New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski said on June 6 that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has been approved to write auto insurance in New Jersey, and the company will begin offering auto policies in August.
Nationwide left the New Jersey auto insurance market in 1981 but the company has served the state’s market through its Harleysville Insurance Co. and Harleysville Preferred Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, which merged with Nationwide in 2012.
Many Nationwide Financial Services and Nationwide Agribusiness products have been available to New Jersey residents for years. Also, Scottsdale, Nationwide’s excess and surplus and specialty insurance company, has served the New Jersey market for more than 30 years.
“We are very pleased to welcome a company of the size and stature of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. to New Jersey,” said Kobylowski. “This is positive news for consumers as it gives them more choices.”
Nationwide, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, will initially market the auto policies over the phone, through the Internet and through Nationwide’s agents in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Mark Pizzi, chief executive officer of Nationwide Insurance, said Nationwide is excited about this opportunity and the commitment New Jersey and the Department of Banking and Insurance have made to enhance the state’s regulatory climate.
“They have opened the doors to more choices for New Jersey residents and Nationwide is pleased to be part of this vibrant market. Expanding into the Garden State is an important step in Nationwide’s goal to become a truly national brand,” Pizzi said.
The arrival of Nationwide means that nine of the nation’s top 10 auto insurers are writing auto insurance policies in New Jersey. The other top eight are: State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Farmers, USAA, Liberty Mutual and Travelers. (American Family – the ninth largest auto insurance company, by premium, in the U.S. – does not write insurance in the Eastern region of the country.)
Overall there are 77 active insurance companies and 35 insurance groups writing auto policies in New Jersey with a total of 5.4 million exposures and $6.82 billion in written premiums in 2013.