N.J. Needs Stronger Laws Against Lying About Garaging Vehicles
2/10/2015Coalition urges enacting crackdown bill, investigators launch grassroots letter campaign
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2015 — Drivers in New Jersey who register their cars out of state are increasing insurance premiums for honest people and should be stopped, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud urged a key legislative committee.
The practice of lying on insurance applications to unfairly reduce auto premiums appears to be prevalent and growing in the Garden State, and little is being done to discourage it, according to the Coalition.
“Current laws do little to deter rate evasion and do not encourage prosecution. The proposed legislation would help insurers and law enforcement combat this crime,” Howard Goldblatt, the Coalition’s director of government affairs, told the state Senate Commerce Committee in written testimony yesterday.
The measure would make phantom garaging a specific crime with stiff penalties.
The bill goes to the full floor for debate after clearing the Senate commerce committee following Goldblatt’s testimony.
Fraud fighters also are launching an online letter-writing campaign urging their state Senators to vote for enacting A2281/S1727 into law.
“Passage would send a strong message that insurance fraud of any kind should not be tolerated,” Goldblatt wrote.
It is common to see cars with out-of-state license plates on the road, and parked by homes and in driveways, Goldblatt said. Illicitly dodging auto premiums skews the shared risk pool of drivers in the state. Other states face a similar problem. Iowa recently clamped down on New York drivers registering the vehicles in Iowa.
“Honest consumers end up subsidizing insurance premiums of people who cheat,” Goldblatt said.
Fraud fighters are urging enactment into law. They launched a statewide grassroots letter-writing campaign today. Hundreds of New Jersey investigator members of the International Association of SIUs are involved, along with concerned citizens and others. They are being asked to write their state Senators with strong anti-fraud messages.
CONTACT: Howard Goldblatt, director of government affairs; 202-393-7332