Q2 (Spring 38)

NYYour Connection
Second Quarter 2022 • Issue 38

headed in the
wrong direction

The Thrasher Standard Does Not Apply
When Proving Lack of Cooperation in
First-Party Property Claims

Thefts on
the Rise

2022 Annual
Conference Recap

Resiliency, Belonging & Well-Being


At Grinnell Re, we respect how mutuals serve their communities. And
that’s why it’s always been our mission to protect our mutual members.
Our history is in backing mutuals. Our future is, too.
Reinsurance done right.

“Trust in Tomorrow.” and the “Grinnell Re” are registered trademarks of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. © Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, 2022.

26 10


10 Headed in the Wrong Direction
The Thrasher Standard Does Not
Apply When Proving Lack
of Cooperation in First-Party
Property Claims

26 Catalytic Converter Thefts on
the Rise

38 2022 Annual Conference Recap
Resiliency, Belonging & Well-Being


56 In Every Issue

04 Chair’s Message
06 President’s Remarks
07 Welcome to NYIA’s
Newest Members
08 Alternate View
24 Out & About
36 Q&A
56 Giving Back
58 New & Noteworthy
62 Upcoming Events • Second Quarter 2022 • 3

NYIA Officers & Directors Chair’s Message

Charles Makey, Chair It was great seeing so many members at this year’s
President Annual Conference. It was clear that everyone was
Merchants Insurance Group excited to have an opportunity to connect with their
peers in the New York marketplace. NYIA takes a great
Edward Harper, First Vice Chair deal of pride in offering this premier New York property
President & CEO and casualty event each year, and this year’s conference
Statewide Underwriting Services was undoubtedly no exception.

Siobhan Davey, Second Vice Chair The conference was a great opportunity to connect with my peers. It was
President & CEO apparent that companies are facing many of the the same challenges. It is
Broome Co-operative Insurance Company reassuring to know that NYIA is always willing to be a partner and take a
leadership role in tackling challenges here in New York. In my view three of
Norman Orlowski, Treasurer the biggest challenges we face as companies are finding and developing talent,
President & CEO inflation and cyber security.
Erie and Niagara Insurance Association
Not surprisingly, NYIA has been working on all three of these issues. The
Mark Prechtl, Immediate Past Chair association held a virtual program earlier this year entitled Creating a Workforce
President & CEO and Workplace of the Future that provided members with a perfect forum to
Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company discuss how as an industry we can invest and train our future workforce. In
relation to inflation, NYIA testified at an Assembly hearing in May, A Pause to
Ellen Melchionni, President Review: The Ongoing Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Insurance in New
President York, and largely focused on the immense impact of inflation on property and
New York Insurance Association, Inc. casualty insurance. Cyber security is going to become an even bigger topic
in the near future here in New York as the Department of Financial Services
Stacey Orlando, Corporate Secretary (DFS) has indicated that they intend to release proposed amendments to their
Director of Design & Technology regulation. NYIA through the association’s Information Security Advisory Group
New York Insurance Association, Inc. is already meeting with DFS to start a dialogue with New York regulators and
share our industry’s viewpoint on potential changes.
Matthew Benedict
President & CEO NYIA continues to unite our industry to allow members a forum to engage in
Midstate Mutual Insurance Company a conversation on tackling many of these challenges facing our industry. The
association works closely with DFS to understand New York issues and capture
Martin Bogue valuable information from the carriers and front line so regulators and political
Deputy General Counsel & Head of leaders understand better the challenges businesses, individuals, and families
Global Regulatory face when securing insurance. NYIA advocates for the insurance industry in
American International Group, Inc. the state capital on many emerging trends or proposed laws which may be
good or detrimental to consumers and the industry. NYIA also invests time in
Marc Craw educating NYIA members on many emerging trends in our industry. Most of
Senior Counsel all, NYIA listens. The association is always available to help members on the
MLMIC Insurance Company many challenges they may face in this market. So know that you have a partner
in the NYIA team if you have any questions or concerns about the New York
Stephen Harris marketplace. The association is always available to listen.
President & CEO
Sterling Insurance Company Charles S. Makey
NYIA Chair
Alison Kelly
Head of Public Policy/Legislative &
Regulatory Counsel
Allstate Insurance Company

Kristen Martin
President & COO
Utica National Insurance Group

Scott Shatraw
President & CEO
Utica First Insurance Company

4 • Your NY Connection Magazine

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NYIA Staff President’s Remarks

Ellen Melchionni Summer is here! Flowers are blooming in the Capital
President District and it has been sunny and warm. The nice
[email protected] weather makes me happy and gets me excited. This past
Cassandra Anderson, CAE spring was one of the best in recent memory, which gave
Vice President me extra energy. That was a good thing as NYIA faced
[email protected] serious challenges in the closing weeks of legislative
Stacey Orlando session and hosted the association’s annual conference.
Director of Design & Technology/
Corporate Secretary The NYIA team was very excited to gather in person with the members June 1–3
[email protected] for the conference. Registrations were strong and the energy from attendees
Javier R. Tapia, Esq. was palpable. Thank you to our incredible speakers who presented on a wide
Director of Government Affairs range of topics as well as to the attendees for your enthusiasm for the event.
[email protected]
Susan Dawes I was excited for the legislative session to adjourn. We’ve been working
Account Services Coordinator diligently, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a more complicated session. Our
[email protected] industry has had to fight substantial battles against onerous legislation. We
Kaitlyn Emory also had to work hard to advance positive bills and are particularly thrilled the
Communications Coordinator photo inspection legislation passed both houses and the online verification
[email protected] bill passed the Senate. Thank you to all the members for your participation in
our efforts and supporting the industry during these trying times.
NYIA Office
I am excited about the launch of the next phase of our TGFI (Thank Goodness for
130 Washington Avenue Insurance) campaign.We initiated this public relations effort to help improve the
Albany, New York 12210 image of the industry. The heart of the campaign is the industry’s involvement
518.432.4227 in our communities—through philanthropy, volunteerism and employment. We
518.432.4220 fax started with a section on auto insurance, then added homeowners insurance
[email protected] and are about to launch business insurance—with each section containing graphics, videos and tips. If you haven’t checked out the campaign yet, visit We welcome your company including
Visit Us Online the link on your website and following TGFI on social media. I am also excited for our New York Insurance Scholarship Foundation to select the recipients for this year’s awards. We named our first New York Insurance
newyorkinsurance Scholars last year. We will be naming two more students as scholars soon who
association are eligible to receive up to a $10,000 scholarship over two years. I am very excited that we will be hosting a Fall Fundraiser on Monday, October
new-york-insurance- 10 at the Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester which has hosted several PGA
association championships. A portion of the funds collected will support the NYIA PAC. As
you can see, there is plenty to be excited about at NYIA. We look forward to
6 • Your NY Connection Magazine connecting with you again soon. In the meantime, stay safe and stay excited!

