Peekskill, NY—May 26, 2011…New York Senator Greg Ball, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and members of New Yorkers Stand Against Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF) today called for passage of the “Fraud Tax Bill” to increase penalties for organized criminals driving up automobile insurance costs by taking advantage of New York’s no fault laws. New Yorkers pay 53% more for auto insurance on average than drivers across the country largely due to the “no fault insurance” fraud crisis.
The legislation, (S-2816/A-6286) sponsored by Senators James Seward, Marty Golden and Greg Ball (R) in the Senate and Assemblyman Joseph Morelle (D) in the Assembly, increases penalties on criminals who cheat the no-fault system and decertifies medical providers who commit insurance fraud. No-fault fraud cost New Yorkers more than $200 million in 2010 alone and nearly $1 billion over the last five years.
“New York state has some of the highest auto rates , in large part to legislative loopholes that have allowed criminal enterprises and organized crime to turn auto insurance fraud into a cottage industry.” said one of the bill’s co-sponsors Senator Greg Ball. “This legislation gives law enforcement and insurers the tools they need to fight fraud and abuse. I urge the Governor and my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to pass and sign this bill to protect honest, hardworking New Yorkers.”
“As people go to the gas pumps for Memorial Day weekend trips, we are painfully reminded of the exorbitant cost of driving in New York,” said County Executive Rob Astorino. “Cracking down on auto insurance fraud will lead to direct savings for policyholders. We cannot continue to allow criminals to make an easy buck off the backs of honest citizens. I join the members of NYSAIF along with Senator Ball in urging the legislature to pass this important bill before the close of session.”
“Between rising gas prices and increases in insurance premiums, the cost of driving has become untenable for many New Yorkers,” said NYSAIF Executive Director Rafe Lieber. “Gas prices we might not have control over, but we can crack down on criminals abusing New York’s no fault insurance laws. If Albany is serious about helping New York become more affordable, then we urge the legislature to pass this legislation immediately.”
For more information, visit www.nysaif.com