News Release

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

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2004

For Further Information:: Mary Cozzolino - (609) 292-5064

Sale of Low-Cost Auto Insurance Policy Nears 3,000

TRENTON - Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke announced today that the number of drivers purchasing the Dollar-a-Day auto insurance policy has increased 79 percent in just four weeks. This significant increase in enrollment shows that policyholders respond to a marketplace that provides them with choices that meet their needs.

"The jump in the number of dollar-a-day policies in just one month shows that our efforts to help uninsured drivers with limited means drive legally are working," said Governor James E. McGreevey. "By reducing the ranks of uninsured drivers we are bringing costs down for all New Jersey policyholders."

Dollar-a-Day policies protect drivers from the biggest cost an uninsured driver may cause: emergency room care after an accident. This policy provides up to $250,000 of medical coverage ensuring a certain level of compensation to trauma centers while keeping PIP costs low. The policy also provides a $10,000 death benefit.

Dollar-a-Day is available through most insurance agencies and costs $360 per year, or $365 if purchased in two six-month installments. Since its inception in October, 2,750 policies have been sold.

"We are pleased that the Dollar-a-Day policy is reaching more New Jerseyans," Commissioner Bakke said. "The policy is an integral part of a competitive marketplace that offers consumers choices of coverage and cost."

The Dollar-a-Day policy was designed to help make auto insurance available to drivers who are likely to go uninsured because of limited financial resources. Qualified candidates are limited to those enrolled in Federal Medicaid. Low-income drivers who do not have Medicaid should consider the Basic Policy, which offers minimum limits of liability and PIP coverage, as well as coverage for damage to another driver's car in the event of an accident. More than 21,000 Basic Policies have been sold.

The Governor's auto reform initiative has delivered the following results: