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    Coalition Launches New Wave In Campaign For Fundamental Auto Insurance Reform In New Jersey

    04/08/2002
    on 4/8/02.

    The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition is launching a new wave of advertising as part of a statewide media campaign to galvanize support for fundamental reform of New Jersey's car insurance system that will result in increased insurance competition benefiting our state.

    The new offensive in the reform campaign, which includes radio and newspaper advertising and beings Monday, April 8, seeks to educate New Jerseyans and to enlist their support to achieve comprehensive reform essential to improving the auto insurance market in New Jersey by encouraging more insurers to do business here. Citizens are urged to log on to the Coalition's website, www.njcaic.org. This new round of ads supplements an earlier round of newspaper ads in February, 2002 following the inauguration of Governor James E. McGreevey and members of the Legislature.

    "The Coalition is striving to achieve 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," said John Friedman, chairman of the Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition. "Four out of the six largest insurers in America already do not do business in New Jersey and when the state's largest auto insurer completes its announced withdrawal, that number will increase to five out of six. Over 20 auto insurers have left New Jersey in the past decade. More have announced they intend to leave. This, in turn, has profound consequences for consumers. Nearly one million New Jersey drivers could soon find themselves scrambling for coverage."

    The Coalition is broadcasting the radio ads on nearly a dozen radio stations in New Jersey and New York and placing ads in nine newspapers throughout the state. The ads highlight the exodus of auto insurers that have left and are continuing to leave New Jersey during the last ten years and its impact on consumers.

    "It's only natural to expect that consumers will shop around for the best deal if they have more choices. Competition and choice benefit consumers and when companies compete, consumers win," said Friedman.

    "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 charge, companies lack an incentive to remain and invest in New Jersey, " continued Friedman. "If New Jersey was a good place for insurers to do business, companies would flock to our state and consumers would have a multitude of choices. Instead, insurance companies have crowded the exit ramps. If reform of our state's regulatory system is not addressed, consumers will continue to suffer from the dearth of choice and market competition."

    The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition is a bi-partisan group formed by the auto insurance industry's trade associations (American Insurance Association, Insurance Council of New Jersey, National Association of Independent Insurers) and member companies and includes a variety of business groups and organizations. Coalition members include the Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, New Jersey Society for Economic and Environmental Development, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and the Food Council of New Jersey.

    CONTACT: For Coalition for Auto Insurance
    Ernie Landante, 973/242-5855

    URL: http://www.businesswire.com