Ellen D. Melchionni
NYIA President

Welcome Editor-in-Chief
Cassandra Anderson
to NYIA’s Newest members...
Creative Director
NYIA is proud to add the following companies to the association’s Stacey Orlando
Managing Editor
BriteCore Kaitlyn Emory
Bo Barks, Field Marketing Coordinator
(Headquarters is currently relocating.) Contributing Writers
417.838.3737 | [email protected] | Susan Dawes
Sue Quimby
BriteCore is a core insurance platform enabling P&C insurers to boost their share Scott D. Storm
of agent business, efficiently administer their policies, streamline billing, and speed
claims processes through an all-in-one system with agent and policyholder portals. Looking to advertise?
Please contact Stacey Orlando at
ICC Group, LLC 518.432.4227 or [email protected]
John Collisson, Managing Partner for advertising information.
5 Tammie Ann Drive, East Hampton, CT 06424
860.989.9066 | [email protected] | No part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form
ICC Group, LLC builds custom solutions to meet your requirements. Understanding by any electronic or mechanical means,
and helping you to develop deliverables for real world problems is our goal for every without prior written permission of the
engagement. We designed proper benchmarks for our work that ensures prompt publisher. Send permission requests to
response times and on time delivery for our services as promised. Stacey Orlando at [email protected].

S​ impleSolve, Inc. Copyright 2022 by New York Insurance
Antony Xavier, President Association, Inc. All rights reserved.
114 Titus Mill Road, Building A, Unit 101, Pennington, NJ 08648
609.452.2323 | [email protected] | • Second Quarter 2022 • 7

Simplesolve is a technology company, that provides software products and services
to P&C insurance companies. Their flagship product; SimpleINSPIRE, is an enterprise
level policy administration system based on modern and disruptive technologies.
They provide and support PAS systems, support services and cloud hosting services.

Kieffer Ramirez, CEO
108-14 72nd Ave., 2nd Floor, Forest Hills, NY 11375
718.215.0941 | [email protected] |

TIO SQUARE Inc is a licensed private detective firm in New York that focuses on
fighting insurance fraud through technology and collaboration.

Mental & Physical Wellness Tips! ALTERNATE

Well-being is becoming more and more important to individuals, A slightly different take on
companies and organizations. Fittingly, part of the Annual Conference P&C insurance issues
theme this year was well-being. Here are easy tips you can use to help
put your well-being first, as well as others around you! by Susan Dawes
New York Insurance Association, Inc.

enjoy healthy snacks

Healthy snacking can increase energy and help keep your blood sugar levels
steady. Some options are almonds (1.5 ounces or about 35 nuts), apple and
nut butter (1 apple with 1 tablespoon nut butter) or berries and cheese
(1/2 cup berries with low-fat string cheese).

take a break from work

Unplug from technology and relax, rest and recharge. Do something fun—
make time to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby to offset the demands
of a busy life. Wonderful options may be adult coloring books, building
puzzles, learn a new language, woodworking or crafting.

laughter is the best medicine

Did you know that laughter is strong medicine? It strengthens our
immune systems, boosts moods, protects from the damaging effects of
stress and diminishes pain. It also relaxes the whole body, burns calories
and may even help you live longer. Laughter can have a profound effect on
your physical and mental health.

exercise and sleep well

Create an exercise plan just for you and set realistic goals. Some benefits
of regular exercise include lowers risk of heart disease, improves blood
flow and lowers the risk of blood clots and improves sleep. Getting
the right amount of sleep daily is important and can be best achieved by
devising and maintaining a sleep schedule.

personal well-being

Recent events have put a greater emphasis on well-being as it applies to
individuals. It’s important to mindfully check-in on your well-being and take
some time for yourself. Make time to engage in a stress reducing activity
such as getting a massage, reading a book or communing with nature.

8 • Your NY Connection Magazine

first-party HWeraodnegd
Property Claims by Scott D. Storm
Proving Lack Hurwitz Fine P.C.
of Cooperation

10 • Your NY Connection Magazine

It’s not progress
when headed in the
wrong direction.

gd DinirtehcetionTWhFhiereTsnht-rPPraasorhvtieynrPgSrLtoaapcnekdroatrfydCCloDaooipemsesrNaottioAnppinly • Second Quarter 2022 • 11

Important Cases When Examining Lack
of Cooperation & the Thrasher Standard

1967: Thrasher v. U.S. Liability Co. 1994: Azeem v. Colonial Assur. Co.
1969: Restina v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. 1994: Davis v. Allstate Ins. Co.
1972: Gross v. U. S. Fire Ins. Co. 1994: Johnson v. Allstate Ins. Co.

1981: Lentini Bros. Moving & Storage Co. v. New York Prop. Ins. 1995: Rosetti v. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co.
Underwriting Ass’n 1995: Blakeslee v. Royal Ins. Co. of Am.
1996: Ashline v. Genesee Patrons Cooperative Ins. Co.
1981: Dyno-Bite, Inc. v. Travelers Companies 1997: Harary v. Allstate Ins. Co.
1983: Williams v. Am. Home Assur. Co.
1984: Fine v. Bellefonte Underwriters Ins. Co. 1997: Weissberg v. Royal Ins. Co.
1984: Abudayeh v. Fair Plan Ins. Co. 1998: Cabe at 654; 80 E. 116th St. Corp. v. Galaxy Ins. Co.
2000: Ingarra v. General Acc./PG Ins. Co. of N.Y.
1985: Averbuch v. Home Ins. Co.
1985: Caramanica v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. 2000: Compis Servs., Inc. v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co.
1987: Ausch v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. 2002: Stradford v. Zurich Ins. Co.
2005: Turkow v. Erie Ins. Co.
1989: Cabe v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co.
1990: Porter v. Traders’ Ins. Co. of Chicago 2008: Richie’s Corner, Inc. v. Nat’l Specialty Ins. Co.
1990: Evans v. Int’l Ins. Co. 2009: Erie Ins. Co. v. JMM Properties, LLC
2011: Pfeffer v. Harleysville Group, Inc.
1990: Allstate Ins. Co. v. Longwell
1991: Rosenthal v. Prudential Prop. & Cas. Co. 2012: SCW W. LLC v. Westport Ins. Corp.
1992: Argento v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. 2015: Wingates, LLC v. Commonwealth Ins. Co. of Am.
1992: 304 Meat Corp. v. New York Prop. Ins. Underwriting Ass’n 2015: Eagley v. State Farm Ins. Co.

1993: U.S. Ice Cream Corp. v. Carvel Corp. 2019: Scott v. AIG Prop. Cas. Co.

F irst-parttyi“noApndcroeapimcesriemtdysienawdngdihaaticefhfiarcvdsloerutc-eopifdaterihndtsauyttrehprasir.rcodTohp-peeuarrrrettmtyeiysdcyloliaviiskbeeirllaiytgyheeciasodsvueederaitsghweeihswesrnuoeitns.g”citweasy

third-party liability simply understanding the difference
claims have distinct between the two standards and The Thrasher Standard
standards for proving educating the court accordingly.

lack of cooperation by an insured, In the preeminent Court of Appeals

the third-party standard (the An immediate clue that a court decision of Thrasher v. U. S. Liability

“Thrasher standard”) being more is likely headed the wrong way Insurance Co., Thrasher v. U. S. Liab.

onerous for insurers than the first- in deciding a first-party property Ins. Co., 19 N.Y.2d 159 (1967),

party standard. coverage issue is when it cites to New York’s high court established

cases which decided third-party the now well-settled standard for

New York courts and litigants have liability coverage issues. Where an insurer to prove an insured’s

been increasingly misapplying seemingly similar coverage issues lack of cooperation with respect

the “Thrasher standard” to first- exist between first and third-party to third-party liability claims. In

party property losses, gradually claims (i.e., lack of cooperation, setting this standard the Court

blurring the disparity between untimely notice, intentional acts, of Appeals specifically seeks to

the two standards, resulting in a etc.), rarely are the standards of protect the liability recoveries of

reduction of dispositive motions in proof the same. innocent third parties:

12 • Your NY Connection Magazine


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Insurer acting diligently in seeking to
bring about the insured’s cooperation.

