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    Coalition For Auto Insurance Competition

    09/03/2002

    Legislators are about to hear the call for auto insurance reform from thousands of New Jerseyans concerned and frustrated over the lack of auto insurance choices.
    Citizens are signing a petition from the Coalition For Auto Insurance Competition urging legislators to reform the state's antiquated and anti-competitive auto insurance laws by passing The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Competition and Choice Act.
    "Our surveys show that consumers overwhelmingly support legislation that will result in more companies doing business in New Jersey and giving consumers more choices," said John Friedman, chairman of the Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition. "This bill would do just that."
    More than 90,000 petitions are on their way to homes. Petitions are also available on the Coalition's website at www.njcaic.org. This new push builds on education efforts already undertaken by the Coalition and gives residents a means to voice their frustration over a lack of competition in the auto insurance marketplace. The Coalition points to the state's excessive regulation of auto insurance as the culprit behind the lack of sufficient auto insurance choice and competition.
    "Four out of the six largest insurers in America already do not do business in New Jersey and when State Farm, the state's largest auto insurer, completes its withdrawal currently in process, that number will increase to five out of six," said Friedman.
    The latest figures show New Jersey has 47 percent fewer companies selling auto insurance than Illinois and more than a third fewer than neighboring New York and Pennsylvania. More than 20 auto insurance companies have left New Jersey in the past ten years.
    "Having to operate under the state's restrictive and difficult regulatory regime where insurers are told what products to sell, to whom they must sell to and how much to change, companies will lack an incentive to remain and invest in New Jersey," continued Friedman. "We need a regulatory system that promotes competition, encourages companies to sell auto insurance in New Jersey, and creates a stable market that offers more choices for consumers."
    The New Jersey Auto Insurance Competition and Choice Act outlines reforms to attract more auto insurers to New Jersey by permitting companies to use industry-accepted standard underwriting methods already used in nearly every state.
    The Coalition welcomes the participation of consumers, businesses, and associations who seek to work together to bring about meaningful and responsible auto insurance reform. Members include the National Association of Independent Insurers, Insurance Council of New Jersey, American Insurance Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey, Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, New Jersey Association of REALTORS, Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, NJ SEED (Society for Environmental, Economic Development), Somerset County Chamber of Commerce and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.
    CONTACT: Winning Strategies
    Ernie Landante, 973/799-0200
    URL: http://www.businesswire.com

    LOAD-DATE: December 17, 2002

    on 12/16/02.