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New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Commerce and Industry Association of NJ, NJSEED Join Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition.

Business Editors

NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2002

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition today announced that three influential and respected business groups have joined the effort to fundamentally reform New Jersey's auto insurance laws.

"These groups recognize the need for 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, the coalition's chairman.

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Society for Economic, Environmental Development join the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, New Jersey Food Council, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies as members of the coalition.

"By joining this coalition, we will play an active role in creating a more functional and competitive auto insurance market," said New Jersey Chamber of Commerce president Joan Verplanck.

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, the coalition welcomes the participation of businesses, associations and consumers who seek to work together to bring about meaningful and responsible auto insurance reform in New Jersey.

"Commerce and Industry has always supported the free market and free enterprise system and looks forward to fair and open competition in the state's auto insurance market," said Richard M. Goldberg, president of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

"The rapid expansion of our coalition signals that the tide is building," said Friedman. "Between business group and individual membership, it is increasingly clear that New Jerseyans acknowledge the need to create competition and choice in the state's auto insurance marketplace."

The group is calling for reforms that will attract more auto insurers to New Jersey, spurring competition and increasing consumer choice. These reforms include permitting companies to use industry-accepted standard underwriting methods already used in nearly every state and adjusting the low ceiling on company profits to permit a reasonable rate of return.

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 twenty auto insurance companies have left New Jersey in the past ten years.

"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.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 27, 2002
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