Back in November of 2019, Chip, Jesse Sipe, Brett Rosen and I met with New Jersey Commissioner Marlene Caride and her team in Trenton. The meeting was very informative and a good start to hopefully a long-standing relationship between the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey, the plaintiff’s Bar, and the Commissioner’s office.

As Commissioner, Ms. Caride is the head of the enforcement of current statutes, rules, and regulations in the New Jersey insurance industry. She cannot be involved with current pending legislation or give a formal opinion on any currently pending legislation. If there are two things I learned from the meeting with Commissioner Caride, it’s that she is committed to enforcing the current rules and compiling a database of insurance “bad actors” in the State of New Jersey. Second, she needs our help. Commissioner Caride needs everyone’s help in building the database against bad insurance companies and their representatives. The only way that can happen is if you all report them. The instructions on how to report your New Jersey claim can be found here.

By you filing a complaint showing bad faith adjusting/negotiating against your insurance company, that gives insureds in New Jersey a chance to level the playing field with New Jersey Bill S-1559 and A-1659. Recently, certain insurance companies in New Jersey have started an aggressive propaganda campaign to scare consumers/insureds from advocating for the New Jersey Fair Conduct Act. For example:

This letter was sent to many insureds in an attempt to scare them away from the new bill. It gives false claims of increased insurance coverage premiums and blames “special interests” behind the legislation are trying to create an imbalance in the present system. Well, those “special interests” are the interest of each insured in New Jersey and the only reason we, as insureds, are trying to create an imbalance in the system, is because it is already imbalanced. In the State of New Jersey, statutes, rules, and case law heavily favor the insurance company, and it’s not even close. In 2018, I blogged about Rutgers Law Professor Jay Feinman’s article debunking the increased premium myth. Mr. Feinman said that, “since the Supreme Court established the current rule in 1993, only one case has even made it to a jury trial.” One case in 27 years! That does not seem like a fair balance to me. Nor does it seem fair for insureds to reduce the amount of their recovery to hire a public adjuster or an attorney to fight for their contractually obligated rights.

Call your local representative and ask them why they aren’t voting to pass A-3850/A-4293 in the Assembly to protect insureds.

I leave you with a quote from Professor Mason Cooley: “Bad faith makes the most of every ambiguity.”