New York State

Insurance

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NEWS

RELEASE

Contact:
Public Affairs
(212) 480-5262
www.ins.state.ny.us

Kermitt J. Brooks    Acting Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 7/09/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONSUMER ADVISORY:
ONLINE COURSES MAY LOWER AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS

New Yorkers who want to take advantage of accident prevention courses to increase their chances of avoiding accidents while reducing the cost of their automobile or motorcycle insurance now can do so over the Internet, Acting New York State Insurance Superintendent Kermitt J. Brooks announced today. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently approved a number of online course providers. Successfully completing an online or classroom course may mean saving 10% on automobile and motorcycle liability and collision insurance premiums.

“Accident prevention courses help lead to safer roads and lower insurance costs for everyone,” Brooks said. “DMV-approved courses must meet strict standards for the safe driving information presented and program effectiveness, whether provided online or in person. Having these courses online provides another customer-friendly option for New Yorkers everywhere. I applaud the Department of Motor Vehicles for making these courses more widely available.”

“The goal of expanding the classroom-based program to include new delivery methods is ultimately to educate more drivers and to reduce the number of crashes in New York caused by unsafe driving habits,” said DMV Commissioner David J. Swarts. According to numbers just released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New York traffic fatalities dropped 7.6% in 2008 to 1,231 from 1,332 in 2007.

As part of its Point & Insurance Reduction program, the DMV reviewed, tested and approved the courses posted at www.nysdmv.com/pirp.htm. Additional courses are expected to be approved in the future. If the principal operator of a motor vehicle successfully completes an approved course either online or in the classroom, he or she will generally receive a 10% reduction in the base rate of the operator’s automobile and motorcycle liability and collision insurance premiums each year for three years.

Consumers should verify that any course, online or classroom, is approved by the DMV. Only DMV-approved courses are accepted for insurance discounts or point reduction in New York State. To receive a discount, the consumer must get a course completion certificate from the course sponsor.

The course sponsor should mail that completion certificate within 45 days after course completion. If the consumer presents that certificate to the insurance company or agent within 90 days after course completion, the liability and collision premium reduction will begin immediately, retroactive to the date the course was completed. If the consumer presents the certificate more than 90 days after course completion, the insurer may issue the premium discount effective from the date presented. The discount will remain in effect for three years.

Accident prevention courses may be taken once every 36 months to maintain insurance reduction benefits.

Consumers with insurance questions or concerns can call the Insurance Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-342-3736. The hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Consumers may also ask questions or file complaints at the Insurance Department’s website, www.ins.state.ny.us.

 

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