The burden of proving lack of co-operation of the
insured is placed upon the insurer … Since the defense
of lack of co-operation penalizes the plaintiff for the
action of the insured over whom he has no control,
and since the defense frustrates the policy of this
State that innocent victims of motor vehicle accidents
be recompensed for the injuries inflicted upon them
[citations omitted] the courts have consistently held
that the burden of proving the lack of co-operation is a
heavy one indeed. Thus, the insurer must demonstrate
that it acted diligently in seeking to bring about
the insured’s co-operation [citations omitted]; that
the efforts employed by the insurer were reasonably
calculated to obtain the insurer’s co-operation [citations
omitted]; and that the attitude of the insured, after
his co-operation was sought, was one of “willful and
avowed obstruction.” Id. at 168.

14 • Your NY Connection Magazine

The The Heavy
rationale for Burden
imposing this “heavy” Falls on
burden on the insurer is “to the Insurer
protect an innocent injured party,
who may well have relied upon the Proving lack of cooperation by
fact that the insured had adequate an insured falls on the insurer.
coverage, from being penalized for
the imprudence of the insured, The liability
over whom he or she has insurer must
no control [citation show that:

omitted].” • They actively sought
cooperation of the
The rationale for imposing this The First-Party Property Standard insured.
“heavy” burden on the insurer is
“to protect an innocent injured Since Thrasher was decided, • The efforts of the insurer
party, who may well have Appellate Division and trial courts were reasonably calculated
relied upon the fact that the have mistakenly been applying in seeking the insured’s
insured had adequate coverage, it to first-party property claims. cooperation.
from being penalized for the Indeed, fourteen years after
imprudence of the insured, over Thrasher was decided, in Lentini • After cooperation was
whom he or she has no control Bros. Moving & Storage Co. v. reasonably sought the
[citation omitted].” Wingates, New York Prop. Ins. Underwriting insured showed willfull
LLC v. Commonwealth Ins. Co. of Association, 53 N.Y.2d 835, and avowed obstruction.
Am., 21 F. Supp. 3d 206, 218 837 (1981), the Court of
(E.D.N.Y. 2014), aff’d, 626 F. App’x Appeals considered a failure to • Second Quarter 2022 • 15
316 (2d Cir. 2015). It is also cooperate issue in a first-party
consonant with the public policy property case and did not cite
which advances such statutes to Thrasher. Rather, the Court
as Insurance Law § 3420(a) of Appeals relied, in part, on
(2) creating a cause of action one of its earlier first-party
directly against the insurer by an property coverage decisions
injured party who has a judgment going back to 1900, Porter v.
against the insured and which Traders’ Ins. Co. of Chicago, 164
remains unsatisfied after 30 days. N.Y. 504, 507 (1900).


Although some courts mistakenly apply Thrasher Although
to first-party property claims, others recognize the the insurer
dichotomy in the standards, stating that the burden of is said to have a
proof for the first-party insurer is substantially lower “heavy burden” to
than for third-party claims: establish non-cooperation
in third-party claims, it
A distinction may be drawn, however, has repeatedly been held
between a court’s natural reluctance that the burden of proof
to see an accident victim deprived is far less stringent
of his source of payment because a for property
liability carrier claims that its assured insurers.”
has failed to cooperate [citing to
Thrasher; other citations omitted], and Although the insurer is said to have a “heavy burden”
an indemnity carrier denying payment to establish noncooperation in third-party claims, it
to its insured because the insured has has repeatedly been held that the burden of proof is
failed to cooperate in discovering a far less stringent for property insurers. Harary v. Allstate
possible arson…The injured accident Ins. Co., 988 F. Supp. 93, 102 (E.D.N.Y. 1997), aff’d, 162
claimant is an innocent victim of F.3d 1147 (2d Cir. 1998). See also, Eagley v. State Farm
the insured’s failure to cooperate. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 5714402, at *7 (W.D.N.Y. 2015).
A fire insured, however, controls his
own fate[.] Dyno-Bite, Inc. v. Travelers
Companies, 80 A.D.2d 471, 476 (4th
Dept. 1981), appeal dismissed 54
N.Y.2d 1027 (1981).

16 • Your NY Connection Magazine

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“The same facts may also constitute a breach of a
concealment or fraud condition which carries a higher
burden of proof of “clear and convincing” evidence,
these defenses being charged separately to the jury.”

Since Thrasher is not the standard for proving A.D.2d 878, 878 (2nd Dept. 1983); Pizzirusso
lack of cooperation in first-party property v. Allstate Ins. Co., 143 A.D.2d 340, 341 (2nd
claims, what is? With respect to first-party Dept. 1988), appeal dismissed,  73 N.Y.2d
property claims the insured must provide 808 (1988); Weissberg v. Royal Ins. Co., 240
full disclosure of all requested material A.D.2d 733, 734 (2nd Dept. 1997); Argento
information and anything less constitutes v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 184 A.D.2d 487,
a breach of the policy conditions precedent 488 (2nd Dept. 1992); Williams v. Am. Home
to coverage and is an absolute defense to Assur. Co., 97 A.D.2d 707, 708 (1st Dept.
a claim under the insurance policy. In this 1983),  aff’d,  62 N.Y.2d 953 (1984);
regard the property insurer must prove Evans v. Int’l Ins. Co., 168 A.D.2d 374,
two elements: 1.) the materiality of the 376 (1st Dept. 1990).
request(s); and 2.) lack of full compliance
by the insured. With respect to lack of cooperation

Once the insurer has satisfied these two- defenses the insurer’s burden of proof
prongs the burden shifts to the insured
to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for is by a preponderance of the evidence.
failing to fully comply. Harary at 102
(quoting  Dyno-Bite, Inc. at 473); Eagley at Ashline v. Genesee Patrons Cooperative Ins.
*8; Pfeffer v. Harleysville Group, Inc., 2011
WL 6132693 at *9 (E.D.N.Y. 2011); 13A Co.,  224 A.D.2d 847, 847 (3d Dept. 1996);
Couch on Ins. § 196:23. Failure to comply;
generally; Lentini Bros. Moving & Storage Harary at 102; and Ausch v. St. Paul Fire &
Co. at 837; Rosetti v. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co.,
219 A.D.2d 819, 819 (4th Dept. 1995); Azeem Marine Ins. Co., 125 A.D.2d 43, 46 (2d Dept. FPirrsotp-Pearrttyyclaim
v. Colonial Assur. Co., 96 A.D.2d 123, 124 1987), appeal denied, 70 N.Y.S.2d 610
(1983), aff’d, 62 N.Y.2d 951 (1984); Bulzomi (1987).
v. New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 92
The same facts may also constitute

a breach of a concealment or fraud

condition which carries a higher burden

of proof of “clear and convincing”

evidence, these defenses being charged

separately to the jury. Ashline at 849.

