News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Commissioner Holly C. Bakke

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2004

For Further Information:: Bill Heine - (609) 292-5064

Governor's Auto Reforms Produce Results:
New Jobs and Rate Rollbacks

Total Returned to Policyholders Exceeds $100 million

HAMMONTON - Governor James E. McGreevey and Commissioner Holly C. Bakke today celebrate two milestones on the road to a consumer-directed auto insurance marketplace - more than $100 million returned to policyholders and the opening of a new 57,000-square-foot office by the state's largest auto insurance carrier, New Jersey Manufacturers.

"When it comes to auto insurance in New Jersey, consumers are in the driver's seat," Governor McGreevey said. "In less than a year, our initiatives have put more than $100 million in the pockets of New Jersey drivers through rate decreases and special dividends, and created more jobs for New Jersey workers."

New Jersey Manufacturers received approval last month for a rate reduction of -0.8 percent effective June 1, for a savings of $4.5 million for 548,500 NJM policyholders. This savings follows two voluntary rate reductions by State Farm Indemnity, one reduction by USAA, and a special dividend by NJM. As a result, policyholders have saved $133.9 million as the competitive marketplace takes hold.

"These rate reductions, coupled with the investments NJM and other companies are making in the New Jersey marketplace, are proof that competition is working for New Jersey drivers," Commissioner Bakke said.

The Governor and Commissioner spoke at the opening of New Jersey Manufacturers' new branch office in Hammonton. Currently, the facility employs 120 workers, with plans to hire between 30 and 50 new employees throughout the year.

"The opening of this new facility is a significant signal that companies are investing in New Jersey again," Governor McGreevey said. "NJM's expansion means more jobs for South Jersey, and is further evidence that New Jersey's auto insurance marketplace is showing signs of recovery."

Since the Governor signed the auto reform law in June, New Jersey attracted its first new carrier in more than seven years, auto insurance companies hired more than 1,000 new agents, companies have begun to advertise for business, and large national carriers are giving New Jersey a second look.

The Governor's reforms have produced the following results for New Jersey drivers:

NJM Group is the state's largest insurer and has a 15 percent share of the New Jersey auto insurance market, insuring 742,029 vehicles. NJM, a membership company, provides insurance coverage for 664,567 vehicles. New Jersey Re-Insurance Company insures 77,462 vehicles.