Today’s news:

State needs anti-auto fraud law

The state Legislature accomplished a lot this year, but one important reform was conspicuously left out: passage of the legislation know as the Fraud Tax Bill that would crack down on crisis-level auto insurance fraud in New York state.

No-fault auto accident fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the state, yet it is not expressly illegal. It is one of the reasons New Yorkers pay 53 percent more for auto insurance than drivers in other states. Almost $1 billion has been stolen from New Yorkers in the past five years alone, according to studies by organized criminal enterprises that stage accidents and run up phony bills with the help of a handful of crooked doctors.

But the Legislature refused to do anything about it this year.

The state did not even pass a common-sense measure called “Alice’s Bill,” which would make staging an auto accident in New York a standalone crime. The bill was named after a 71-year-old New York grandmother who was killed when her vehicle was struck during a staged accident.

The Legislature is rumored to be returning this summer to clean up unfinished business from the 2011 legislative session. Auto insurance fraud reform must be on that list.

Rafe Lieber

Executive Director

New Yorkers Stand Against Insurance Fraud

Roslyn, L.I.

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