Last month, just before the Independence Day holiday weekend, the state Legislature approved Senate Bill 481/Assembly Bill 4291, which essentially would require drivers to purchase more liability insurance. Proponents argue that the bill would protect accident victims and taxpayers. “The people of New Jersey need this Legislature to protect them from themselves because we tell them what they need to get, and that’s what they get, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-22nd District, one of the prime sponsors, told NJ.com. Without the enhanced coverage, taxpayers would be forced to “subsidize unpaid medical bills” and “everything that the insurance industry doesn’t cover” under current requirements.
But opponents contend that the measure would increase insurance costs for New Jerseyans least able to afford higher premiums while offering them no added protection. In this special edition of NJBIZ Conversations, two such opponents – John Harmon, president of African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, and Eric Poe, CEO of CURE Auto Insurance – explain why the bill is unnecessary and what the Legislature should be doing for drivers struggling with high costs.