Auto Insurance in New York City

You and Your Auto Insurance: Driving in New York City

Just about everyone loves the Big Apple. If you live and drive in New York City, you pay one of the country’s most expensive rates for car insurance. And you’re probably paying significantly more than the rest of the drivers in the Empire State.

Rampant auto insurance fraud is one of the reasons you’re paying so much for your New York auto insurance. In addition to bogus New York insurance fronts posing as legitimate and licensed auto insurance companies, is the increase in identify theft.

How does identity theft affect your New York City auto insurance rates? Having your identity stolen affects your credit score. In many cases, insurers use your credit score as one of the determining factors in setting your auto insurance policy rate.

If you’ve been a victim of identify theft and it has impacted your credit, try to find an insurer who does not use credit scores in determining auto insurance rates.

How to avoid becoming a victim of an identity thief? The first place to start is by ordering a copy of your credit record. Go through it carefully to determine if any negative reporting has been a direct result of your own activity.

It takes a lot of hard work and vigilance to repair ones credit after being damaged by an identity thief. While repairing credit people need to be sure to control as many of the affects of the damaged credit score. Victims may need to find car insurance that doesn’t take your credit into account.

Contact the companies directly if you detect any suspicious activity.

Here are other ways you can avoid being a victim:

  • Keep all of your identification cards in a safe place. Limit the number of ID cards you carry with you. This includes your Social Security card, your driver’s license and your auto insurance registration card.
  • Beware of thieves stealing your mail. If you put bill payments in your mailbox, when you flip up the flag to notify your carrier, you make a billboard, “Important things. Please steal.” You won’t know until you realize your payments are late, and by then the thieves will be in full swing. Utilize an official mail drop box.
  • If you bank online, watch all account activity and balances. Quickly report any suspicious activity. Learn how to clear your cache on your computer. You will have to re-enter your info each time, but it provides another measure of security. Your information is not right there like bills on your mailbox to be taken.
  • Cut up any old ID cards. This especially includes any outdated auto insurance cards or policy information. Thieves are using old auto insurance registration cards to steal people’s identities. Don’t just throw the cards away! Cut them up. Better yet, shred them. You’ll increase your chance of becoming a victim.

Beware of bogus callers asking for confidential information

Don’t give confidential information over the phone. Ask to be sent something in writing. Get their information, location, and nature of the call. Call them at the phone number listed on your billing statement. Ask for them. If they persist, try telling them, “If you are who you say you are, you already have that information on file.” Odds are they will hang up. Check your caller i.d. and report them.

Unfortunately, if a thief has stolen your identity or any personal information, it is likely that they may try to obtain a false auto insurance card using your information.

Enjoy driving in New York City, but you’ll enjoy it more, knowing you have protected yourself!