You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2005NY Consumer Group Wants DOI to Post Detailed Rates Online

NY Consumer Group Wants DOI to Post Detailed Rates Online

A consumer group is calling on the New York State Insurance Department to compile rate information and post it online, so state residents can more...
October 18, 2005

A consumer group is calling on the New York State Insurance Department to compile rate information and post it online, so state residents can more easily shop for policies and compare prices. The New York Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released a study last week that found wide disparities in prices in different parts of the state. A spokesman for the group said a state-run Web site with detailed information "would give consumers one-stop shopping, help make sure rates are more competitive and help consumers get the best deal." A spokesman for the DOI said limited information is already required, but added "We feel we have to stop short of advocating or seeming to advocate one company over another." The consumer group said it will take its  proposal to the legislature if the Insurance Department doesn't expand its Web site database.

What It Means to Agents:  The proposal made by the Public Interest Research Group is ill-advised, to put it mildly. State departments of insurance should help educate consumers, but should not be put in a position to do comparison shopping for everyone, based only on price. The PRIG proposal to use the state DOI for "one-stop shopping" to "help consumers get the best deal" is not what government should be doing. But it is exactly what professional insurance agents do. This way to shop insurance is a very bad idea for many reasons, not the least of which is that it violates the intellectual property rights of carriers.

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