18 • Your NY Connection Magazine

Material Request Conversely, the materiality requirement is

not satisfied and non-compliance will not

The information requested by the insurer defeat recovery when the insured’s attempt

must be “material” (important). The purpose to comply has fallen short merely “through

of provisions requiring an insured to some technical or unimportant omissions or

cooperate with the insurer’s investigation defects”. Porter at 509. See also, Argento at

is to enable the insurance company to 488; Lentini Bros. Moving & Storage Co. at 836.

acquire knowledge and information that

may assist it in the claim investigation In simple terms, a request is “material” if

determining its liability under the policy a qualified insurance professional is able

or with respect to underwriting the risk. to testify that the information sought was

Requests to the insured: important to the investigation of the claim

at the time requested because it assists in

are material if they might determining whether coverage exists, in

have affected the attitude and evaluating damages or in deciding whether

action of the insurer. They are to continue underwriting the risk and

equally material if they may be determining the policy terms (i.e. premium).

said to have been calculated

“The either to discourage, mislead Full Compliance by the Insured
requirement is or deflect the company’s
satisfied if the
information investigation in any area that When material information has been asked

requested might seem to the company, for, the insured may not satisfy the duty
a subject at that time, a relevant or to cooperate by partial performance or

relevant and productive area to investigate. by promises of evidence to be supplied
germane to
Fine v. Bellefonte Underwriters in some indefinite future. “[A]n insured
the insurer’s
investigation Ins. Co., 725 F.2d 179, 184 is not entitled to ‘pick and choose which
as it was then
proceeding.” (2d Cir. 1984). See also, information to provide’”. Richie’s Corner, Inc.

Eagley at *7; Allstate Ins. Co. v. Nat’l Specialty Ins. Co., 598 F. Supp. 2d 274,

v. Longwell, 735 F.Supp. 1187, 277 (E.D.N.Y. 2008). See also, Harary, at 102;

1194–95 (S.D.N.Y. 1990). Dyno–Bite, Inc.  at 473-4;  Allstate Ins. Co. v.

Longwell, at 1195, n. 4; Eagley at *8.

The law is clear that materiality during

an insurance company’s investigation is

not to be judged by what the facts later

turn out to be. The materiality requirement

is satisfied if the information requested


Thpcebrpooooininvssultbisiudr‘ncsseuuaiiiiduteosrnccecstsontbolhtleduraoymaiesanans“itsrnpliucdhlesttylatrhewihineaboeeoinlnterche’e.” The company is entitled to obtain, promptly and while the
information is still fresh, “all knowledge, and all information
as to other sources and means of knowledge, in regard
to the facts, material to their rights to enable them to
decide upon their obligations, and to protect them against
false claims. And every interrogatory that [is] relevant
and pertinent in such an examination [is] material, in the
sense that a true answer to it [is] of the substance of the
obligation of the assured [brackets in original].” Dyno-Bite,
Inc. at 473–74. See also, Levy v. Chubb Ins., 240 A.D.2d 336,
338 (1st Dept. 1997); Allstate Ins. Co. v. Longwell at 1194;
Azeem v. at 124–25; Evans at 375; Weissberg at 733–734;
Ashline at 849; Erie Ins. Co. v. JMM Properties, LLC, 66 A.D.3d
1282, 1284 (3rd Dept. 2009).

The right of discovery under the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), which
governs litigation, has been interpreted broadly:

It is well established that there shall be full disclosure of
“all” evidence “material and necessary in the prosecution
or defense of an action, regardless of the burden of proof”
(CPLR 3101[a]), and that CPLR 3101 is to be “liberally”
construed to require disclosure where the matter sought
will assist in trial preparation by sharpening the issues
[citations omitted]. Restricted only by a test for materiality
of “usefulness” and “reason”, pretrial discovery is to be
encouraged [citations omitted]. U.S. Ice Cream Corp. v. Carvel
Corp., 190 A.D.2d 788, 788 (2nd Dept. 1993).

It is well-settled that “[t]he right to examine under the cooperation clause
of the insurance policy, however, is much broader than the right of discovery
under the CPLR. By its terms the insured promises to render full and prompt
assistance to discover the facts surrounding the loss and anything less
results in breach of contract”. Dyno-Bite, Inc. at 474. See also, Eagley at *6; Harary
at 102; Scott v. AIG Prop. Cas. Co., 417 F. Supp. 3d 329, 350 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).

The insured “is contractually bound by the disclosure provision in the policies
and no suit or action is ‘sustainable’ unless there be compliance therewith.”
Gross v. U. S. Fire Ins. Co., 71 Misc. 2d 815, 817 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co. 1972).
“[N]either can the insured insulate itself against co-operation by commencing
an action before there has in fact been repudiation of liability by the insurer
[citation omitted].” Lentini Bros. at 836.

20 • Your NY Connection Magazine

Serving the Needs of the
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[email protected]
400 Garden City Plaza - Ste. 100
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With offices in; New Jersey Connecticut

New York

When the record Reasonable Excuse for Non- 878; Harary at 106; Eagley at *8;
is indicative Lentini Bros. Moving & Storage Co.
of a pattern of Compliance at 836; Ausch at 50;  Caramanica v.
noncooperation State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.,  110
for which no Once the insurer has demonstrated A.D.2d 869, 870 (2d Dept. 1985);
reasonable material non-compliance by the Rosenthal v. Prudential Prop. & Cas.
excuse has insured with a policy condition, the Co., 928 F.2d 493, 494–95 (2d Cir.
been offered, burden then shifts to the insured 1991). Therefore, to any extent a
a complaint to demonstrate a reasonable court deems “willfulness” to be an
is properly excuse for not fully providing the element to be proven by the insurer, it
dismissed as a requested information. When the is satisfied by the insured’s failure to
matter of law.” record is indicative of a pattern substantiate a reasonable excuse for
of noncooperation for which no the non-compliance.
22 • Your NY Connection Magazine reasonable excuse has been offered,
a complaint is properly dismissed as a Once the requested information is
matter of law. Argento at 488; Azeem determined to be material, reasonable
at 124; Cabe v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., excuses for non-compliance are few
153 A.D.2d 653, 654 (2nd Dept. 1989); and far between but may include
Abudayeh v. Fair Plan Ins. Co., 105 “waiver” (a clear manifestation of
A.D.2d 764, 765–66 (2nd Dept. 1984); an intentional relinquishment of a
Ingarra v. General Acc./PG Ins. Co. of known right, which is not lightly
N.Y.,  273 A.D.2d 766, 767–768 (3rd presumed) by the insurer of the
Dept. 2000); Turkow v. Erie Ins. Co., condition; or equitable estoppel
20 A.D.3d 649, 651 (3rd Dept. 2005); (detrimental reliance), that the acts or
SCW W. LLC v. Westport Ins. Corp., 856 words of the insurer reasonably lulled
F. Supp. 2d 514, 522 (E.D.N.Y. 2012); the insured into a false belief that
304 Meat Corp. v. New York Prop. Ins. fulfillment of the condition was not
Underwriting Ass’n, 188 A.D.2d 382, required. Both of which are negated
382 (1st Dept. 1992). by the carrier issuing a reservation of
rights letter during the investigation
Some courts have considered of the claim. Pfeffer at *8; Compis
whether the proof demonstrates the Servs., Inc. v. Hartford Steam Boiler
insured’s lack of cooperation was Inspection & Ins. Co., 272 A.D.2d 886,
“willful.” Averbuch v. Home Ins. Co., 887 (4th Dept. 2000).
114 A.D.2d 827, 829 (2nd Dept. 1985);
Evans at 375; Richie’s Corner, Inc.  at Excuses held to be unavailing
278. “Willfulness” is a factor in the include the insured’s reliance on the
Trasher standard. However, to any mistaken advice of legal counsel that
extent that “willfulness” is arguably a the information asked for is beyond
consideration for first-party property the scope of inquiry by the insurer.
claims, when the insured fails to Reliance on the advice of legal counsel
demonstrate a reasonable excuse alone does not excuse a breach of a
for the failure to fully cooperate policy condition. Davis v. Allstate Ins.
“willfulness” is inferred. Bulzomi at

