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By Chuck Wells

When our state legislators made car insurance mandatory in New York State, they had to set up a program that would insure everyone, no matter how bad their driving record. This program was called the New York Auto Insurance Plan or as we know it: Assigned Risk.

Because New York is such a liberal minded state, they also told insurance companies that they would have to subsidize Assigned Risk with money from the good drivers so the bad drivers didnít have to pay the full shot. It wouldnít be fair. This fits with the welfare mentality in New York. They were afraid the poor drivers wouldnít be able to afford car insurance so instead of penalizing them for their bad driving, state legislators rewarded them with lower rates subsidized by those of you who are good drivers.

So here is how it works folks. When an agent takes an application for the Assigned Risk, that application goes to New York City where it is assigned to the next company in line. That insurance company has to take the person no matter how bad their driving record and can only charge the maximum allowed by New York even if it means they will lose money. Every car insurance company in New York must participate in the Assigned Risk although some pay to have other insurance companies take their assignments.

Is Assigned Risk more expensive than having a standard policy not in the Assigned Risk? You would think it must be but since these Assigned Risk policies are subsidized by the good drivers, many times the rates are actually LOWER than standard policies. Thatís right; you may have lower car insurance rates by being in the Assigned Risk!

So is it a bad thing to be in the Assigned Risk? If you are getting lower premiums and that is all you care about, the Assigned Risk can be good. If you are looking for prompt handling of a claim, the Assigned Risk is usually bad news. Keep in mind that the insurance company is losing money on that policy they were forced to take. Do you think they care about you and your claim?

One final note. You donít have to be a poor driver to be in the Assigned Risk. New drivers, people with poor credit, people without prior car insurance, and people with old cars may not qualify for standard auto policies now. That means the Assigned Risk.

Eileen Murphy, an obstetrician from Chicago, is leaving her profession. She makes $170,000 per year. Because of lawsuits, her malpractice insurance premiums are $138,000 per year. You do the math.

A man in Mississippi died of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He pulled ticks off his two dogs and bit the ticks with his teeth. Veterinarians say that this is not so unusual.

A 23 year-old guy in Hartland, Maine decided he wanted to commit suicide by crucifixion. He built a wooden cross, placed it on the floor, and nailed one of his hands to hit. Only one problem. He couldnít figure out how to nail his other hand to the cross. He then called 911 and the responding police officer didnít know if the guy wanted an ambulance or someone to nail his other hand.

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