N.J. Coalition Urges Assembly to Support Choice and Competition Act

May 5, 2003

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition announced that it is urging the Assembly’s Banking and Insurance Committee to favorably release the “New Jersey Automobile Insurance Choice and Competition Act,” which is scheduled for consideration beginning today. The proposed legislation,S-63/A-2625, would “reform current law by giving more choices to consumers and encouraging competition among New Jersey’s automobile insurance carriers,” said the Coalition.

“This bill’s enactment would mark a first step toward reform,” stated John Friedman, the Coalition’s chairman. “This plan is the foundation upon which a competitive market can be built.”

The Coalition has stressed that it believes “excessive regulation of auto insurance is the culprit behind the lack of auto insurance choice and competition in New Jersey.” It noted that “In the last decade, more than 20 auto insurance companies have left the Garden State, and currently four of the six largest insurers do not write any business in the state. New Jersey has 47 percent fewer companies selling auto insurance than Illinois and more than a third fewer than neighboring New York and Pennsylvania.”

Friedman indicated that “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 and how much to charge, companies will lack an incentive to remain and invest in New Jersey. Drivers need a regulatory system that promotes competition, encourages companies to sell auto insurance, and creates a stable market that offers more choices for consumers.”

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