Co.,  204 A.D.2d 592, 593–94 (2nd 836–37;  Stradford v. Zurich Ins. Co.,
Dept. 1994); Evans at 376; Wingates at 2002 WL 31819215 at *5 (S.D.N.Y.
219–20; Blakeslee v. Royal Ins. Co. of 2002); Eagley at *8. Demands made
Am., 1995 WL 122724 at *6 (S.D.N.Y. as part of pretrial discovery pursuant
1995); Evans at 376; Eagley at *11. to the CPLR will not cure the breach.
Abudayeh at 765; Wingates at 218-
It is also well-settled that an 19; Lentini, at 836; Cabe at 654; 80 E.
individual may not refuse to cooperate 116th St. Corp. v. Galaxy Ins. Co., 249
without voiding the policy because A.D.2d 168, 168–69 (1st Dept. 1998);
of a contemporaneous criminal Harary at 106.
investigation or based upon Fifth
Amendment grounds. Dyno–Bite at A Guiding Light for the Court
476; Allstate v. Longwell at 1193;
Eagley at *12. The insurer is not New York law protects an insurer’s right
obligated to provide to the insured
the specific information on which to request material information from
its questions are based before the
insured answers them. Fine Gold an insured during the investigation of
Jewelry, Inc. at *4. Because failure to
perform a condition precedent is an a first-party property claim. Educating
absolute defense to an insurance
claim, belated offers to comply the court as to the difference
after coverage for the claim has
been denied are of no consequence. between the first and third-party
Blakeslee at *7; Wingates at 220;
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Longwell at 1195; standards for proving
Azeem at 125; Dyno–Bite at 560–
61;  Lentini Bros. at 687;  Restina v. lack of cooperation will
Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 61 Misc. 2d
574, 577 (Sup. Ct., Schenectady Co. increase the percentage One thing about
1969); Johnson v. Allstate Ins. Co., 197 chance of success of
A.D.2d 672 (2nd Dept. 1993), leave to
appeal denied, 82 N.Y.2d 664 (1994). the insurer’s dispositive heading the wrong
motion or at trial. One way is that one’s
thing about heading the

wrong way is that one’s direction can always
direction can always be

turned around. We need be turned around.”

to be the GPS for the

court to make sure it is headed in the

right direction in deciding first-party

property coverage issues.

When the insured has failed to Scott D. Storm is a member
demonstrate a reasonable excuse for at Hurwitz Fine P.C. Scott can
the non-compliance, this extinguishes be reached at 716.849.8900 or
being afforded one “last opportunity” [email protected].
to comply with policy conditions and
no reason exists to deny summary
judgment dismissing the complaint
unconditionally. Rosenthal at 495;
Lentini Bros. Moving & Storage Co. at • Second Quarter 2022 • 23

APRIL 8–10 MAY 2 MAY 4

NYSABPRHAL Legislative LICONY Legislative Reception Reception for Senator Breslin
NYIA staff attended the Life NYIA staff attended a
Conference Insurance Council of New fundraising reception for New
Javier Tapia, NYIA director York (LICONY) Legislative York State Senator Neil Breslin.
of government affairs, Reception in Albany, NY.
attended the New York
State Association of Black,
Puerto Rican, Hispanic
& Asian Legislators Inc.
Legislative Conference in
Albany, NY.

APRIL 21 MAY 3–5 MAY 20

DEI Education Program Legislative Meetings with Members Assembly Hearing
Cassandra Anderson, NYIA NYIA staff and representatives Cassandra Anderson testified on
vice president, participated in from Zurich Insurance Group, behalf of the industry at a New
the Capital Region Chamber Farmers and Allstate participated York State Assembly hearing on the
program Essential Diversity, in multiple meetings with key impacts of COVID-19 on insurance.
Equity and Inclusion Concepts: legislators in the New York State
Embarking on Your DEI Journey. Senate and Assembly and lobbied
on a variety of legislation affecting
24 • Your NY Connection Magazine the insurance industry.

Out &

MAY 20 JUNE 1–3 JUNE 7

IICMVA Presentation NYIA Annual Conference Mary Lanning Celebration of Life
Javier Tapia participated in a NYIA hosted the 2022 Annual Ellen Melchionni attended the
virtual IICMVA presentation, Conference for members Excess Lines of New York memorial
which provided an update on and industry allies in Verona, celebration of Mary Lanning in New
the New York legislative work NY. Participants attended a York, NY which raised funds for the
to replace the IIES system with variety of valuable education Insurance Federation of New York
IICMVA model. programs and peer networking Intern Program and Boys Hope Girls
events. Hope New York.


DFS Cybersecurity Meeting
NYIA members and staff
participated in a meeting
with the Department of
Financial Services regarding
the New York cybersecurity

MAY 26 JUNE 13

ESSAE Annual Conference Senator Griffo Fundraiser
Sue Dawes attended the Ellen Melchionni and
Empire State Society of NYIA members attended a
Association Executives Annual fundraising event for Senator
Conference and Trade Show in Joseph Griffo.
Saratoga Springs, NY. • Second Quarter 2022 • 25

Thefts on
the Rise

by Sue Quimby, CPCU, AU, CIC, CPIW, DAE
MSO, Inc.
Kaitlyn Emory
New York Insurance Association, Inc.

26 • Your NY Connection Magazine • Second Quarter 2022 • 27

C atalytic converters are a prime 300% “Thefts increased
target of thieves. According 613% almost 300 percent in
to the National Insurance the period from July
Crime Bureau (NICB), more than 1,200 2020 to October 2021
catalytic converters per month were on a national level.”
stolen in the United States during 2020.
“New York is not
Thefts increased almost 300 percent in immune to the theft
the period from July 2020 to October increases and has
2021 on a national level. BeenVerified seen spikes of a 613
has reported that California, Texas and percent increase in
Washington are the top states for theft. 2021 and already
After dramatic increases, Texas ranked a 230 percent
second for the most catalytic converter increase in 2022.”
thefts in 2021, after ranking fourth in
2020. One insurer reported nationwide “The catalytic
payouts in the first eight months of converter is a key
2021 at $28.5 million according to the component of a car’s
Texas news station, WFAA. New York exhaust system.”
is not immune to the theft increases
and has seen spikes of a 613 percent
increase in 2021 and already a 230
percent increase in 2022. Insurers need
to be aware of the risk of catalytic
converter theft and look to help educate
policyholders on how to prevent this
type of theft.

The catalytic converter is a key
component of a car’s exhaust system.
It is at the front of the exhaust system
before the muffler. It looks like a
muffler, and converts hazardous gases
emitted by the vehicle’s engine into
less harmful gases, including water
vapor and carbon dioxide according
to the NICB. Without it, vehicles no
longer reduce harmful emissions such
as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and
nitrogen oxides. This is bad for the
environment and presents a hazard
if the emissions seep into your home
once the car is parked in the garage.

28 • Your NY Connection Magazine

Pastel & Rosen, LLP

Engaging in the general practice of law
with an emphasis on representing
property/casualty insurance

companies for legislative, regulatory,
and compliance work.

