Auto insurance reform resulted in price declines, New Jersey official says

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A report on the auto insurance industry shows that average prices declined in the Garden State

New Jersey Assemblyman Louis Greenwald said this week that broad auto insurance reform in 2003 is paying dividends for New Jersey drivers.

Greenwald, the chairman of the state Budget Committee, cited a report released this week by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The report details average premium costs paid in each state and the District of Columbia in 2006 and 2007.

Between 2004 and 2007, Greenwald said, auto insurance premiums in the Garden State fell 9.6 percent. New Jersey drivers paid an average of $1,221 in 2004, $1,152 in 2006 and $1,104 in 2007.

By passing a reform bill in 2003, New Jersey politicians "stabilized the market, increased competition and increased access to insurance," in addition to lowering auto insurance costs, Greenwald suggested.

He noted that the state still has the highest insurance costs in the nation, adding that Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and Louisiana could outpace New Jersey if current trends continue. But there is no "silver bullet" to deal with the fact that New Jersey is the "nation's most densely populated state," Greenwald said.

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Posted: December 2, 2009

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