The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on July 2, 2001, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
RE: Stolen Vehicle Tracking & Recovery System
Does the XYZ, Inc. tracking and retrieval system qualify for the N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) (McKinney 2000) premium discount?
Yes, the XYZ, Inc. tracking and retrieval system qualifies for the N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) (McKinney 2000) premium discount.
The Department was asked whether a certain manufacturers auto anti-theft device ("XYZ, Inc.") qualifies for the N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) (McKinney 2000) premium discount. In its letter, XYZ, Inc. provided the following narrative with respect to the manufacturers tracking and retrieval system:
Upon notification by a client that their vehicle has been stolen, the client is instructed to immediately contact the local police agency and file a stolen vehicle report. [XYZ, Inc.] verifies with the local police agency that a stolen vehicle report has been filed. [XYZ, Inc.] also advises the police agency that a homing device has been activated to locate a vehicle and that recovery units are being dispatched to locate a vehicle. [XYZ, Inc.] dispatches mobile recovery units to the area for the sole purpose of actively tracking and locating the stolen vehicle. [XYZ, Inc.] apprises the local police agency of the recovery efforts and provides progress updates. Once a stolen vehicle has been located the local police agency is immediately notified and police assistance is requested to seize the located vehicle. [XYZ, Inc.] continues surveillance of that vehicle until the police arrive. Throughout this entire process [XYZ, Inc.] is in constant contact with the local police agency .
The Department responded to XYZs inquiry in its May 25, 2001 opinion. XYZ, Inc. thereafter asked the Department to clarify its position.
N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) (McKinney 2000) states:
Any schedule or rating plan for non-commercial private passenger automobile insurance shall provide for an appropriate reduction in premium charges for comprehensive coverage with respect to any insured vehicle equipped with an operational anti-theft and recovery device consisting of an electronic homing device used in conjunction with a participating police agency and using a radio frequency network allocated by the Federal Communications Commission; provided, however, that in no event shall the non-use of this device or any other anti-theft device constitute grounds for an increase in policy premiums or cancellations or non-renewal of a non-commercial private passenger automobile insurance policy. (emphasis added).
In the May 25, 2001 opinion, the Department stated that the wording "used in conjunction with a participating police agency" as it appears in N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) (McKinney 2000) does not necessarily mean that a vehicle containing the auto anti-theft device must be tracked by a police agency. XYZ, Inc. asked for clarification of this statement with respect to its tracking and retrieval system. It is the Departments determination that the tracking and retrieval system, as described in the narrative provided in XYZ, Inc.s letter, qualifies for the N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) discount.
Please note that the Department is currently formulating a regulation that will establish industry standards regarding N.Y. Ins. Law § 2336(e) compliance.
For further information yu may contact Attorney Sally Geisel at the New York City Office.