N.J. Agents Hope to End Auto Insurance Quote Requirement

July 9, 2007

New Jersey agents no longer want to be required by state law to provide quotes from all of their auto insurance companies to all auto insurance applicants.

The Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey Inc. and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New Jersey have secured introduction of a bill (A-3863) to change that law as well as a requirement that insurers provide three possible insurance premium scenarios to applicants.

According to PIANJ President Andrew H. Anderson, these requirements are no longer appropriate in the current automobile insurance market.

“The requirement for agents to provide quotes for all their represented companies places an unnecessary obligation on insurance agents and does not serve consumers because it fails to take into account all factors that agents consider when offering coverage options to consumers,” said Anderson in recent testimony on the bill.

He maintained that not every company an agent represents offers appropriate coverage options for a customer. For example, an agent should not be required to provide a quote for a company that is facing financial problems, or for a company that offers the same coverage as another, but at a higher premium. Nor is it appropriate to provide quotes for all other companies when a consumer asks to purchase insurance from a specific insurance company, he stated.

“Insurance agents do not need to be told how to best serve the interests of their customers,” Anderson told lawmakers.

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee unanimously approved the bill in May.

The agents’ bill would also eliminate the requirement for insurers to provide each applicant seeking automobile insurance, and each insured upon request, with three premium scenarios demonstrating the effect of different coverage choices.

“Experience has shown that this requirement offers very little benefit to consumers, who disregard these hypothetical coverage scenarios that are often not based on the individual’s circumstances. Insurance professionals advise their customers about the different coverage options available to them as part of what they do every day,” according to Anderson.

Source: PIANJ

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