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AASP/NJ ‘Not Optimistic’ of New State Insurance Commissioner

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June 29, 2015—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on June 22 that N.J. Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski would be stepping down later this summer, and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) released a statement Friday saying it is “not optimistic” about the man Gov. Christie selected as a replacement.

Kobylowski had held the position since 2012 and will officially end his duties as Commissioner on Aug. 1, at which time Richard J. Badolato, a corporate trial attorney and former N.J. Bar president and chairman of the N.J. Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, will take over the position.

“We have seen the Department [of Banking and Insurance] take sides with insurers over New Jersey consumers with valid issues first hand on far too many occasions to ever think that we can rely on the Department to challenge the might of insurers,” Charles Bryant, executive director for AASP/NJ said in a statement. “We have lost confidence in that we will be able to get the Department to support changes that would help resolve the many problems the industry is faced with on a daily basis, no matter who the Insurance Commissioner is.”

While Bryant’s outlook on the coming changes are bleak, he said is still holding out latent hope that the new commissioner will help the industry make the necessary changes for repairers and consumers to thrive, and he has stated that the association will work fervently and without bias with the new commissioner to create positive changes in the industry.

“We have had our ups and downs with the Department over the last 30 years,” adds AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell. “So it’s hard to say what someone new will bring to the table. But we are always happy to at least get a chair at that table. Hopefully that will continue with the appointment of Commissioner Badolato.”

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