TRENTON, N.J., June 6 -- The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued the following news release:
Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski today announced that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has been approved to write auto insurance in New Jersey, and the company will begin offering auto policies in August. The approval means that nine of the nation's top ten auto insurers are now writing policies in New Jersey.
"We are very pleased to welcome a company of the size and stature of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. to New Jersey," said Commissioner Kobylowski. "This is positive news for consumers as it gives them more choices. The company's decision to begin offering auto insurance policies here also indicates that the State's insurance market is strong and that the Administration's pro-growth policies continue to draw business to the State."
Nationwide, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, will initially market the auto policies over the phone, through the Internet and through Nationwide's agents in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
"Nationwide is excited about this opportunity and the commitment the State and the Department have made to enhance the regulatory climate in New Jersey," said Mark Pizzi, president and chief executive officer of Nationwide Insurance. "They have opened the doors to more choices for New Jersey residents and Nationwide is pleased to be part of this vibrant market. Expanding into the Garden State is an important step in Nationwide's goal to become a truly national brand."
The arrival of Nationwide means that nine of the nation's top ten auto insurers are writing auto insurance policies in New Jersey. The other top eight are: State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Farmers, USAA, Liberty Mutual and Travelers. (American Family, the ninth largest auto insurance company, by premium, in the U.S. does not write insurance in the Eastern region of the country.)
Overall there are 77 active insurance companies and 35 insurance groups writing auto policies in New Jersey with a total of 5.4 million exposures and $6.82 billion in written premiums in 2013.
Nationwide is not new to the New Jersey insurance and financial services marketplace. Nationwide offers auto insurance in New Jersey through Harleysville Insurance Co. and Harleysville Preferred Insurance Company of Pennsylvania. Nationwide merged with Harleysville in 2012. Nationwide wrote auto insurance in New Jersey previously, but left the market in 1981.
Many Nationwide Financial Services and Nationwide Agribusiness products have been available to New Jersey residents for years. Additionally, Scottsdale, Nationwide's excess and surplus and specialty insurance company, has served the New Jersey market for more than 30 years.
"Nationwide's entry into the market is a major milestone for New Jersey," said Commissioner Kobylowski. "The fact that we now have nine of the nation's ten largest insurance companies writing auto insurance here is a both a testament to the strength and competitiveness of the market and another indication that New Jersey is a good place to do business."