PCI Urges Rejection of N.J. Privacy Law Proposals

February 6, 2004

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America urged New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee members to reject proposed legislation regarding the privacy of financial information, indicating that the current proposals would be “a deterrent to companies interested in New Jersey and would only reduce customer choice and potentially increase insurance premiums.”

“We are concerned that consistency does not exist between the existing privacy laws and regulations in New Jersey and the proposed legislation,” stated PCI regional manager and counsel Richard Stokes in written testimony to Senate Commerce Committee members who were conducting an informational hearing Thursday.

“The proposed legislation would create unnecessary conflicts and would duplicate enforcement requirements, including a new private right of action. The private right of action would create further uncertainty in the marketplace and confusion in both the regulation and implementation of privacy of information. Also, no other state has created a private right of action for insurance,” he continued.

The PCI implored the Senate committee to take time in considering all the issues to be faced in changing New Jersey’s privacy laws and said it would be pleased to work with the committee in understanding both the state and national laws and regulations concerning privacy information.

“Insurers have made tremendous strides in developing a predictable, stable and fair insurance system,” Stokes wrote. “Changes that will only re-regulate existing practices without addressing specific needs will deter companies’ interest in coming and doing business in New Jersey.”

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