Robert S. Pastel, Esq. and Michael E. Rosen, Esq.

258 State Street, Albany, NY 12210 (518) 462-4715

Prime Targets of Thieves

Reasons Why Catalytic Converters
are Prime Targets of Thieves


Precious Metals

Catalytic converters are
made of precious metals

such as palladium,
platinum and rhodium.


Sold for premium

Catalytic converters can
be sold to recyclers for a
premium price ($50–$250).

They are made of precious metals such 3
as palladium, platinum and rhodium, and
can be sold to recyclers for $50–$250.” usually cannot
be traced

Catalytic converters usually
cannot be traced, since
there is no registration
number or identification
number on them.


quick & Easy

Takes less than 5 minutes to
remove a catalytic converter
and the only tool needed is a
cordless reciprocating saw.

30 • Your NY Connection Magazine

Cost Per ounce November 2021: “Hybrid
Rhodium $11,000 vehicles
Palladium about $2,000 such as
platinum About $1,000 the Toyota
Prius, SUVs
There are a number of reasons In a report by CarParts, Honda from any
catalytic converters are so popular passenger vehicles are also popular
with thieves. They are made of because of their hybrid systems. maker,
precious metals such as palladium, All-electric vehicles are the only trucks
platinum and rhodium, and can be ones that do not require catalytic and vans
sold to recyclers for $50–$250. converters because they do not are prime
In November 2021, Rhodium cost have an internal combustion engine. targets
$11,000 per ounce. Palladium The car can still run without a since they
and platinum are about $2,000 catalytic converter, so the owner use the
and $1,000, respectively. Catalytic won’t get stranded. The car, will, highest
converters usually cannot be traced, however, sound very loud—a key amount of
since there is no registration or clue that there has been a theft. precious
identification number on them. The catalytic converter must be metals.”
They are very easy to steal. The only replaced to avoid potential fines
tool needed is a battery-operated due to increased pollution.
reciprocating saw—readily available
at any hardware store— to cut it out
of the car. Usually, the thief does
not even need to jack up the car. It
can take as little as a minute, but
usually three to five minutes, to
complete the process.

Hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota
Prius, SUVs from any maker, trucks
and vans are prime targets since
they use the highest amount of
precious metals. • Second Quarter 2022 • 31

legislation In New York,
legislation to reduce theft
sponsored by Senator Diane
Savino and Assemblymember

Marianne Buttenschon
recently passed both houses.”

Nationwide, law enforcement is working been stolen. In the future, only scrap
to combat the theft problem. In addition, yards that have been licensed by the
at least 18 states are working on or have state Department of Motor Vehicles will
enacted legislation to attempt to reduce be able to purchase catalytic converters,
the theft problem, including making and no retail dealer will be authorized
theft of catalytic converters a felony and to purchase a vehicle unless the catalytic
requiring recyclers to maintain detailed converter has been properly etched. The
electronic records of their purchases. legislation also requires motor vehicle
Another option to reduce thefts would dealers to offer etching kits and etching
be to re-engineer the exhaust system to services.” Many organizations, including
use less expensive materials. NYIA, are seeking for the bill to be
enacted into law by the Governor.
In New York, legislation to reduce
theft sponsored by Senator Diane Monroe County in New York is taking
Savino and Assemblymember Marianne proactive measures after seeing increases
Buttenschon recently passed both houses. in 2021. According to Sargent Keith Ball
A press release from Assemblymember of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in
Buttenschon’s office states the “bill would Rochester New York, 796 converters were
prohibit selling stolen car parts back to stolen in the county, and it’s believed that
metal scrap yards, as well as make it easier number is grossly understated due to a
to identify when a catalytic converter has number of factors.

32 • Your NY Connection Magazine

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Ways to Reduce

6 Converter Theft

1. Park in locked 4. Have an anti-theft
garage or well-lit device or shield
parking lot installed on
your vehicle(s)
2. Install motion
detector lights 5. Increase the
sensitivity of the
3. Etch or paint vehicle’s alarm
the vehicle’s VIN
or license plate 6. Report suspicious
number on the sawing sounds to
catalytic converter the police

34 • Your NY Connection Magazine

On a larger scale, the Sheriff’s Office theft devices and shields are available Helping
determined that 1,068 converters from some manufacturers. Increasing insureds avoid
associated with suspects from Monroe sensitivity on the car alarm may cause it
County were sold at metal recycling to sound if the thief jostles the car. Report becoming
facilities across the state for a total suspicious sawing sounds to the police. a victim of
payout of more than $250,000. Sargent a catalytic
Ball worked with Brad MacAreavy of Theft of a catalytic converter is more converter thief
the Rochester Auto Dealers Association than a noisy inconvenience. The catalytic is a sign of the
in helping to advance the New York converter must be replaced to avoid fines true insurance
legislation and outlined ways the for air pollution and even noise pollution. professional.”
recyclers could take a more active role in
curbing this crime. Comprehensive insurance coverage
on the automobile will cover catalytic
Together they proposed an additional converters, but only above the deductible
element that would require metal amount. This is important since the cost
recyclers to report all converter purchases to replace the catalytic converter can be
along with the identity of the seller $1,000 to $3,000—not to mention the
to a company called LeadsOnline. The cost of alternate transportation and the
LeadsOnline software is only accessible overall inconvenience and annoyance.
to law enforcement and would help
police agencies across the state identify These additional costs for insurance
suspects. Monroe County already requires only make policies more expensive
all pawn shops to use LeadsOnline and it for everyone. Helping insureds avoid
does not cost the pawn shops anything to becoming a victim of a catalytic
use the service. At this time, LeadsOnline converter thief is a sign of the true
does not appear to be part of the recently insurance professional.
passed legislation but is a voluntary tool
that can be utilized to help reduce the Sue Quimby is a vice president, media
theft of catalytic converters. editor, client services & training and a
senior product development analyst at
There are simple ways to reduce the MSO, Inc (The Mutual Service Office,
chance of becoming a victim of catalytic Inc). You can reach Sue at 201.857.9128
converter theft. Parking the car in a locked or [email protected].
garage or well-lit parking lot is always a
good idea. Motion detector lights in the Kaitlyn Emory is communications
driveway may also deter thieves. Etching coordinator at the New York Insurance
or painting the vehicle identification Association. She can be reached at
number (VIN) or license plate number 518.432.4227 or [email protected].
on the catalytic converter can dissuade
thieves and assist law enforcement. Anti- • Second Quarter 2022 • 35

