Commentary: A repeal that might assist fraudsters and harm customers – Occasions Union

August 16, 2022 By admin

With a long time within the trenches combating auto theft and fraud, I’ve lengthy relied on New York’s gold-standard prevention program, typically often called Regulation 79. For many years, a easy requirement {that a} small variety of folks get their automobiles bodily inspected earlier than getting auto insurance coverage for the primary time has helped New York hold such crimes in verify, reducing premiums for everybody.
The 12 months after this system was enacted, automobile thefts declined by 7 p.c within the state, whereas in neighboring New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, they shot up by 36 p.c, 16 p.c and 18 p.c, respectively, as fraud rings crossed state strains to these secure havens. 
Now New York’s success is in jeopardy. On the finish of the legislative session, the insurance coverage business mobilized and inspired the Legislature to go a legislation that might intestine this vital anti-crime device. Auto thefts are already rising as a result of pandemic. Repealing Regulation 79 would make it simpler for theft rings and fraudsters. If Gov. Kathy Hochul would not stand as much as the business and veto the invoice, New Yorkers may see fraud and theft additional improve and premiums go up.
When Massachusetts removed the same program, inspections declined whereas collision claims elevated. Massachusetts members of our group, the Worldwide Affiliation of Auto Theft Investigators, have since seen folks after they purchased broken automobiles stage accidents to make pre-existing injury appear new. They get the insurance coverage cash and we’re caught with the upper invoice. New York’s easy pre-insurance inspection program makes fraud like this a lot more durable.
One other trick we see depends on extra folks shopping for automobiles at on-line auctions with out seeing the automobiles in particular person (and even understanding what to search for). An unscrupulous vendor will falsify the general public car identification quantity (VIN) sticker on the windshield and even the federal VIN sticker.
A skilled observer, the kind of one that does a whole bunch of pre-insurance inspections a 12 months, is aware of what to search for. They will spot a unsuitable font or a sticker that is not fairly in the precise spot. However the common purchaser can simply be tricked.
My colleagues and I work onerous day by day to cease auto theft and fraud. We use each device we’ve got to take action and hold insurance coverage premiums decrease for everybody.
Regulation 79 is one such vital device. By requiring simply 8 p.c of used automobile purchases to get inspected, it protects all of us from dangerous actors.
If Hochul indicators this invoice and repeals Regulation 79, New Yorkers will see extra theft and fraud, and insurance coverage premiums will go up. 
Tod Neifert of Manheim, Pa., is president of the Northeast Chapter of the Worldwide Affiliation of Auto Theft Investigators.