The New York Legislature has introduced a bill that would mandate higher levels of Minimum Financial Responsibility (MFR) only for motor vehicles rented or leased in the State of New York. The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) is fighting the legislation and is also opposing similar legislation that would apply an across-the-board increase in MFR requirements of up to 500% more than currently required.
AB 10000, introduced by Assemblyman James Brennan (D-Brooklyn), would require that motor vehicles rented or leased in New York State be covered by insurance providing at least $1 million per accident. The minimum $1 million combined single limit for rented and leased vehicles amounts to higher levels of MFR than what current law requires for the exact same privately-owned motor vehicles. Current law requires minimum coverage of $25,000 for injuries to one person, $50,000 for the death of one person, $50,000 for injuries to two or more people, $100,000 for the death of two or more people, and $10,000 for injury or destruction of property of others in a single accident.
TRALA states that in addition to the increased costs associated with the increase in MFR requirements to small businesses who use rented and leased vehicles, this kind of legislation implies that rented and leased vehicles are inherently unsafe as compared to the exact same privately-owned vehicles operated by residents of New York every day, even though there is no data to support this implication.
Shortly after Assemblyman Brennan introduced AB 10000, he then introduced another bill (AB 10136) that would mandate a steep increase in MFR — as much as 500% — for all motor vehicles in the state. In a letter to Assemblyman Brennan, TRALA President and CEO Tom James stated, "Our economy, in New York and across the nation, is still struggling to recover. Now is the wrong time to increase transportation costs for New York residents and businesses."
AB 10136 would require $100,000 for injuries to one person (300% increase), $300,000 for the death of one person (500% increase), $300,000 for injuries to two or more people (500% increase), $500,000 for the death of two or more people (400% increase), and $25,000 for injury or destruction of property of others in a single accident (150% increase).
TRALA has sent a letter to Assemblyman Brennan and to committee members where the legislation is being considered. To see a copy of TRALA's letter to Assemblyman Brennan, click here.
A police spokesperson said the uninsured vehicles were due to an oversight, and the companies took immediate steps to insure the vehicles.