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Mercury to Sell Auto in NJ, Use Insurance Scores

Although Mercury General Insurance Company is the first major auto insurer to enter the New Jersey market in seven years and will help ease the...
August 12, 2003

Although Mercury General Insurance Company is the first major auto insurer to enter the New Jersey market in seven years and will help ease the state's auto insurance crisis, its arrival is controversial to some. That's because state regulators have approved the insurer's plan to consider drivers' credit history when setting rates.

State Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly Bakke said regulators made the decision after reviewing evidence that shows motorists with good credit have fewer and less costly automobile accident claims.

While Bakke plans to limit the use of credit scores to Mercury for the time being, until regulators can assess the effect on Mercury's customers, some expect the state's other auto insurers to demand the same concession, possibly resorting to the courts.

Fifty independent agents have contracted with Mercury to begin selling policies.