Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Summary of New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws by Subject (beginning from 1995)

Subject Categories

Insurance Records and Confidentiality/2012 Domestic Violence Omnibus Bill (A.10624 Lentol/S.7638 Saland)

Enacts significant changes that will provide greater safeguards for victims and increase accountability for offenders:

  • Allows victims of domestic violence to have their insurance claims, forms, or billing correspondence for services sent to a confidential address, protecting both the details of such services and the address of the victim from the abuser who is the insurance policyholder. Victims must make a reasonable request, which the insurance company can require in writing. Applies to accident, health and salary protection insurance – effective January 1, 2013
  • Establishes the crime of "aggravated family offense" for offenders who commit certain misdemeanor-level offenses and have a previous conviction for a specified misdemeanor or felony against a family or household member within the past five years (class E felony) – effective January 1, 3013
  • Establishes a new subdivision of "aggravated harassment in the second degree" for offenders who, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm, cause physical injury to a family or household member (A misdemeanor) – effective December 24, 2012
  • Establishes a state-level domestic violence fatality review team within the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence which will bring together state and local domestic violence-related professionals to do in-depth reviews of select intimate partner homicides and periodically report aggregate data and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature – effective April 23, 2013
  • Allows the court to consider two new factors when determining bail in family offenses cases: any violations of an order of protection and the defendant’s history of possession of a firearm – effective December 24, 2012
  • Prevents individuals charged with causing the death of a victim, or who were the subject of an order protecting the deceased, from being able to exercise control over disposition of the deceased victim’s remains, allowing family members to make these decisions and proceed with funeral and burial arrangements – effective November 24, 2012
  • Makes implementation changes to the New York State Address Confidentiality Program for domestic violence victims, established in the Department of State under Chapter 502 of the laws of 2011 – effective October 25, 2012

Signed: 2012 Chapter 491

Effective: signed on October 25, 2012 enacting multiple provisions with varying effective dates

Amends: Executive Law §§108(1); 108(2)(a)(i); 108(4)(b)(i) and (c)(i); 108(6); 575(4); repeals old/adds a new §575(10)

Public Health Law §4201(2)

Insurance Law §§2612(c)(2) and(h)

Penal Law §§240.30; 240.75

Criminal Procedure Law §§510.30(2)(a); 200.63

Insurance Confidentiality - Amendment (S.7229 Balboni/A.11448 Rosenthal)

Extendsconfidentiality to victims who are covered by a group insurance policy, to parallel the same protection that was signed into law in 2005 for individuals covered by individual insurance plans or health maintenance organizations.

Signed: 2006 Chapter 361

Effective: November 25, 2006

Amends: Insurance Law §§2612(e); 2612(g)

Insurance Confidentiality (A.1377-C Stringer/S.936-B Balboni)

Prohibits an insurance company from disclosing to the person against whom an order of protection was issued: the address and telephone number of the insured victim, the address and telephone number of any person or entity providing covered services to the insured victim, and the nature of the services provided. If a child is the covered person, this protection is extended to the parent or guardian of the child. Applies to a domestic violence victim covered by an individual policy or health maintenance organization contract,* if a valid order of protection is forwarded to the company.

*The Governor's approval message notes that this law does not include group policies and recommends adding such policies by amending the law during the next legislative session.

Signed: 2005 Chapter 246

Effective: November 16, 2005

Amends: Insurance Law §§1109(a); 2612(c); 2612(e); 2612(f);

Insurance Beneficiary Notification (A.4063-A Weinstein/S.2294-A Skelos)

Where a spouse or child has been designated an insurance beneficiary in an order of separation or divorce, requires that they be notified when the policy holder attempts to transfer ownership of the policy, change the named beneficiary, borrow against cash value or defaults.

Signed: 1999 Chapter 275

Effective: September 18, 1999

Amends: Insurance Law §3113

Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(8)(a)

Insurance Discrimination (A.2769-E Stringer/S.6749-B Velella)

This law prohibits insurance companies and health maintenance organizations from discriminating against domestic violence victims. It specifically outlaws:

  • designating domestic violence as a preexisting condition
  • denying or canceling an insurance policy or requiring a higher premium or payment where the insured is/has been a domestic violence victim.

The Superintendent of the NYS Insurance Department is required to develop rules, in consultation with the Department of Social Services and the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, to assist insurers in guarding against the disclosure of the address and location of any insured who is a victim of domestic violence.

Signed: 1996 Chapter 174

Effective: December 15, 1996

Amends: Insurance Law §2612