For the Senate voting session on Thursday, July 26, 2018

Senate Bill 2432

On behalf of our member companies that provide more than 1 million jobs in the state and make the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) the largest statewide business association in the country, we respectfully OPPOSE Senate Bill 2432, sponsored by Senator Scutari, which permits recovery of certain medical expenses as uncompensated economic loss in civil action for damages arising from automobile accident.

To start, NJBIA sees this legislation as premature. As specified in the statement of the bill, The Supreme Court of New Jersey has reviewed briefs on this issue detailing the history of no-fault legislation and the effect of the Appellate Division’s decision on the state’s PIP coverage scheme. The Supreme Court has recently granted a petition for certification in this case, and oral arguments are expected in the fall. This is a complex issue that involves a complicated statutory and regulatory scheme, and we ask that the Senate hold S2432 until a decision is delivered by the Supreme Court.

NJBIA also places a strong and consistent focus on the quality and affordability of insurance coverage in New Jersey, including auto insurance. The state has been successful in preserving its no-fault insurance system, which provides New Jersey residents with available and affordable auto insurance coverage. One of the main goals of the state’s no-fault system is to address legal delays and costs by keeping minor claims of auto-related medical expenses out of the legal system. The creation of PIP arbitration, medical protocols, and fee schedules has done this well.

This bill will reverse this trend towards affordable auto insurance by creating a fault-based system of auto insurance in New Jersey. This will increase litigation and medical costs for insurance companies, ultimately resulting in increased auto insurance costs for New Jersey residents.

For these reasons, we respectfully oppose this legislation, and ask that the Senate hold the bill until a decision is delivered by the Supreme Court on this issue.

Thank you for your consideration of our comments.

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