NJIUA was created as a legislative outgrowth of the Kerner Commission on Civil Rights, following riots in Newark, Detroit and Washington, D.C. during the summer of 1967. The Congressional sub-committee on insurance, chaired by Governor Hughes of New Jersey, found that lack of insurance was a contributing factor to high unemployment and lack of development in urban areas. The Commission recommended that states take steps to make insurance available in urban areas.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, FAIR Plans were established in 29 states. They were created by the insurance industry as a means to make property insurance more readily available to people who have difficulty obtaining coverage from voluntary market insurers because their property is considered "high risk."
The New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association was organized in 1968, pursuant to Chapter 129, laws of New Jersey. The enabling Statute 17:37A 1-22 provides that:
Essential property insurance is necessary to attract and retain private capital, supply needed goods and services, expand job opportunities, enable homeowners to obtain financing for purchase and improvement of their property, and promote orderly community development.
All voluntary admitted market insurance companies writing property insurance within New Jersey on a direct basis are members of the Association. A 21 member Board of Directors acts as the Association's policy making body. They represent insurance companies, agent and broker associations, and the general public. The New Jersey State Department of Banking and Insurance has oversight responsibility for NJIUA. Day to day activities are carried out by a staff of insurance professionals employed by the Association.