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PIANY-Supported Increase in Surcharge Threshold Passes in NYS Senate

Posted on 30 Jun 2010

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The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. applauds Sen. Neil D. Breslin, D-46, and the entire New York state Senate for passing legislation long-advocated by PIANY to help New York state drivers see relief from oppressive costs associated with vehicle damage after an accident. S.1700-B/A.1952-B, which increases the property damage threshold after which carriers may assess a surcharge from $1,000 to $2,000, was passed overwhelmingly by the state Senate yesterday and now awaits an Assembly vote.

"Drivers in New York have been facing excessive and unreasonable consequences as a result of minor automobile accidents far too long,” said PIANY President Kevin M. Ryan, CIC. “PIANY remains committed to strongly supporting this proposal as a high priority for New York’s producers and drivers.”

An increased threshold has long been supported by PIANY, as it has not been raised since 1991, from $600 to $1,000. Essentially, this means that there are surcharges on almost all automobile accidents, as even minor fender-benders can result in more than $1,000 of damage.

“Is there anything that costs the same as it did 19 years ago?” added Ryan. “Inflation alone justifies raising the figure again. The amount paid in surcharges can now easily exceed the amount of the original insurance benefit. It’s simply unfair to consumers.”

The current bill is sponsored by Sen. Breslin and Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Joseph D. Morelle, D-132.