The Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey announced that it has joined the “Save Choices for Drivers” coalition recently begun by several insurance industry groups.
The organization aims to protect auto insurance choices for consumers and ultimately prevent rates from spiking. “Specifically, IIANJ and other industry representatives are working to oppose legislation sponsored by the state’s personal injury lawyers A3531 or S-2533 which will dilute New Jersey’s verbal threshold and result in expensive lawsuits,” said the bulletin.
“The Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey work one-on-one with New Jersey consumers every day. We believe the effort begun by personal injury lawyers to undue the state’s verbal threshold
will end up hurting the very consumers we serve by hiking insurance rates and opening the state up for a new auto insurance crisis”, stated Scott Stanford, IIANJ Chairman. “If A3531 goes through, all consumers will have to pay a higher premium since the right to sue will be expanded for all drivers. This bill will work against the reforms that have only just begun to take effect in New Jersey’s already troubled automobile insurance marketplace.”
The announcement noted that “over 4 million New Jersey drivers – about 90% of all drivers in the state – select the verbal threshold – or limitation on lawsuit – option in exchange for a premium discount. This results in hundreds of dollars in savings for every driver. Those who wish to have an unlimited ability to sue for pain and suffering, even in minor cases, can do so by paying more in insurance premiums. Any policyholder can change their selection of the verbal threshold versus the non verbal threshold at every policy renewal.
“Since the verbal threshold choice was given to drivers in 1988, millions have experienced lower rates by selecting the verbal threshold option. This legislation would undermine the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998, which the Legislature enacted “to further limit the number of lawsuits filed and thereby reduce premiums for bodily injury coverage.”
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