NJ MPs: Don’t Let Car Insurance Get Off An Affordable Rock | Opinion

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Thanks to a toxic combination of inflation, record-breaking gas prices, rising interest rates and chronic labor shortages, the simple but necessary commute to town is becoming prohibitively expensive for many New Jersey residents. Previously.

Unfortunately, lawmakers will make things worse rather than better for Garden State drivers, pushing ahead with a series of bills that would increase insurance costs overall.

From filling your tank, to routine maintenance and critical repairs, to just buying a vehicle – new or used, assuming you can find plenty, the cost of everything has gone up. Coupled with the rising costs of basic necessities like groceries and rent, New Jerseyers struggle to make ends meet every day.

When they recently announced a budget agreement, Gov. Phil Murphy and lawmakers rightly recognized the need to address the effects of hyper-global inflation with a $2 billion wealth tax break program. decided to.

But whatever relief the program offers could well be controversial if lawmakers pass legislation that could increase the price of auto insurance premiums by as much as 90 percent.

Two of the five bills under consideration are particularly severe, which could force individuals and small businesses to buy as much insurance as they want or spend, potentially increasing annual premiums by $300 to $1,000. can.

Two other bills would significantly reduce or eliminate consumer choices when it comes to personal injury protection. The first would eliminate PIP options and require a $250,000 medical expense benefit under standard insurance policies. The second limits the choice of primary health insurance coverage under PIP, an option that saves drivers money.

Those two bills, if passed and signed into law, would increase PIP premiums by more than 125 percent each year — up to $650 — according to data provided by member companies of the New Jersey Insurance Council. Might be possible.

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Clearly, New Jersey residents cannot afford that increase. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All in all, the impact of these five bills on New Jersey drivers’ wallets could cause some people to give up their insurance altogether — particularly low-income drivers who already have a hefty portion of their paycheck on insurance coverage. have to be dedicated. According to the Insurance Research Council, an increase in uninsured vehicles on the road would be a threat to public safety and would reverse years of hard-earned gains that have pushed our state’s rate of uninsured motorists to a historic 3.1% — the highest in the world Country. was reduced.

Thanks to the Auto Insurance Reform Act of 2003, premium prices have fallen well below inflation over the past two decades, and auto insurance in New Jersey is more affordable and widely available than ever. However, it still ranks among the top ten tallest in the country.

In fact, legislators are ready to deliver with one side and the other a package of this ill-conceived legislation. If these bills become law, all rhetoric about exoneration for New Jersey residents at a time when the cost of living continues to rise will be over.

Now more than ever, Garden State residents need smart policies that will improve their standard of living and help protect them and their families and loved ones. These calculations do exactly the opposite. They shouldn’t come to Murphy’s table at first, but if they do, they should do the right thing and fire her immediately. New Jersey drivers are counting on it.

Christine O’Brien is Chair of the Insurance Council of New Jersey, the premier property and casualty insurance agency acting on behalf of insurers and policyholders in the Garden State.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NJ Legislators: Don’t Drive Car Insurance From Affordable Rock

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