IIANJ Comments on DOBI’s “Three Scenarios” and Alternate Underwriting Rules

The Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey recently provided input to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) on several proposed regulations implementing the “Competition and Choice Act signed into law by Governor Jim McGreevey on June 9, 2003.

The IIANJ urged the DOBI to modify a proposal that requires producers and insurance companies to provide each applicant for automobile insurance with a document providing three scenarios. “IIANJ members work with consumers individually to secure specific information and offer consumers insurance requested and options available to them.” stated IIANJ Government Affairs representative, Jeanne Heisler. “While the three scenario document is intended to show consumers the scope of coverage provided under New Jersey law, IIANJ cautions that too much generalized information may confuse consumers if the options do not meet their needs”.

The IIANJ said it supports the DOBI’s use of Alternative Underwriting Rules in its efforts to implement the five-year phase out of the “Take All Comers” law beginning in 2004. The proposed regulation allows companies to file underwriting rules that will apply when they have met certain growth requirements in a specific territory. The IIANJ requested the Department to further clarify the qualifications for an applicant to be placed into the Voluntary Rating Tier in the Personal Automobile Insurance Plan after being denied coverage by a company using the Alternate Underwriting Rules.

IIANJ Chairman Scott Stanford commented, “The Take All Comers law was necessary a decade ago; however, it is now time to move toward a competitive marketplace environment” said “IIANJ believes that the five year phase out, monitored closely, should provide New Jersey consumers with more options for the purchase of insurance in the future”.

The Department of Banking and Insurance is currently reviewing all comments. It is anticipated that the regulations will be adopted in the near future.