AIA Urges NY Governor To Veto Bill Removing Drunk Driving Benefit Exclusions

June 26, 2001

The American Insurance Association has urged NY Governor George Pataki to veto a bill passed by the Assembly and the Senate, which would remove the current exclusion of benefits for drunk drivers under the State’s Personal Injury Protection plan (PIP).

Under the no-fault insurance law PIP pays for emergency services, but the law presently excludes claims involving drunken driving. Michael Murphy, AIA Ass’t. VP for the northeast region said that the proposed change would add to PIP’s costs, which have already risen dramatically, and would remove a “a deterrent to drunk driving.”

Murphy pointed out that “losses in PIP claims in New York rose by 79 percent from 1995 to 2000 compared to 25 percent in all no-fault states.” He also noted that the cost of the average claim in New York had risen 65 percent in the same period and 20 percent last year.

“Enacting this bill will add more costs to this system. The beneficiaries of these increased costs will be drunk drivers, who knowingly break the law, but will still have other insurance policyholders paying for their emergency services,” Murphy concluded.

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