Ithaca Carshare, a nonprofit organization, is having difficulty in obtaining auto insurance and is attempting to find a solution through the state government.
The membership-based business has operated for 15 years, but a change with its current insurance provider has put its future in jeopardy.
Ithaca Carshare Director Liz Field said the federal insurance group that currently insures the company cannot provide insurance anymore. A nonprofit business like Ithaca Carshare falls into the category of risk retention, a type of insurance banned in New York, she said.
The company’s current policy runs out in May, leaving Carshare to find an alternative. Carshare seeks a change in state law to address the problem.
Proposed Bill A5718 would allow an out-of-state risk retention group to issue insurance policies for New York nonprofits.
Ithaca Carshare wants a resolution soon so it can continue offering low-cost vehicle access to the city and its approximately 1,500 members.
Time is of essence. Field says the company received NYSERDA funding of $315,000 to add more vehicles but warns the purchase might not happen because of the insurance issue.
“We’re not going to be able to access that. They will not fund us if we can’t get auto insurance and stay in operation. It’s very time sensitive," Field said.
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