Q&A John Dunne and Kemp Hannon. I learned so much from
them and gained a deep understanding of the legislative
William Melchionni and political process in New York. I wasn’t sure where I
was headed when I took the job but it clearly set me up
by Cassandra Anderson, CAE for future success at both Nationwide Insurance and AIG.
I did take one non-government path when I served as
WNew York Insurance Association, Inc. the executive director of the local section of Professional
illiam Melchionni, vice president and Golfers’ Association of America for a few years. I truly
co-head U.S. State Government Affairs for enjoyed the experience working with a great group of
American International Group (AIG), is a men and women growing the game of golf but I missed
seasoned government affairs professional the world of government and politics.
who has spent nearly 25 years representing the insurance
industry. Bill is known for his quick wit and persuasive Q: What do you like best about working in insurance?
arguments—a perfect combination for government affairs. A: You wouldn’t know if you watch TV commercials during
In his current role he has responsibility for property and the day but our industry is so important in everyday
casualty issues in the United States, including primary life—rebuilding your home after a fire or catastrophe,
responsibility for New York. I have no doubt readers will fixing your car after an accident, providing coverage for
enjoy Bill’s clever and insightful responses. medical care after an accident, providing insurance to
businesses so they can employ millions of workers, and
Q: What drew you to work in the insurance industry? planning for and protecting your retirement.
A: Prior to working in the insurance industry, I was a
contract lobbyist providing government affairs services Q: What do you like best about working for AIG?
to a variety of clients—pharmacies, housing authorities, A: The best part is the people from our CEO Peter Zaffino,
engineering firms and a cosmetology association. While to our general counsel Lucy Fato, to the leaders of
that work was exciting with a great diversity of issues, business units, to the members of our great regulatory
I did not enjoy the constant requirement to get new and government affairs team.AIG’s success can be directly
clients as I thought it took away from my advocacy attributed to the diverse talent in the organization as we
on behalf of my existing clients. A friend who was the strive to provide insurance solutions for our clients. We
government affairs director for Nationwide Insurance take great pride in being part of the communities we live
announced he was taking another position so I jumped and work in by giving back through our commitment to
at the opportunity to focus on one client in one industry. volunteerism and our award-winning pro bono program.
In government affairs, every day presents new and
Q: What was your career path? exciting challenges, which keeps the work fresh.
A: After college, I had the great opportunity to work in
the New York State Senate for two legendary senators— Q: What is the greatest opportunity for the industry?
A: Our greatest opportunity is solving the insurance
availability/affordability concerns in high catastrophe
risk areas—whether it is hurricanes, flooding or wildfires.
As a significant majority of the United States population
lives and/or works in high risk areas it is incumbent on
our industry to coordinate with stakeholders to deliver
solutions, which include a mix of insurance products,
mitigation strategies and smart build programs.

36 • Your NY Connection Magazine • Second Quarter 2019 • 36

Q: How long have you been affiliated with NYIA? Q: When not advocating on behalf of the insurance
A: I was honored to join NYIA when I started working at industry, how do you like to spend your time?
Nationwide Insurance, so nearly 25 years. A: I enjoy playing golf and tennis. When the weather is
right, I like to relax with a book at the pool or, preferably,
Q: What prepared you for your current role? a beach. As a cold war historian in college, I enjoy spy
A: The best preparation for my role as a government novels and historical non-fiction.
affairs professional occurred in college. As a history
major at Williams College, I learned how to present Q: Who would you choose to complete your golf foursome?
my thoughts clearly and effectively both in writing and A: My dad, Arnie Palmer and Bill Murray
orally. I have often opined that government affairs folks
are like widget salespeople selling widgets to people Q: What is your favorite movie?
not looking to buy widgets. The ability to concisely and A: That’s like picking your favorite child so I’ll give you
persuasively convey an argument is critical in my role. my top five (in no particular order): Saving Private Ryan,
Forest Gump, A Raisin in the Sun (Sidney Poitier version),
Q: How would you describe your leadership style? North by Northwest and The Princess Bride.
A: I hire great people, support them and empower them
to make their own decisions. Somewhat like a coach, Q: What is your favorite movie quote?
I encourage my team to exploit their strengths and A: “You’re gonna’ need a bigger boat!” – Chief Brody
improve their weaknesses while working collaboratively
to advance the objectives of AIG. Q: You are known for your love of all sports—both
playing and watching. Do you have a favorite?
Q: How would your colleagues describe you? A: I enjoy playing basketball and played competitively
A: Entertaining??? In general, I am a very competitive into my 50s but I have aged out of competitive basketball.
person who seeks to achieve professional and personal I then picked up tennis and now play USTA club matches.
success. Importantly, I like to have fun doing it. However, I most enjoy golf which is a perfect combination
of competition (with yourself or against others) while
Q: If you were to encapsulate your philosophy on life on spending quality time with friends and family.
a bumper sticker, what would it say?
A: “Just be an athlete.” I don’t just mean compete in sports. Q: Where is your hometown?
Many life lessons can be learned in sports—how to deal A: Tricky question as I was born in the Philadelphia
with success and failure or learning skills for success. suburbs and grew up in Garden City on Long Island, but
I have lived in the Albany area since 1991.
Q: If you weren’t in the insurance what would you do?
A: Tough question as I have been in the industry for nearly Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
half my life but I would likely be in sports management. I A: I really enjoy the beach so a warm coastal town with
really enjoyed my time with PGA of America. good golf courses—most likely in South Carolina.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you? Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be?
A: I was terrible at golf. When I took the job at the A: Absolutely it would be the ability to fly. As a lifelong
PGA of America, I was a 20+ handicap, which the PGA basketball player and soccer goalie, that superpower
professionals took as a personable offense that their would have come in handy. Also, I am not a big fan of
executive director played so poorly. Fortunately for my walking so being able to fly around would bring me
golf game, many of them offered me free lessons. great joy. • Second Quarter 2022 • 37

2022 Annual
Conference Recap

by Kaitlyn Emory
New York Insurance Association, Inc.

T he 2022 Annual Conference was held The theme this year was Resiliency, Belonging and Well-
June 1–3 at the Turning Stone Resort in Being, all important sentiments with consideration to
Verona, New York. This year’s conference recent events and the evolution of workforce culture.
was an important one as the association Attendees enjoyed a variety of networking events
including golf, receptions, dinners and an exhibit show
is celebrating its 140th anniversary and with insurance industry vendors. In addition to networking
activities the Annual Conference always aims to spotlight
has been unable to host an in-person annual conference education and this year’s event was jam-packed with
presentations and panel discussions. Attendees heard
since 2019. The pandemic has had an impact on the ways from experts on a variety of topics including current
events, regulations, social inflation, data, federal affairs,
we learn, network and connect as a membership with DE&I and company concerns on a regional level.

the increase in virtual programs and experiences, but

the opportunity to connect in-person can never be quite

replicated or replaced. Thank you to the members and

industry allies that attended this year’s conference!

38 • Your NY Connection Magazine

conference program &
welcome memorabilia sponsors
Dryden Mutual Insurance Company
Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC
Merchants Insurance Group • Second Quarter 2022 • 39

golf tournament

The Annual Conference kicked-off with a golf
tournament at the Shenendoah Golf Course
at the Turning Stone Resort. Unfortunately,
not to our golfer’s delights, the tournament
came to an abrupt and permanent halt
when it started to thunder and lightening.
Thankfully, prior to the rain, golfers were
able to network and enjoy the 50 foot
putting contest, where four golfers qualified
for the semi-finals and one qualified for the
final putt. Congrats finalists!

Thank you
Golf Sponsors!

Chautauqua Patrons
Insurance company

Gallagher Re

New England
Asset Management

North Country
Insurance Company

Statewide Underwriting Services


40 • Your NY Connection Magazine

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chair’s reception

sponsored by Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro P.C. and
Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company

The Chair’s Reception was hosted by NYIA Chair, Charles Makey, president and
CEO of Merchants Insurance Company. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to
network and more importantly catch-up as many industry peers had not seen
each other since 2019.

Taste of New York

sponsored by Gen Re and Hartford Steam Boiler

After the Chair’s Reception was NYIA’s Taste of New York dinner, which featured
locally inspired cuisine and spirits. Traditionally the conference agenda leaves
Wednesday’s evening activities open for attendees to explore, but this year the
membership decided to switch things up a bit. The dinner was a great success
and provided an additional opportunity for attendees to connect.

