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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance

Commissioner Tom Considine

For Immediate Release:
December 6, 2011

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

Commissioner’s Symposium Highlights Evolving
New Jersey Insurance Regulatory Environment

EAST BRUNSWICKActing Governor Kim Guadagno updated approximately 350 insurance executives about the state of the economy at the first Commissioner’s Insurance Symposium hosted by the Department of Banking and Insurance at the East Brunswick Hilton on November 30.

The event included breakout sessions, panels and roundtables as well as an opportunity for industry members to ask questions of Department staff in both a formal and informal manner.

Serving as the keynote speaker, Acting Governor Guadagno detailed the Administration’s recent accomplishments and continued plans for economic growth.

“New Jersey has started to make the tough decisions that every state needs to make,” she said, citing the rollback of duplicative and unnecessary regulation that stifles businesses’ ability to succeed.

The Commissioner’s Insurance Symposium themed: “Bridging the Regulatory Divide: The Evolving New Jersey Insurance Regulatory Environment” also examined some of the Department’s efforts to reduce red tape. 

During the welcome address DOBI Commissioner Tom Considine emphasized the Department’s renewed focus to promote growth in the industries it regulates while at the same time protecting and educating consumers. He noted that since his tenure began in January 2010, the Department admitted 41 new insurers and extended new business lines to 56 carriers, marking gains from both 2008 and 2009. He also detailed the Department’s continuously increasing outreach to the industries it regulates.

Above, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno at the Commissioner's Insurance Symposium. Below left, Commissioner Tom Considine.




“We at DOBI need to be in the relationship business,” Considine said. “Today we hear your concerns, and your perspectives and you can ask us questions. Additionally, representatives from DOBI continuously perform outreach to industry members and therefore have a true understanding of the most prominent issues facing businesses, a top priority, and receive valuable feedback.”

The agenda included a press roundtable discussion with reporters Nick Acocella, Politifax; Kevin McArdle, NJ101.5 Radio; Zack Fink, WWOR My9 News and Steve Kornacki,, who gave their views on New Jersey’s current political landscape, redistricting and the recent election results.

Following the press roundtable, concurrent breakout sessions with experts in the insurance field discussed topics such as federal health reform, reinsurance market changes and the state’s emerging captive insurance market. The conversations were moderated by members of the Department.

“The breakout sessions covered topics across the board,” said Considine. “If it is a timely issue in the insurance industry, particularly in New Jersey, we addressed it.”

Life Insurance and Annuity Products panelists included: Karen Schutter, Executive Director, Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission; Kelly Ireland, Senior Counsel, American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI); Patricia Kelley, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Prudential Annuities and Joseph DeCresce, Counsel, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Panelists discussed market changes and how they will impact insurers, producers and consumers.

Panelists discussed current regulatory and industry perspectives on Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which is auto accident medical insurance.  The panel included: Gerard Malanga, MD; Jeanne Heisler, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New Jersey; Bill Vowteras, Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey; Mitchell Livingston, Vice President and Corporate Counsel, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Companies; and Joseph Brennan, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Fraud Deterrence. 

Experts in the health insurance field looked ahead to describe what health care markets may be like after reform is completed in 2016. Panelists included Dr. Alfred F. Tallia, MD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, RWJ Medical School; Colleen Woods, New Jersey Health IT Coordinator, Governor’s Office; Ward Sanders, President, New Jersey Association of Health Plans and Dave Knowlton, President and CEO, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.

New Jersey’s new Captive Insurance market was the focus of discussion by the panel of: Rick Mills, partner, McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP; Richard W. Wright, Senior Vice President, Willis Captive Consulting Practice; Bruce Wright, Partner, Dewey & LeBeoeuf, LLP; Mario J. Vitiello, President, Risk Transfer Strategies, LLC and Lois H. Fuchs, Assistant Treasurer-Risk Management, Honeywell, Corporate Risk Management.

How the insurance industry responds to catastrophes was covered by panelists from the public and private sector including:  Lt. Colonel Jerome Hatfield, Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security, New Jersey State Police; Joe Picciano, Deputy Director for Preparedness, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; Lori Hennon-Bell, Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Prudential Financial, Inc. and Chair of the Financial Services Sector Working Group; John Mulhern, Partner, Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP; Richard Schlesinger, Chief of Reinsurance and Surplus Lines, DOBI and Karen Clark, President and CEO, Karen Clark and Co. and founder of Applied Insurance Research.

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New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance