The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Rivera, over an extensive dissenting opinion by Judge Wilson, determined that the statutory timely disclaimer requirement of Insurance Law 3420 (d) (2) does not apply to defendant PCIC, an out-of-state risk retention group (RRG). Therefore PCIC’s failure to make a timely disclaimer of coverage in the underlying personal injury action did not bar PCIC’s coverage defenses. The central issue was one of statutory interpretation. The Court of Appeals rejected the argument that Insurance Law 2601 (a) (6), which applies to RRG’s and requires prompt “disclosure” of coverage, also requires timely “disclaimer” of coverage:
Whether PCIC’s disclaimer is regulated by the Insurance Law turns on whether the reference to an insurer’s failure “to promptly disclose coverage” in section 2601 (a) (6) includes the timely disclaimer requirement of section 3420 (d) (2). Nadkos [plaintiff] argues that section 2601 (a) (6) cites to section 3420 (d) without limitation, and thus encompasses both paragraphs (d) (1) and (d) (2). According to Nadkos, if the Legislature intended to limit section 2601 (a) (6) to a specific subparagraph of section 3420 (d), it knew how to do so … .
We reject the interpretation advocated by Nadkos, and adopted by the dissent, because the prohibition on an unfair claim settlement practice based on a failure to promptly disclose coverage encompasses the mandates of section 3420 (d) (1), not (d) (2). Nadkos, Inc. v Preferred Contrs. Ins. Co. Risk Retention Group LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 04641, CtApp 6-11-18