42 • Your NY Connection Magazine

thursday sessions

opening general Session

Thursday’s programming began with opening remarks from
NYIA chair Charles Makey. Makey welcomed attendees to the
conference and shared his anticipation to participate in this
year’s event. “I have been looking forward to this conference
for months,” Makey said. “I think it is only fitting that NYIA is
celebrating a milestone anniversary this year—and there is a
great deal to celebrate with 140 years of leadership to the
industry, including these past few years that have been unique
and particularly challenging in many respects. It is thanks to
the dedicated board and staff of this association that NYIA has
only grown stronger.”

president’s remarks

NYIA president Ellen Melchionni provided presidents remarks
and shared her excitement for the conference’s upcoming
events. “In NYIA’s upcoming NY Connection magazine my
president’s message (pg. 6) speaks about why I get excited
this time of year,” Melchionni said. “So I will continue with that
theme and say how very excited I am to be in-person for this
year’s annual conference. It is great to see many other members
that I have not seen in quite some time. I want to welcome all
members and guests to NYIA’s Annual Conference—New York’s
premiere P&C insurance industry event.” She highlighted a
variety of conference activities to look forward to and unveiled
a new segment of the TGFI campaign on business insurance.

thursday breakfast & a/v virtual dfs remarks
sponsored by underwriters

rating board & MSO, INC. The New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne
Harris provided virtual remarks on the department’s current key areas of
focus and their vision for ways to collaborate with the insurance industry. The
Superintendent highlighted the importance of consumer education and financial
literacy, the modernization of laws and regulations to support innovation and
serve the evolving needs of insurance customers as well as recent structural
changes and the future of DFS. • Second Quarter 2022 • 43

Risky Business:

Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Robert Hartwig, clinical associate professor of finance and
director of the Risk and Uncertainty Management Center at the
University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business,
provided a financial overview and outlook on the vast array
of factors impacting the insurance industry. His presentation
included insights on the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophe
loss trends, capital and capacity, investment market issues,
the economy, inflation and impacts of the Russian invasion
of Ukraine, commercial lines growth and pricing, distribution
trends and last but certainly not least, the latest with cyber.

opening session speaker sponsored by
preferred mutual insurance company


Hype vs. Reality:

Understanding Social
Inflation and Combating
Nuclear Verdicts

Marc Craw, attorney in the general experts provided their perspective on the existence of social inflation and the
counsel office at MLMIC Insurance potential strategies insurers can employ to deflate the associated rising costs,
Company moderated a panel as well as ultimately how much policyholders pay for insurance. In addition, the
discussion on social inflation panel discussed the fast-growing third party litigation funding industry and the
featuring Joshua Hoffman, partner harmful economic and ethical consequences of the ballooning costs specifically
at Hoffman, Roth & Matlin, LLP; tied to social inflation.
Thomas Holzheu, Chief Economist
Americas at Swiss Re; Thomas
Stebbins, president of the Lawsuit
Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY)
and Jerry Theodorou, director of
finance, insurance and trade policy
program at R. Street Institute. The
panel of insurance and litigation

44 • Your NY Connection Magazine

Underwriters Rating Board (URB)
is a full service rating bureau

providing personalized service to
insurance carriers by offering a

broad variety of standardized forms,
endorsements and rate manuals. 
URB excels at understanding the
needs unique to your business,
whether that’s developing
customized forms and manuals
or providing statistical analysis
and filing assistance.



• Homeowners • Boat Pak • Special Multi Peril
• General Liability • Umbrella • Crafts Pak
• Commercial Fire • Farmowners • Home Business
• Landlords Package • Dwelling • Inland Marine
• Golf Course Pak • Businessowners • Specialty Programs

Contact Us PO Box 13059

[email protected] Albany, NY 12212 518.355.8363

with Exhibitors

networking break sponsored
by wayne cooperative
insurance company


Agility recovery
Custard Insurance Adjusters
e2Value, Inc.
ManageAbility Medical Bill Review
Mass Printing, Inc.
Merlinos & Associates, Inc.
Mutual Expert
Optima Special Investigations Unit
Opus Investment Management, Inc.
SimpleSolve, Inc.
The Carlisle Group
Veres Career Consulting
WeatherWorks, LLC

46 • Your NY Connection Magazine

thursday sessions

Keynote Address

Michael Humphreys, Acting Insurance Commissioner of
the Pennsylvania Insurance Department gave this year’s
keynote address. The New York native and neighboring
state regulator provided attendees with his thoughts as
an insurance regulator and shared insights based on his
background that spans across states as well as regulation
and legislation. Commissioner Humphreys previously
served as an assistant commissioner for insurance in
Tennessee and was the director of state-federal relations
for the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL).


Balancing the Enormous
Potential with the
Possible Pitfalls

Edward Harper, president and CEO the ways they can be leveraged in revolutionizing the insurance industry.
of Statewide Underwriting Services The panel also covered strategies on how to balance positive opportunities
moderated a panel discussion on all with the feasible drawbacks of data and ways to harness the technology and
things data featuring Mallika Bender, ultimately drive results and positive outcomes.
diversity, equity and inclusion staff
actuary at the Casualty Actuarial
Society; Mark Brannon, director
and consulting actuary at Merlinos
& Associates, Inc.; Edmund Kelly,
president and CEO at AAIS; Laura
Panesso, assistant vice president of
state relations at Insurance Services
Office, Inc.; and Christine Pritchard,
product manager at Progressive.The
panel of data gurus shared insights
on advanced analytics tactics and • Second Quarter 2022 • 47

lunch & learn

featuring exhibitors product &
AAIS service showcase
Agility Recovery
Britecore This year’s conference provided an additional opportunity
opus investment management, INC for exhibitors with the Lunch & Learn Exhibitor’s Product
paymentus & Service Showcase. Seven companies participated and
veres consulting shared details on how their companies support the
weatherworks, llc insurance industry by providing cutting edge technology
and practices that boost both the insurance company and
customer experience.

sponsored by Brown Schultz
Sheridan & Fritz

perfect pair

sponsored by merlinos & charcuterie & wine
Associates, INC. pairings class

On Thursday afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to participate in the
Perfect Pair Charcuterie & Wine Pairing Class where they learned the do’s and
don’ts of creating grazing boards. Those who attended sampled cured meats,
cheeses, crackers, nuts and jams and learned what makes a balanced charcuterie
board and which wines pair best with their selections.

48 • Your NY Connection Magazine

You’ve got questions…

Are we carrying enough in reserve?
What rates should we charge for that program?

How are we going to get those
filings submitted on time?

…we’ve got answers. Product Development
State Filing Support
Regulatory Compliance
Reserve Analyses

Actuarial Opinions

reception & Dinner

At the Annual Conference Banquet Reception & Dinner attendees gathered
at the Shenendoah Clubhouse at the Turning Stone Resort for great food
and conversation. There was a slideshow that highlighted NYIA events
over the years and members enjoyed reminiscing, seeing familiar faces and
celebrating NYIA memories. During the dinner NYIA presented the 2022
Chair’s Distinguished Service award to Elizabeth Heck and honored NYIA’s
140th anniversary with a champagne toast.

e2Value, Inc.
Erie & Niagara
Insurance AssociatioN
FOCUS Adjusters
Mutual Boiler Re
Opus Investment
Trans Re

50 • Your NY Connection Magazine

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