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New Jersey takes steps to reduce increasing auto insurance rates

Posted On Thu, August 4, 2011

The Asbury Park Press reports that the state of New Jersey is taking steps to control rising auto insurance rates by limiting medical expense claims for people injured in automobile accidents.

Marshall McKnight, spokesman for the Department of Banking and Insurance, says that 97 percent of requested insurance rate increases are a result of personal injury protection (PIP). A number of proposed revisions to the state's PIP system would reduce costs by changing fees paid to same-day surgery centers, cutting costs on alternative providers like chiropractors and imposing limits on attorney's fees in arbitration cases.

"The goal is to control PIP costs so we do what we can to reverse this upward pressure on rates that PIP is having right now on auto insurance," said McKnight. "We've seen costs rise alarmingly over the past several years."

The new rules would prevent individuals from using "diagnostic tests or practices that are not from evidence-based, clinical guidelines published in peer-reviewed journals," according to the source.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that as of 2008, 77 percent of insured drivers purchase comprehensive packages and liability insurance, and 72 percent also bought collision coverage.

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