An email sent from GEICO's senior vice president to all New York policy holders said current legislation could cause premiums to increase.
Josh Davis, of Buffalo, said he got the email. He pays $220 a month for his car insurance and doesn't want to see his rates rise. “I don't want to pay more money for my insurance because someone tries to pass some sort of bill,” he said.
The proposed legislation would allow customers to sue insurers, like GEICO, if they fail to promptly and fairly settle a claim. According to the bills, insurers have an incentive to deny or delay a fair payment.
Republican Assemblyman Angelo Morinello supports the legislation. In a statement, he said in part "this bill would level the playing field for the consumer when they're up against an insurance company, particularly those who are not financially capable and have incurred a hardship due to the insurance company not promptly and fairly settling their claim."
GEICO sees things differently.
In the email, the company said the legislation would make it easier for trial lawyers to sue insurance companies and could raise the cost of auto insurance by an additional $7 billion a year statewide. The company didn’t return our requests for comment.
The bills are currently sitting in committee in both houses. It’s unclear whether they will make it to the floor for a vote before the end of session on Wednesday.