Auto insurance industry members are calling on Governor Phil Murphy not to sign a bill passed by lawmakers last month that would raise insurance rates for more than one million New Jersey drivers.
“We are talking about safe drivers here. This is not a bill to raise rates for bad drivers. That’s not what the bill is,” says Eric Poe, CEO of CURE Auto Insurance.
Poe is among those calling on Murphy not to sign the bill, which would raise insurance rates by an average of $120 a year.
“At a time of rising inflation and gas costing $6 a gallon, how can we pass a bill that raises rates for the poorest 22% of drivers in the state of New Jersey? ” Poe asks.
CURE insures many drivers without desirable credit scores or higher education – the poorest residents who would be hardest hit by the change.
“We end up having drivers who are probably middle to low income,” says Poe.
Poe estimates that 80% of its 25,000 customers have the minimum necessary bodily injury coverage. Those minimums would increase in January, and then again three years later if the bill becomes law. Poe says he thinks many of his customers would drive without insurance as a result.
“Most drivers leaving CURE are uninsured. If they can’t afford our fare, they can’t afford any fare,” Poe says.
New Jersey State Senate President Nick Scutari, who works as a personal injury attorney, said the changes are necessary to protect those injured in car crashes.
The governor is currently out of state and vacationing in Italy until July 20. Governor Shelia Oliver currently has the power to sign or veto legislation.