Ithaca Carshare, a nonprofit organization that provides 30 cars for 24/7 use to its 1,500 subscribers, announced today in a press release that it will cease all operations from May 19 until at least June 30 due to issues acquiring insurance to replace its previous underwriters, who left the market in March.
New York state law requires risk retention groups to be domiciled in the state in order to provide auto insurance.
“A RRG that is not chartered and not licensed as an insurer in New York does not constitute an ‘authorized insurer’ under the Insurance Law,” the state’s Department of Financial Services website said.
According to the press release, no other insurance company in New York is willing to underwrite Ithaca Carshare.
“There is one insurance company, a [risk retention group] domiciled in Vermont, who is willing to write auto insurance for Ithaca Carshare, but they are prohibited by NYS insurance regulators,” the press release said. “No other private or commercial insurance company is willing to write our auto insurance, despite a 15-year history with excellent loss runs.”
Ithaca’s representatives in Albany, State Sen. Lea Webb and Assembly member Anna Kelles have introduced the identical Senate Bill 5959 and Assembly Bill 5718 to allow Ithaca Carshare to continue operations, but the bills are currently in committee and have not been voted upon. The current legislative session ends on June 8.