New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 2/05/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPERINTENDENT ADVISES RESIDENTS OF THE FIVE BOROUGHS TO BE AWARE OF AVAILABLE AUTO COVERAGES

          In light of ‘Consumer Protection Week’ and responding to concerns that some drivers may think that the Assigned Risk Plan is their only option for auto insurance, Insurance Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today advised residents of the five boroughs and all New Yorkers to thoroughly research their options before enrolling in the Assigned Risk Plan.

          "Through more flexible auto-rating programs, the population of the Assigned Risk Plan dropped dramatically under Governor Pataki’s leadership," said Serio. "Most of New York’s safe drivers can find insurance in the voluntary market, but they must be aware that some brokers may not have relationships with all insurance companies writing in their area. Consumers should be conscious of what companies are offering automobile insurance available in their region and it is to their advantage to shop around for the best deal."

          The Assigned Risk Plan ("Plan") is a special insurance facility established under New York State law to assure that coverages are provided. The Plan is generally the insurer of last resort when auto insurance can not be obtained in the general marketplace. Premiums are generally higher because the overall loss experience for this group of drivers has been consistently worse compared to the voluntary market.

          There are 8.6 million cars insured in New York State and currently less than 500,000 are in assigned risk. 1.3 million drivers were insured by the Plan in 1991. The following companies are currently writing in the five boroughs:

          February 3rd – 9th is designated ‘Consumer Protection Week’. More information on buying auto insurance in New York is available in the Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance on the Department’s Web site at www.ins.state.ny.us or by calling 1-800-342-3736.


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