DOBI making progress; will not hike fees

TRENTON – There are no fee hikes expected by the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI)and the budget will remain the same, Commissioner Ken Kobylowski told the Assembly Budget Committee Thursday.

DOBI is in charge of regulating several industries in the state: banks, insurance companies, credit unions, pawnbrokers, check cashing places, and real estate agencies, among others.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, DOBI has received some 3,400 consumer calls, with 2,032 of them calling for formal assistance, Kobylowski said. Much of that had to with homeowners experiencing delays with receiving proceeds from their insurance companies for any damages their properties incurred.

In all, some 448,000 claims were made, totaling $4 billion, he said. Some 95 percent of home insurance claims have been resolved and 92 percent for auto claims.

Still, Kobylowski said more resolutions need to take place.

“We are not resting,” he said. “There are still unresolved claims.”

He said a new insurance company has moved to New Jersey, specifically to handle coastal property claims, which he described as a positive sign.

“New companies coming into New Jersey indicate confidence,” he said. 

He added that a more “expeditious process” has been set up to fast-track cases of commercial properties that have been foreclosed.

The average foreclosure case, beginning to end, lasts about 900 days, he said. DOBI making progress; will not hike fees