"We call this Alice's Law in her memory." It's been nine years since the death of 71 year old Alice Ross. She was killed as a result of a fraud-related staged auto accident in Queens. Now the New York State Senate is introducing new legislation to combat car insurance fraud. "We gotta crack down on this to help bring down our auto insurance premiums and also make our highways more safe, I in particular sponsored one of the bills that passed the Senate and that would make staging an accident a crime in New York State actually punishable as a felony."
Studies show that New York State has the 4th highest insurance rates of any in the union. Unfortunately accidents are part of driving but experts say being cognizant could help prevent you from being a victim. "I think awareness is the most important thing, recognizing that if you're in an accident, you need to stay calm, you need to collect information, you know unless you're not physically able to. Obviously you want the police at the scene, you want to collect as much info as you can, take as many pictures as you can with your phone."
New York's no-fault law requires registered vehicles to carry insurance that let's drivers and passengers to obtain up to $50,000 for injuries regardless of fault. Therefore the fraud can be big business in New York. "Fraud in our No-Fault insurance program for our auto insurance costs New Yorkers to pay about $250 million for our auto insurance than we need to because of fraudulent claims that are being filed and paid."
In order for the three bills to become law they still must be passed by the Assembly and signed by the Governor.