Alliance Praises NJ Auto Reforms, but Warns on AB 3531

September 22, 2003

The Alliance of American Insurers has issued a bulletin applauding the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on their efforts “to quickly implement the automobile insurance reforms of SB 63.”

Richard Stokes, the Alliance’s northeast regional manager based in Trenton, stated, “While we do not agree with all of the requirements imposed under the current round of proposed regulations, we are pleased with the Department’s efforts to assist insurers in implementing and complying with the new reform provisions. We are also pleased to see that the Department has proposed regulations to complete implementation of earlier reforms of the 1998 Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act, specifically the regulation to address the state’s long-outdated territorial rating maps. Governor McGreevey has made good on his promise to reform the state’s automobile insurance system.”

Stokes then noted, however, that “the Legislature may undo the improvements enacted this year if they pass AB 3531 (companion SB 2533), a bill that would erode the current no-fault law’s verbal threshold, which determines how serious an injury must be before the claimant is allowed to bring suit. Enactment of AB 3531 would open the flood gates for litigation and drive up auto insurance costs for all New Jersey drivers.”

The Alliance has filed comments on 11 of 18 proposed regulations and will comment on the additional regulations by the Department’s October deadline. Stokes said he is hopeful the Department will adopt the Alliance’s suggestions and implement the regulations as quickly as possible.

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