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State Farm Says It Will Quit NJ Auto Insurance Business

The New York Times is reporting that State Farm plans to quit the auto insurance business in New Jersey. No major insurer has taken this action since before Christie Whitman was elected Governor, nearly eight years ago.

It is possible that this announcement has been timed in order to extract the greatest possible concessions from the current Republican administration. Media reports have indicated that the Republican party is expected to lose both the Governor's race and possibly control of both chambers of the Assembly in elections this Fall. So, they may wish to take action to stablize the market, which has operated for a long time under rules largely defined by Republicans.

There are many obvious problems with the auto insurance market in New Jersey. It would be easy to call for dramatic reform, but that would be like calling for good weather as one goes on vacation: we all do it every year, and we get what's coming to us anyway.

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