Authorities in western Massachusetts say they broke up a large-scale automobile insurance fraud ring. It is alleged that people from New York City were insuring their cars in either Northampton, Easthampton or Greenfield where they paid substantially lower premiums. This went on for six years. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the chief prosecutor in the case, Steve Gagne, of the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.
A recent report by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) took a close look at how companies weigh some of the non-driving related factors when they provide price quotes to consumers. What NYPIRG found was startling. All else being equal, for three of the top five insurers in New York, a low wage worker with a high school degree could pay anywhere from 19%-41% more than a college educated professional for the exact same coverage.
The recession may be over, but many New Yorkers say they still feel a pinch in the pocketbook, paying more for just about everything on stagnant salaries. For many it's another day, another bill. People in high places have heard citizens' cries.
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino has been holding a mirror to citizen sentiments with his campaign mantra. "We're losing more people to other states than any other state in the country. 400,000 people in the last four years. We are losing because we have the highest taxes in America. And it's not even close."
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state will provide nearly $4 million in grant funding to 29 police departments, district attorneys’ offices and other agencies to combat motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud in New York State. The Albany Police Department, Albany County and Westchester County district attorney's offices are getting just over $400,000 combined.
Auto insurance rates in Massachusetts are climbing higher. Drivers are starting to see their premiums go up four years after rates dropped when the state partially de-regulated the auto insurance business. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
Many of the largest auto insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts have raised rates in each of the last two years. The insurers are faced with rising costs for claims from car crashes, thefts and injuries, according to James Harrington, of the Massachusetts Insurance Federation.