PIANJ Supports Proposed “Hurricane Deductible” Regulation

May 9, 2003

The Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey Inc. has written a letter to Assistant Commissioner Douglas Wheeler of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, indicating the organization’s support for the department’s proposed new rules establishing uniform policy language on the applicability of hurricane deductibles and establishing an expedited process for homeowners insurance rate changes.

The PIANJ noted that the regulation, which implements a 2002 law, will help combat the availability problem in New Jersey and was a step in the right direction.

“The proposed standard policy language regarding the applicability of hurricane deductibles under homeowners insurance policies and the establishment of the form of notice to be provided to policyholders regarding an insurer’s hurricane deductible program will be a most valuable benefit to both consumers and insurers,” stated PIANJ President David Madara.

The proposal “sets a fair and reasonable standard for determining when a hurricane deductible applies,” the PIANJ bulletin indicated. It would also establish requirements for the notice homeowners insurers must provide to policyholders, which will help consumers understand their hurricane deductible program. Madara noted that “The proposal establishes the expedited rate filing process for homeowners insurers to obtain important rate increases, which will help attract insurers to New Jersey’s homeowners market,” said Madara.

The PIANJ called the proposals “a good first step,” but emphasized that “there is still more that can be done to solve New Jersey’s coastal availability problem.

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