NAII Seeks Corrections in NY Insurance Fraud Bill

August 23, 2001

The National Association of Independent Insurers warned that several loopholes in recently passed legislation by the New York State Assembly (AB 8654-D), aimed at correcting abuses in the State’s no-fault auto insurance laws, were serious enough that it would oppose the bill, unless they were corrected.

NAII Counsel Joseph Termini, in a letter to Assembly Pro Tem Ivan Lafayette (D-Bronx), pointed out several provisions that should be changed. These included:

-A proposed two year freeze on auto insurance rates.

-Exceptions to the 60 day period for filing claims, which the NAII feels are so broad as to make the requirement useless.

-A flawed managed care option, which would give policyholders a reduction in premium, but doesn’t require them to use the service.

To remedy the current problem of insurance fraud and abuse of New York’s no-fault insurance law, Termini urged that the Assembly consider the following revisions:

-Change current case law which prohibits insurers from denying claims after 30 days, even if fraud is present.

-Establish “soft tissue” care treatment guidelines
– Strengthen provisions to decertify medical providers who abuse the no-fault system.

– Enhance the assignment of benefits process to include elimination of “round assignments” where a medical provider pursues a patient for the same amount an insurer has denied.

-Require the use of arbitration by experienced personnel before a case goes to court.

-Strengthen the “verbal tort” threshold

-Provide additional funding for the prosecution of no-fault fraud.

Termini urged the Assembly to consider proposals put forward by the Senate and the Insurance Department, which he indicated “address the underlying problems better than do Assembly Bills.”|”naii, seeks, corrections, in, ny, insurance, fraud, bill, , august, 23,, 2001, national, association, of, independent, insurers, warned, that, several, loopholes, in, recently, passed, legislation, by, new, york, state, assembly, (ab, 8654-d),, aimed, correcting, abuses, in, state’s, no-fault, auto, insurance, laws,, were, serious, enough, that, it, would, oppose, bill,, unless, they, were, corrected., naii, counsel, joseph, termini,, in, letter, assembly, pro, tem, ivan, lafayette, (d-bronx),, pointed, out, several, provisions, that, should, be, changed., these, included:, , -a, proposed, two, year, freeze, on, auto, insurance, rates.

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