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Enact no-fault insurance reform

On March 23, the New York State Senate passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. James Seward, which would make it a felony to intentionally cause a vehicle collision. The legislation, now going to the New York State Assembly for consideration, would hopefully be a deterrent for the criminals who prey on innocent motorists in an effort to benefit from insurance fraud.

Auto accident or no-fault insurance fraud is a significant problem in New York. One example of a fraud scenario involves intentionally causing an auto accident, and recruiting those involved in the accident to go to medical facilities that are illegally controlled by non-physicians and that generate excessive and fraudulent medical bills.

Most individuals taking unfair advantage of New York's broken no-fault system are organized, calculating and part of a big business. In essence, these individuals are imposing a "fraud tax" on honest, hardworking New Yorkers by gaming the auto insurance system.

This is an example of what is driving our state's no-fault automobile insurance fraud crisis. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, no-fault fraud and abuse cost New Yorkers about $241 million in 2010 (in the form of higher premiums) and, in addition to costing hundreds of millions of dollars, put New Yorkers at risk of injury or worse.

Allstate Insurance Company applauds Sen. Seward and the New York State Senate for their efforts. No-fault fraud is costing New Yorkers money, and without the support of our lawmakers, incidents of fraud will continue to increase. We all need to ask our state senators and our representatives in the assembly to enact comprehensive, meaningful no-fault insurance reform that puts citizens of New York first.

Krista Conte submitted this article on behalf of Allstate Insurance Company.

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