NJ Auto Insurance Coalition Steps Up Reform Campaign

May 15, 2002

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition (CAIC) announced the launch of an additional wave of advertising as part of its continuing statewide media campaign aimed at reforming New Jersey’s auto insurance system to increase insurance competition and consumer choice.

Bolstered by the decision of the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey’s decision to join its cause (See IJ Website May 9), the coalition plans on increasing its efforts to educate NJ’s residents about their auto insurance, and to enlist their support in achieving comprehensive reform of the system, which has made it the nation’s most expensive. It’s also trying to encourage more insurers to do business in the state to balance those that are trying to withdraw, and to insure continued competition.

“Having to operate under the state’s restrictive and difficult regulatory regime where insurers are told what products to sell, to whom they must sell to and how much to charge, companies lack an incentive to remain and invest in New Jersey,” stated CAIC chairman John Friedman.

“If New Jersey was a good place for insurers to do business, companies would flock to our state and consumers would have a multitude of choices,” he continued. “Instead, insurance companies have crowded the exit ramps. If reform of our state’s regulatory system is not addressed, consumers will continue to suffer from the dearth of choice and market competition.”

The CAIC may have already had some small success, while reform plans are being debated, two smaller insurers have decided to enter the NJ auto market. According to a report from the Star-Ledger, broadcast on the PIANJ web site, Consumer First Insurance Co., is starting with three people and investments from the friends and family of a Clifton NJ lawyer, and the other, Rutgers Enhanced Insurance, is an affiliate of an existing company that will charge new customers 25 percent more than the parent company’s current drivers.

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