PIANJ Optimistic on Auto Reform Bill’s Effects

October 13, 2003

Judging from recent reports from the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey Inc., the state’s auto reform bill, passed earlier this year, is beginning to have some welcome and quite positive effects in transforming one of the nation’s most dysfunctional auto insurance markets into a new and viable place to do business.

PIANJ President John D’Agostino Jr., CIC, recently participated with Gov. James. E. McGreevey and the Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke at a press conference regarding progress in New Jersey’s auto insurance market stabilization. He told reporters “It’s apparent that the auto reform bill is improving the New Jersey auto marketplace.” As well as general optimism, the press conference highlighted some solid results – notably – State Farm Indemnity’s suspension of its practice of dropping coverage for drivers and the entrance of Mercury General into the market to ease the ability of drivers to get insurance in New Jersey.

Also on a practical note the PIANJ announced that seminars it’s been offering on auto reform law have been a “sold out” success,” and said it intended to add more such programs “later in the year to meet overwhelming demand.”

At three seminars, held in Mt. Laurel Sept. 24 and in Edison and Hasbrouck Heights Sept. 25, more than 300 participants showed up to learn about the law and numerous new regulations the DOBI is developing to implement it. New programs are now scheduled for Nov. 18 at The Conference Center at Mercer, West Windsor and Nov. 19 at The Ramada Inn, East Hanover, N.J.

“In all, there will be 18 new regulations affecting all aspects of auto insurance,” D’Agostino stated. “Producers throughout the state are looking for guidance and expertise that only PIA can offer on this topic. We are not surprised by the tremendous turn out for these particular programs.”

The changes are substantial. Producers will be required to give applicants three scenarios, the DOBI has proposed significant changes to the standards for auto ID cards and to the take-all-comers requirements, in addition to a brand new “special auto policy” form. There are also new rules that will affect eligibility qualifications. All of this information is important for agency personnel who handle auto coverage to know.

For more information about the November seminars on auto reform, contact the contact the PIANJ Education Department at (800) 424-4244 or go to the PIANJ Web site (www.piaonline.org/NJ/).

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