2003-04-05 / Community

Pheffer Appointed To Insurance Reform Committee

Pheffer Appointed To Insurance Reform Committee

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has been appointed to the Assembly conference committee established to negotiate with the state Senate on new legislation that would help protect consumers from run-away auto insurance rates.

"New York drivers pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. It’s time we changed that, "Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "Joint conference committees are the best way to make progress on this legislation so that we can drive down insurance rates and enact strong anti-fraud measures that benefit all New York-ers."

In addition to Assemblywoman Phe-ffer and Insurance Committee Chair-man Alexander "Pete" Grannis, the Assembly’s auto insurance reform conference committee team includes Assemblymembers Adele Cohen and Aurelia Greene.

The Assembly’s comprehensive auto insurance reform bill (A.4807-A), which Assemblywoman Pheffer co-sponsored, would help provide New York’s working families with immediate relief from skyrocketing insurance costs.

"New York’s auto insurance rates have soared over the past several years because scam artists are exploiting the state’s no-fault insurance law," Assemblywoman Pheffer explained. "The Assembly’s legislation cracks down on individuals who engage in fraudulent schemes and holds insurers more accountable for their rates."

Key points of the legislation include:

Establishing an independent Office of Consumer Advocate to safeguard auto and health insurance consumers; Re-quiring insurers who do not reduce their no-fault premium rates to provide the state Insurance Department with a detailed explanation justifying their inability to lower rates; Creating felony level penalties for ‘runners’ – individuals who recruit clients and facilitators to stage accidents for the purpose of scamming insurers; and Providing for stricter accounting of medical costs incurred under the no-fault program.

"If the Senate is serious about enacting real reforms and doing what’s right for motorists, joint conference committees are the best way to partner with the Assembly to advance this important legislation," Assemblymember Pheffer concluded.

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