AuthorMoll, Arther I.

Random Thoughts

And the beat goes on!!--Virtually everyone who is involved in the issue is singing and shouting that we need workers' compensation reform Urgently!

All these well-intentioned choimasters keep repeating the old familiar tunes, most of which have little change of being orchestrated by both houses of the New York State Legislature.

The latest attempt to hit a grand slam and clear the long-stagnated bases, (pardon the change of metaphor) was drafted by the Assembly's Workers' Compensation Task Force. This 44-page document issued with a lot of pride of authorship, is much too ambitious and tries to be all things to all dilemmas. It's interesting to observe that many of the ideas espoused are already in place--some have been previously rejected by the 1992 Governor's Temporary Commission on Workers Compensation. Some in the Assembly's package may not need legislative action at all.

It did not come as a surprise to me that absent in this Assembly Task Force legislative package is any proposal to close the Dole v. Dow loophole, a chasm which accounts for more than five percent of the manual rate policyholders are called upon to pay in premiums. How many times has it been said that New York is the only state which permits this litigious abuse and rape by a select few trial lawyers.

Expansion of Section 110, which permits employers to pay a larger number of first-aid claims, is a viable improvement with no downside that I can see--and its adoption will definitely reduce costs.

Some of the proposed revisions in the Assembly Task Force draft appear to be redundant or merely political compromises thrown into the pot to mollify one group or another.

I plan to review the proposals as drafted by the task force and report on my findings in future columns.

Unnecessary Frustrations

Producers feel stymied when they come up against a behemoth New York Automobile Insurance Plan insurer, whose AIP department is inefficient, non-responsive or just plain ornery. The rising bile drives these producers to attempt to solve their problems outside of the established complaint procedures of the plan. This circumvention of the mechanism set up to make circumvention unnecessary sometimes results in a forced appearance before the AIP Peer Review Panel.

It is difficult to understand why they don't take the easy way. Complaints against carriers are considered seriously by the Governing Committee of AIP and in many instances carriers have been fined for...

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