Auto insurance

Senate must make car insurance photos voluntary


With so many New Yorkers struggling, why does the state continue to mandate costly and time-consuming photo inspections as a prerequisite for auto insurance? It’s time to ease that burden on New York drivers. Fortunately, our leaders in Albany have the opportunity this year to do just that.

As an independent insurance agent, I repeatedly hear from clients that photographic inspections are impractical at best and prohibitively expensive at worst. Car owners have to take time off from work and family responsibilities to go to a photo inspection site and spend money on an extra inspection that insurers themselves usually consider unnecessary. Some customers are unable to get an inspection in a short period of time and have their coverage voided.

The pandemic has taught us that it is time to reform old regulations that no longer serve any purpose. The Photographic Inspection Mandate, enacted in the late 1970s, is an example. Regulatory improvements and advances in technology have helped insurers investigate and prevent fraud far better than a collection of photographs ever could, and it’s time lawmakers recognize that fact.

I commend the State Assembly for passing D-Rockland County Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski’s bill to make photo inspections voluntary. Now the Senate must act and take a stand for drivers in New York.

Ron Brunel

Woodmere

Co-Chair, NY First