The Independent Democratic Conference wants to target what they call “auto insurance cheats,” and hold them accountable for supposed wrongdoings. The IDC wants to crack down on rate evasion, in which drivers living in areas whose auto insurance rates are high register their vehicles out of state to take advantage of cheaper coverage.
Diane Savino, Senator of Staten Island, decried the practice as “an illegal and costly scam.” She claims that rate evasion steals nearly $1 million in revenue for the state each year from registration and other fees.
Savino suggests that rate evasion is having an impact on the insurance industry in the state by driving up premiums.
Last year, lawmakers reported that New York City had a tally of almost $73 million in unpaid traffic tickets issued to vehicles with out-of-state license plates. Senator Jeff Klien, D-Bronx, says that vehicles liscensed in other states pose a significant safety issue as it is impossible to determine whether they are street legal according to the city’s standards. “This is an issue that is impacting people who do the right thing,” says Klien.
The conference is proposing legislation that would cut down on rate evasion. The legislation would provide rewards of $5,000 to anyone that has information that leads to the conviction of rate evaders. Other provisions increase the severity of violations against the practice.
The Independent Democratic Conference is composed of four Senators – Jeff Klien, Diane Savino, David Valesky, David Carlucci – who broke away from 26 mainline Democrats several months ago. They have faced roadblocks since then from both Democrat and Republican parties for their sometimes controversial actions.
The fate of the proposed legislation is still uncertain.