Today’s news:

Halloran leads fight over insurance fraud

A team of Queens politicians and community leaders has joined together in opposing auto insurance fraud that leads New Yorkers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in extra insurance costs each year.

A systematic scourge of doctors and medical care providers overcharging insurers for medical procedures and slipping through loopholes in what is known as “no-fault fraud” cost New Yorkers $241 millions in the form of higher auto insurance premiums in 2010, according to advocacy group Fraud Costs NY.

City Councilmen Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) are leading the charge in the borough to urge passage of a state bill that would make some fixes to a system that led Queens car owners to pay more than 167 percent above the national average for insurance premiums.

“We need sensible reforms that continue real protections for New Yorkers who are hurt in accidents, but undercut the criminals who feed on the current system,” Vallone said. “It’s time for Albany to act.”

The councilmen are joined by 20 small borough businesses and civic groups, including the Queens Civic Congress, in supporting a bill addressing the fraud.

— Connor Adams Sheets

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