Alice’s Bill Passed in Senate; Needs Assembly Passage Next
The leading automobile service provider, AAA, has formally joined the call to reform loopholes in New York’s no-fault auto insurance laws which have resulted in a dangerous crime wave throughout New York State, the pro-consumer group New Yorkers Stand Against Auto Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF) today said.
Staged auto accidents, in which criminals crash cars into the vehicles of unsuspecting drivers and then fake injuries, are among the fastest growing crimes in New York, putting drivers in danger, clogging our court system, and driving up auto insurance rates. Alice’s Bill, which would make staging an auto accident a stand-alone crime in New York, was named after Alice Ross, a 71-year-old Queens grandmother who was killed after being forced off the road by one of these criminals. Alice’s Bill is one component in a comprehensive package of bills to address the auto insurance fraud crisis.
In a Memorandum in Support of Alice’s Bill, which is being sponsored in the Assembly by veteran Queens Assemblyman David Weprin (D), AAA writes:
“Drivers in New York pay the fourth-highest car insurance rates in the country, with insurance fraud being a major reason why. Insurance rates in New York City are even more exorbitant, with the New York Daily News recently reporting drivers there pay “$919.57 compared to a statewide average of $211.19.” And, as the sponsor’s memorandum notes, no-fault insurance fraud is estimated to cost insurance companies and policyholders $1 billion per year. With insurance fraud contributing to such high rates, tough penalties must be imposed on those who purposely stage a motor vehicle crash.
Increasing the penalties to class C and class B felonies would not only help create a stronger deterrent for those who wish to engage in staging a motor vehicle crash, but could also assist in lowering insurance premiums and making New York’s roads safer.
Accordingly, our Association supports enactment of this legislation.”
NYSAIF, which was formed two years ago to help educate New Yorkers about this dangerous criminal practice, praised AAA for supporting Alice’s Bill.
“AAA is an iconic automobile association that has long fought for the rights and safety of American drivers,” said NYSAIF spokesman, former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney David Schwartz. “NYSAIF is enormously grateful that AAA has entered this fight to protect New York drivers put in danger daily by ruthless criminal enterprises. With AAA stepping forward, we are more hopeful than ever that Alice’s Bill will quickly become Alice’s Law.”