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Honour System: New York state considers eliminating pre-insurance vehicle inspections

Albany, New York — A bill currently before New York state lawmakers could see the elimination of pre-insurance vehicle inspections in an effort to curb the frequency of drivers losing their coverage because an inspection was not performed.

Currently under consideration by the Senate’s Insurance Committee, Bill S6028 would rid insurers of the requirement to perform a physical vehicle inspection prior to issuing a policy.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Neil D. Breslin says the motivation behind the amendment to the state’s insurance law would give protection to consumers who have little power over whether the insurance company actually follows through on the inspection or not.

“In this situation, the insured has purchased coverage and paid the premium, but will not be covered if his or her auto sustains physical property damage simply because the auto was inadvertently not inspected,” Breslin, the chair of the Insurance Committee, wrote in a memo attached to the bill.

The law requiring inspections was brought into effect in the 1970s to combat insurance fraud, but “Technology advances and vehicle tracking systems such as VIN etchings has made it much more difficult for persons seeking to engage in insurance fraud,” said Breslin, therefore eliminating much of the need to lay physical eyes on an insurable vehicle.

If passed by the assembly and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, the changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2023.

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