August 28, 2002




TRENTON, N.J. – Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke issued a statement today regarding plans for the "Last Chance" program, which will soon offer uninsured motorists an opportunity to get legal by waiving certain surcharges imposed on drivers who have been uninsured for more than 30 days.

"We are pleased at the overwhelming response this morning to the concept of

‘Last Chance,’ and we are moving ahead with plans to have the program in place by September 16," Commissioner Bakke said. Plans call for "Last Chance" to run through the end of 2002.

Implementation of the program requires an Order to the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan. The Order will waive surcharges imposed on drivers who are referred to that program after a 30-day lapse in coverage.

The amounts waived will vary. Drivers who purchase a Basic Policy, also known as a "bare bones" policy, can save $115, or $1,035 if they have been convicted of driving without insurance. Drivers who purchase a Standard Policy that includes comprehensive and collision could save an additional $39, or an additional $351 if they have received a conviction. (However, persons with a conviction must still pay surcharges assessed by the Division of Motor Vehicles.)

Commissioner Bakke discussed plans for "Last Chance" during a Tuesday appearance on New Jersey 101.5. During the program, the Commissioner also discussed New Jersey’s Basic Policy, which she said could be an option for some drivers without insurance.

"The Basic Policy is a low-cost option created by the Legislature. While it is not for everyone, we believe that some of the thousands of New Jersey’s uninsured drivers could ‘get legal’ by purchasing this policy."

Information comparing the Basic Policy to a Standard Policy is on the Department of Banking and Insurance web site at Information on "Last Chance" will be posted shortly.

Drivers looking for information about auto insurance are encouraged to use the Auto Premium Price Comparison on the web site. Drivers who have problems finding insurance are encouraged to call the toll-free hotline, 1-800-446-SHOP, or e-mail Commissioner Bakke at