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Inflated Medical Bills and Bogus Claims Drive Up Cost of No-Fault Auto Insurance in New York, I.I.I. Finds
Date:2/3/2010

re paying out more in premiums, Dr. Hartwig observed. This 'fraud tax,' namely what New York's insurers are billed by medical providers versus what other pricing benchmarks indicate they should be charged, totaled nearly $1,600 per claim in 2009, a 20-plus percent surcharge medical providers are extracting from the system for every single accident.

"The average policyholder in New York spent $1,047 in 2007 to insure their vehicle compared to $795 nationally, a difference of $252 or 31.7 percent. The state ranks as the third most expensive in the country," Dr. Hartwig said, noting that 2007 is the most recent year for which definitive premium data is available.

The average cost of a no-fault auto insurance claim skyrocketed to $8,690 in the third quarter of 2009, up $3,075, or 55 percent, from $5,615, the average cost of a no-fault claim in the third quarter of 2004. Only Michigan and New Jersey auto insurers, which also operate in deeply troubled no-fault states, paid higher average no-fault claims as of year-end 2009, an I.I.I. analysis found.

"While the cost drivers influencing the price of auto insurance in New York are similar to those in other states in most respects, there is one glaring exception -- its $50,000 threshold for no-fault auto insurance claims is the highest dollar threshold in the United States. It should come as no surprise that the richest benefits in the country come with the highest costs," Dr. Hartwig said.

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SOURCE Insurance Information Institute
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