News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2005

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

Insurance Agent Open for Business in Paterson

First to open in city in more than 20 years

( TRENTON ) — New Jersey Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan today pointed to recent auto insurance reforms and a newly competitive marketplace for improving affordability and accessibility of insurance in urban centers. Speaking at the grand opening of Royale Insurance Agency, the first auto insurance agency to open in Paterson in more than 20 years, Bryan joined Mayor Joey Torres and other officials in marking the occasion.

“Royale Insurance's move into Paterson shows the state's commitment to providing choices and accessibility to all residents, whether they live in the suburbs or urban areas,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “This is further proof that auto insurance reforms are providing all drivers in New Jersey an insurance marketplace that works for them.”

“Urban residents have faced an uphill battle finding coverage for some time now,” said Acting Commissioner Bryan. “We hope companies and agencies alike continue to tailor products and services to serve a variety of market segments. Royale Insurance has shown the ability to succeed in the urban market. Not only do we wish them luck in their new home, we look forward to more competition, options and choices throughout the state in the days and months to come.”

“The 2003 auto insurance reforms are making a positive impact in urban communities,” said Royale Insurance President Remberto Perez. “The reforms have resulted in more options for urban drivers. We are now able to offer these residents the ability to choose their insurance company, rather than companies deciding whether to choose them.”

“The opening of an insurance agency in an urban area such as Paterson is a sign that the benefits from the reforms are spreading throughout the state,” said Special Deputy Commissioner Lisa Thornton. “It should give urban drivers a sense of hope and promise. It also sends a signal to insurers that urban areas represent an untapped market brimming with drivers who are responsible and want to protect their property and assets.”

Tailoring to the urban insurance market since 1978, Royale Insurance also has branches in Guttenberg and Jersey City . It offers insurance policies for auto, home and life from the most basic to the very comprehensive.

“This is a victory for drivers who live in the City of Paterson ,” said Assembly Alfred Steele (D-Paterson). “This is the latest in a series of positive signs that New Jersey 's auto insurance market is on the rebound.”

“The presence of Royale Insurance in the city will help provide residents with greater access to the auto insurance they need and deserve,” said Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Paterson). “This will put Paterson motorists in the driver's seat for better insurance coverage.”

“I welcome Royale Insurance Agency to the City of Paterson ,” said Mayor Torres. “For every large business that returns to Paterson we have seen dozens of small and mid-size businesses either returning or opening new locations. I'm proud to say that the trend has been reversed. It seems that I have a ribbon cutting almost every day.”

“The grand opening in Paterson today of Royale Insurance's third branch in New Jersey is proof that insurance reform is working," said Sen. John A. Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic . "Since the overhaul of the insurance system, we have continued to see drastic positive changes throughout the state. The newest Royale branch is another example of the faith that insurance companies have in New Jersey 's market.”

Today's announcement follows a trend of increased competition for auto insurance business in New Jersey . In the two years since the reforms: