News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan

For Immediate Release: March 23, 2005

For Further Information: Jaimee Gilmartin - (609) 292-5064

Auto Insurance Report Reveals a Competitive Fast Lane

TRENTON – The State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is proud to release the second annual auto insurance report since reforms reshaped the marketplace. The goal of the reforms was to create a climate where companies would compete for drivers and consumers would have the tools they need to make informed choices. The report released today by Acting Governor Richard J. Codey and the Department shows that New Jersey residents are well on the road toward the goal set by the reforms.

“New Jersey consumers are in the driver’s seat,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “The state’s auto insurance marketplace offers more choices for consumers and that means lower costs. New Jersey has become the kind of marketplace where companies want to do business and grow.”

Policyholders can look forward to:

“The difference between the auto insurance market three years ago and the market today is that a new auto insurance company coming to New Jersey is no longer big news,” said former New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke, who delivered the second annual auto insurance report before leaving office. “In 2005, New Jersey drivers will find even more choices in companies, coverage and cost, as well as greater investment in New Jersey by auto insurers.”

The report’s executive summary states that new growth in the marketplace will build on the progress made in 2004. Last year’s highlights include:

“Over the next year, the Department will remain focused on recruiting new companies, retaining existing carriers, and exploring how technology can be used to reduce risk and lower rates,” said Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan. “Consumers can look forward to more good news.”

The good news for consumers continues this month when Esurance will begin writing private passenger auto policies in New Jersey. Esurance follows GEICO and Mercury General into the state’s auto insurance marketplace. Esurance joins GEICO as the second company approved to write private passenger auto insurance online.

The auto insurance report predicts more good news in the future for New Jersey residents. In the days ahead, the State of New Jersey is committed to driving reform even further down the road to competition and choice for all consumers.

The auto insurance report is available on the Department’s web site.