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Lawmaker calls for investigation into auto insurance rates


A local member of the state delegation is calling for an investigation into the practices of big auto insurers. A recent study shows some companies hike their rates as much as $400 a year for drivers without  a college degree. State Senator Timothy Kennedy is calling on the Department of Financial Services to investigate after a New York Public Interest Research Group study showed some insurers target low-income drivers for higher rates.

Kennedy says all New Yorkers should be treated fairly and equally.

"Your car insurance should be based one thing: your driving record. Charging Western New Yorkers based on their income or their education levels is not only unfair but it's downright wrong," Kennedy said Monday.

According to the study issued last week by NYPIRG , in setting rates, three of the four largest insurers consider education and two out of the four consider occupation.

Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, says he plans to work with the DFS and other state leaders to put an end to the practice once and for all.

"If we have to put forward legislation to correct this inequality, we'll do so. But we're hoping that by shedding light on this inequality, the Department of Financial Services will take quick action and put forward regulations that will create a fair and balanced playing field all across the state," Kennedy said.

Regardless of degree or job title, drivers in New York pay among the highest auto insurance premiums in the nation.

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