TRENTON -- A bid to make it illegal for New Jersey auto insurers to use a driver's job and educa... Senators rebuff auto insura
The defeat came after a member of Governor Corzine's administration and insurers argued the bill would impair competition and drive up rates after recent changes have helped bring more insurers to the state, which has the nation's highest auto insurance rates.
"Competition is working for consumers and it will continue to work if reforms are allowed to progress," said Hank Nayden, a Geico vice president.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Nia Gill, the lone member of the five-member committee to support the proposal. She implored senators to at least release the bill so it could be debated on the Senate floor, but foes wouldn't yield.
Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Cresskill, said it's reasonable to use such factors when deciding rates and that the proposal would increase insurance costs for many drivers.
Sheila Kenny of the state Department of Banking and Insurance said it could roll back reforms that have helped make auto insurance more affordable and available.
Monday's debate came after New Jersey Citizen Action last week said it obtained 449 rate quotes from Geico's Web site and found the average for those without a college degree was 19 percent higher than for those who have one, while the average for those with a blue collar-type job was 27 percent higher than those with a professional job.
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