New York Auto Warranties
Like a number of its New England neighbors, the state of New York is proud of its progressive political traditions and is quite proactive in its protection of the state’s consumers. In addition to vehicle-specific legislation, there are laws, rules and regulations that help the state insurance commissioner, consumer protection department and other state agencies maintain fairness and equity for the vehicle owners of New York.
In recent years, court cases, additions to the state’s General Business Law (GBL) and improved enforcement mechanisms have established broad consumer protections for New Yorkers. A great deal of time and expense has gone into educating consumers about all of them. As far as court decisions go, in Giarratano v. Midas Muffler, Ritchie v. Empire Ford Sales, Inc., and Borys v. Scarsdale Ford, Inc. the courts spoke to a number of issues concerning auto warranties in New York. The decisions brought new clarity to such topics as disclosure of contract specifics, the state’s Used Car Lemon Law, express vs. implied warranty, and strict product liability. Consumers also were well served in the majority of similar cases.
New Yorkers can rest easy knowing that unscrupulous warranty providers are targets for serious enforcement actions, and can easily check for complaints about ones that continue to do business in the state. There are a number of sources for this important information, both government Web sites (consumer protection, insurance commissioner, court records) and private (Better Business Bureau, Chambers of Commerce). The longer a warranty provider has been doing business in New York, the less likely it is that the company is fraudulent.
The state has its own definitions of insurance, warranties and service contracts, so it is important that consumers get good information when they first start considering the purchase of auto warranties in New York. Reputable companies that offer these coverage plans will never shrink from questions about the level of coverage, their different plans, the items covered (or not) and any other particulars of the contract. When honest warranty providers do not have to waste time countering the claims of underhanded competitors, they can concentrate even more on offering a good product and a useful service at a fair price.
New York has leveled its playing field for warranty providers, and is involved in an ongoing process of closing down dishonest ones. In 2009, New York legislators added a bit more protection for vehicle owners, against deceptive automobile warranty solicitations. The new law (Chapter 421, Laws of 2009) prohibits false, misleading and/or deceptive statements regarding vehicle owners’ warranty providers. With this additional deterrent to potential frauds, New York is as safe for warranty buyers as any state, and safer than most. You can start getting your information together on different coverage plans without worrying that you are going to get taken advantage of. That’s New York peace of mind!