Over the past couple of months, I unmasked “A Dirty Little Secret in Car Insurance” (N.J.L.J., July 12, 2021) and spoke of a “Half-Pregnant Public Policy” (N.J.L.J., Aug. 2, 2021)—all to bring awareness to how income proxies have been used in the New Jersey car insurance marketplace, secretly harming many safe drivers simply because they happen to have the lowest incomes. While I have personally crusaded against these proxies now for over the past 16 years, I felt I should also shed light on other New Jersey insurance laws that were originally meant to protect consumers that have also been eroded. Specifically, I point to several laws that were clearly created to help protect lower income drivers and prevent car insurers from surreptitiously and unfairly discriminating against unsuspecting consumers, but which simply no longer have any “teeth.” 

The Protection Against ‘Unfairly Discriminatory’ Rates

Like most other states that mandate car insurance, the New Jersey legislature has language in place to protect consumers from rating factors that are “unfairly discriminatory.”