Senator Carlucci Introduces “Common Sense Legislation” to Stop Insurance Fraud
BY LAUREN KATE ROSENBLUM
State Senator David Carlucci ran his campaign in 2010 on the platform he’d make common sense governmental and ethics reforms and fight fraud in the state’s systems.
On Monday he announced that he’s now made combatting auto insurance fraud part of that mission. Carlucci says “New York loses millions of dollars a year,” from insurance fraud scams. This is especially important in the current financial climate, when so many local governments are working with seriously underfunded budgets, he noted.
As such, the senator has co-sponsored legislation that will grant new authority to law enforcement while also changing existing requirements for applications to register a vehicle and secure a drivers license in New York.
For those not participating in the illegal activity, the practice of automobile insurance rate evasion is done so a resident can avoid high New York insurance premiums. The offender registers the car in a different state using false residence. Carlucci stated at a press conference on Monday that “recently the attorney general in Pennsylvania found that over 100 eople were using one P.O. box, living in New York.”
Bill Number S5695, “An act to amend the insurance law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to insurance fraud,” contains three steps to help combat those who attempt to take advantage of the people of New York.
The first gives law enforcement access to vital tools to combat crimes. The law will allow law enforcement agencies to access addresses listed. “When law enforcement suspects someone might be committing auto insurance fraud, they don’t have the opportunity to forward that information on,” said Carlucci. This law will correct this. “With this information being there, being able to cross reference information, they will be able to crack down.”
The second piece is to increase application transparency. It is far too easy for people to just list false addresses. The proposed law “makes sure that when people register their vehicle, or get a drivers license, they have to put their physical address,” rather than just a P.O. box.
The final piece is the expansion of power for state insurance personnel. This will allow cross referencing driver’s insurance information with where they report their primary physical address, as they can’t currently do so.
The bill itself is split into four sections. The first adds a new insurance law section which will “explicitly expand the authority of the superintendent of fraudulent activities with regard to motor vehicle operators who have not secured automobile insurance coverage or who misrepresent the principle place where such automobiles are garages and operated.”
The second is a new vehicle and traffic law, which will give law enforcement the actual access to any individual’s street address they provide to the department of motor vehicles. This can be used to ensure vehicle registering people are giving honest information.
The third and fourth sections of the bill amend a vehicle and traffic law that will require applicants to show more than just a P.O. box as their residency. In this law modification, those who use P.O. boxes must provide a physical address.
Carlucci said he hopes the bill will be a big step in preventing loss of revenue from insurance fraud. New York losts millions in revenue from license plates, registration fees, and out of state parking tickets according to the senator. The real problem however, is “all of New Yorkers are paying money out of their own pocket in skyrocketing insurance premiums…we have one of the highest rates in the nation when it comes to auto insurance premiums,” said Carlucci.
Senator Carlucci says that this is simply “common sense legislation” and will amend some of the shortcomings we see in antiquated laws that lead to loss of revenue. So far, the bill has been passed in the Senate and Carlucci has already introduced related legislation into the assembly