OAIN: NJ Auto Insurance Legislation Could Affect Pricing, Lawsuit Options

New Jersey legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills related to car insurance this session, reports Online Auto Insurance News.

Online PR News – 24-January-2012 – – About seven pieces of legislation introduced to the New Jersey Legislature this session could have implications for insurers’ pricing practices and the situations in which policyholders can sue after an accident, according to Online Auto Insurance News.

At least five of the bills would alter laws regarding how providers of auto insurance in New Jersey approve customers for coverage and set their prices.

Two of the bills would limit the amount of information insurers could use in this process.

One would bar them from taking into consideration any negative driving events that took place while the motorist was driving for volunteer purposes. (That would include things like the unpaid transportation of goods for a nonprofit company.)

a serious life impact

The other would stop insurance providers from using—and even asking about—applicants’ education level and occupation to help gauge the risk that they pose.

A separate bill would simply require insurers to notify policyholders if their education level and occupation negatively affected their rating.

Another bill affecting pricing practices would officially allow insurers to use data—“such as vehicle speed, mileage, brake application, engine throttle and seat belt usage”—collected from telematics devices to help set rates.

The final pricing-related bill would affect the cost of coverage indirectly. Assembly Bill 902 would boost the at-fault accident threshold from $500 to $1,000. That means smaller accidents may be less likely to show up on a New Jersey resident’s driving history, which could help keep coverage costs lower.

Two bills would affect how the state’s limited-lawsuit option works. Motorists in New Jersey have the choice of having a limited or unlimited right to sue at-fault drivers for noneconomic damages (like pain and suffering). Those who choose the limited right to sue can get a price break of 30 percent, on average, and can still sue in a handful of situations.

One bill would expand those situations to include accidents in which the at-fault driver was convicted of driving under the influence.

The other would slightly narrow the situations in which limited-lawsuit policyholders could sue. Currently, policyholders with this option can still sue if their accident results in permanent injury. But this bill would limit that to only permanent injuries that cause “a serious life impact” to the person permanently injured.

Source: www.njleg.state.nj.us/" target="_blank" class="highlight_link">http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/

To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/new-jersey/ where visitors will have access to informative resource pages and the site’s free-to-use quote-comparison generator.

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