New York is one of the few (if not the only) state in which a carrier need not prove that an insured’s late notice prejudiced the carrier in order to disclaim on that ground; Governor Patterson recently introduced a bill which changes that. It passed both the Assembly and is expected to pass the Senate shortly. The long and the short of the legislation is that 180 days after the legislation is signed, NY will join the majority and carriers will only be able to disclaim on late notice if they were materially prejudiced by the late notice. In addition, injured parties will be able to bring declaratory judgment actions challenging a late notice disclaimer before having to obtain a judgment. Moreover, if a primary personal lines policy or a statutorily mandated policy is in play, the injured party will have the right to obtain coverage information FROM THE CARRIER prior to commencing litigation.