This year, the New York legislature passed a bill that increased the property damage threshold for accident surcharges. Automobile insurance companies may not assess a surcharge on premiums unless the damage to property in an accident exceeds $2,000. According to Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), the most recent increase to the threshold was in 1991, when the bar was raised from $600 to $1000.
Since even a minor fender-bender can result in over $1,000 in damage, nearly all car accidents could result in surcharges before the recent change. Moreover, New York drivers arguably bear the burdens of the state's no-fault insurance system, at least indirectly. The American Insurance Association (AIA) claimed in a recent news release that no-fault claim costs in the state have increased by 58 percent since 2004, and no-fault fraud and abuse in New York is costing insurers and drivers more than $200 million per year. Soaring costs have both insurers and drivers calling on the legislature for reform.