The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) submitted written testimony today to the Fire Department of New York City on its proposal, “Schedule of Charges for Fire Department Motorists Services,” to bill motorists and their insurers for emergency services. If implemented, the proposal would allow the Fire Department of New York to send bills up to $490 to motorists when the department responds to auto accidents.
The department is holding a hearing on this issue today at 10:30 a.m. at its headquarters in Brooklyn.
The following comments can be attributed to Paul Tetrault, NAMIC’s state affairs manager for the Northeast.
“NAMIC has been monitoring the growing trend of cities and towns proposing ‘accident response fees’ for nearly five years, as municipalities try to create new revenue streams. In effect, these fees are nothing more than double taxation typically applied only to law-abiding citizens who follow state law and carry auto insurance.
“A common misconception driving these accident-response-fee proposals is that these charges are covered by personal automobile insurance policies; however, that is not the case.
“NAMIC has fought these proposals every step of the way, and we continue to find that these fees are not only unpopular but also ineffective as a means of generating revenue. Last year in Quincy, Massachusetts, such a proposal was implemented primarily as the result of proponents arguing that it would generate $250,000 in annual revenue; yet halfway through the fiscal year, the town had collected a mere $2,700.
“Municipal officials should recognize the balance between potential revenues and public opposition, which shows these programs are not worthwhile.”
Contact: Lisa Floreancig
Director of Communications
State & Policy Affairs