Insurance Reform Passes NJ Legislature

The New Jersey General Assembly yesterday approved legislation correcting years of politically influenced auto insurance regulations, which have eroded the availability of coverage for the state’s drivers.

The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Competition and Choice Act (S-63/A-2625) aims to attract more auto insurers to do business in New Jersey and provide consumers greater and easier access to auto insurance coverage.

“Years of excessive regulations have turned New Jersey into a horror story for drivers seeking insurance,” said John Friedman, chairman of the Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition. “Thanks to bipartisan leadership, New Jersey drivers are closer to reaping the benefits of a more competitive auto insurance marketplace.”

Politicizing and over regulating auto insurance is the root cause of the state’s exodus of auto insurers, leaving consumers too few companies from which to purchase auto insurance. Five of the six largest auto insurers in the nation do not sell auto coverage in the state and more than twenty auto insurers have left New Jersey in the past decade.

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition, a New Jersey-based group of businesses, associations and consumers, has been the leading voice calling for reforms to stimulate competition and greater choices for consumers.

“Considering New Jersey’s nationwide reputation for over regulating auto insurance, today’s final legislative passage has tremendous significance,” said Friedman.

Having passed both legislative houses the bill now goes to Governor James McGreevey for his expected signature.

The Coalition 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(R), Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, NJ SEED (Society for Environmental, Economic Development) Latino Chamber of Commerce of Mercer County, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.