***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** SCHAER ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO NEW JERSEY’S PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) BENEFITS SYSTEM

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Assemblyman’s Committee Discussed Potential Changes to Auto Insurance Protections with Various Stakeholders for over Four Hours

(TRENTON) — Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Tuesday discussing his committee’s recent hearing on proposed changes put forth by the state Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of New Jersey’s auto insurance laws.

The committee took over four hours of testimony on the DOBI proposals Thursday from a variety of stakeholders, including auto and health insurance representatives, health care professionals, lawyers and concerned residents.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Schaer’s comments and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — www.assemblydems.com — or by clicking here.

The audio file is appended to this e-mail as an attachment.

A transcript of comments by Assemblyman Schaer is appended below:

Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee Chairman:
“The crux of today’s hearing was to ensure that New Jerseyans are paying the least amount possible for coverage for auto insurance.

“PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection; it’s a part of everyone’s auto insurance bill. Much of what you’re paying for is in terms of PIP – medical coverage in case of an accident to yourself or a passenger.

“New Jersey has an affordability problem, we recognize that. We need to drive those costs down.

“In 2002, the first steps were made to drive costs down, but we need to further reduce those costs.

“The Department of Banking and Insurance made many proposals and we heard comments from citizens, doctors, hospitals, trial attorneys; each giving their own perspective about how best we can accomplish that all-important goal.

“And I think as a result, we’re all a little bit better well- prepared for taking those steps necessary to accomplish lower costs for New Jerseyans.”