News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Commissioner Holly C. Bakke

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2005

For Further Information:: Marshall McKnight - (609) 292-5064

Helping Consumers “Get Smart” About Insurance
DOBI and NAIC sponsor fourth-annual Get Smart About Insurance Week

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance in association with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) encourages consumers to review their insurance coverage during the fourth-annual Get Smart About Insurance Week, held today through Friday. Get Smart Week is about helping consumers – whether they are business owners, students or senior citizens – make informed decisions about their insurance.

“New Jersey proudly joins in this national effort to ensure that all consumers have insurance coverage that meets their needs,” Acting Governor Richard J. Codey said. “When it comes to insurance, knowledge is the best policy.”

Recent studies by the NAIC show a definite trend: A majority of Americans do not know enough about their insurance policies. Sixty-six percent of those polled each year since 2001 said they did not understand the details of their insurance policies “very well.”

Especially during Get Smart week, consumers are urged to visit the Department’s web site, Here, consumers can find contact information for companies offering all types of insurance coverages in New Jersey. Consumers will also find shopping tools, such as the online Auto Insurance Purchasing Planner and an auto insurance premium comparison.

The auto insurance premium comparison lists all of the companies that write private passenger auto insurance in New Jersey and the rates that they would charge certain “sample” drivers. This can be a valuable tool for consumers in the market for auto insurance.

“We pay insurance bills throughout the year – but usually, they are one of the bills we think least about. Consumers should shop around before buying a policy. Not every company charges the same rate for identical products and services,” Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke said. “We offer valuable information on the Department’s web site to help consumers make smart choices about their insurance.”

Consumers without web access are urged to call the Department’s hotline at 1-800-446-7467 or the Get Smart Hotline at 1-866-SMARTWEEK to get information on what they should expect from insurance. The NAIC and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance serve as objective sources of information that can help consumers understand the complexities of insurance coverage. The mission of the Department of Banking and Insurance is to enforce insurance laws and protect and educate consumers.