Put The Blame On The Law Makers
I wrote some unflattering things about the State Insurance Fund in the Nov. 14 issue of the Insurance Advocate. Cecilia E. Norat, the executive director took exception to the article. (See letters to the editor, page 3) Although 1 stand behind every thing I wrote. I have since become aware of certain facts that were not previously reported. This information I uncovered would have been reported even if Ms. Norat and Ms. Maria J. VanHoy (public information officer of the fund) had not expressed their displeasure at what I wrote.
City marshals are enforcing not just one judgment, as Ms. Norat states in the letter. I have seen documentary proof of a number of Car Service Bases that have been visited by marshals to enforce judgments of the State Insurance Fund. This is a minor point since it's a fact that the fund is pressing collection of premiums that are morally questionable at best, be it one or one hundred.
The issue of whether owner-drivers of liveries are employees of the bases or independent contractors, continues to plague the industry.. It was the New York State Legislature that, contrary to both common law and case law, decreed that they are employees. This is the reason the fund was forced to become involved. This is a hot political issue and no one wants to accept responsibility for the problems that have been created. The State Insurance Fund did not cause the problem, but it has become expedient to blame the agency. I too fell into this trap. The Workers' Compensation Board is in a similar position. Everyone says, "I didn't do it. It's the other guy's fault." The least mentioned culprits are the legislators, and in particular Assemblyman Frank Barbero. Mr. Barbero has done a great disservice to the people of New York. He is primarily responsible for this problem. I apologize to Cecilia Norat and Maria VanHoy if I came down too hard on the SIF. The fund has been put in an untenable position. It is holding the smoking gun but didn't load it or shoot it.
The Governing Committee of the New York Auto Insurance Plan considered at its Oct. 21, meeting, a motion to require producers doing business with it to secure E & O coverage. This motion was made by Roger Beaudry, a public member.
Even if I made this up, I could not find a better example of the lack of knowledge within the AIP Governing Committee on the problems of the vast majority of producers who do business with the plan. My first impression was...