Accident Related Lawsuits could Increase NY Auto Insurance Rates

X-ray of broken armTrial lawyers in New York are lobbying to let more people sue over car accidents, a move that opponents say could increase auto insurance rates dramatically.

Currently, state law only allows car accident victims to seek settlements if they suffer serious bodily injury, such as broken bones or disfigurement, and minor injuries must be covered by the victim’s own auto insurance coverage, reported the New York Post. A bill making its way through the state legislature and supported by trial lawyers would allow the list to expand to include muscle tears, pinched nerves, and any injury that requires surgery, said the paper.

Kristina Baldwin, assistant vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, told the Post that more lawsuits would cost policyholders an average of $40 to $101 a year in increased premiums. The insurance industry would have to foot an additional $2 billion in payouts if the bill is passed, she added.

The bill’s supporters argued that New York’s current insurance system needs to be modernized because it often denies legitimate claims on injuries that are diagnosed with newer medical technology, said the paper.

On average, New Yorkers pay $1,463.21 in premium costs, according to recent data. These premiums are among the highest in the nation; passage of this bill may drive these rates even higher.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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