In New Jersey, when it comes to purchasing insurance for your car, you will have options. There are several avenues that you may use to comply with New Jersey car insurance requirements. Read this article to learn more about New Jersey’s insurance rates, programs, discounts and plans.
Car Insurance Requirements
To fulfill New Jersey’s car insurance laws, you must purchase insurance policy for your car. There are several basic and standard insurance policies that you can purchase.
The Basic insurance policy is more affordable option for your car. However, this option offers limited coverage. It includes the following minimum limits:
- Bodily injury liability (BDL) of $5,000 for property damage per accident
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) of $15,000 per person, per accident
- Up to $250,000 for very severe injuries such as injuries to the brain.
NOTE: Bodily injury liability coverage is not part of basic policy option; however, you are offered the option to purchase BDL coverage of $10,000.
New Jersey car insurance’s Standard policy option offers unlimited coverage but has higher premiums. The minimum limit of the Standard policy includes:
- Bodily injury liability of $15,000 per person, per accident
- $30,000 of BDL for multiple injured people per accident
- $5,000 of property damage liability (PDL) per accident
- $15,000 of Personal Insurance Protection per person in a car accident
- Up to $250,000 of PIP for permanent injuries.
Right to Sue
Standard policy is accompanied by a right to sue if you are injured in an accident. Regardless of which right to sue option you choose, you will not sue for loss of income or medical costs. These two costs are covered by your PIP. You are only eligible to sue for pain and suffering.
Unlimited Right to Sue
If you select unlimited right to sue option, you can sue a driver who caused an accident in which you were injured. This option comes with broader rights to sue, making it to have higher premiums.
Limited Right to Sue
If you go for limited right to sue option, you will be allowed to sue a person who causes an accident that leads to the following injuries:
- Loss of a body part
- Significant scarring
- Significant disfigurement
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
- Loss of a fetus
The limited right to sue option comes with cheaper premiums and it is the only option found in basic policy plan.
PIP and Health Insurance
You can make your health insurance the primary source of medical cover if you are involved in an accident. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, this insurance option is not available to you. If you make your health insurance your primary insurance cover over PIP insurance cover, your health insurance will pay for your medical costs after an accident up to your policy’s limits. Your Personal Injury Protection will pay other costs. Choosing this option will lower your car insurance premium. However, to avoid any further confusion, make sure that your health insurance covers the cost of medical treatment resulting from injuries suffered after an accident.
Optional Car Insurance
In addition to the Basic and Standard car insurance options, you may also select other optional car insurance coverages. Optional coverage typically includes:
- Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
- Towing and labor coverage
- Rental car coverage.
NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverages are not required by New Jersey car insurance law. However, if you are financing your car through a loan or lease agreement, both collision and comprehensive coverages will be required.
Special Automobile Insurance Policy
New Jersey’s Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) helps people who can’t afford standard car insurance to obtain a low-cost car insurance policy. If you are enrolled in Federal Medicaid with hospitalization, you will be eligible for insurance through SAIP. Insurance through this plan only covers medical costs after an accident. Car insurance policy through SAIP costs $365 per year payable in two installments or $360 per year if you pay upfront for entire year. You can apply for insurance coverage to SAIP through any New Jersey car insurance companies. For more information, contact Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (PAIP) at (800) 652-2471.
Car Insurance Fraud
Car insurance frauds are taken serious by this state. Possible car insurance fraud may involve:
- Faking injuries after a car accident
- Staging car crashes
- Medical professionals overcharging for treatment of injuries
- Making or having false car insurance ID cards.
Fines and Penalties
If you are caught driving without a car license, you face the following penalties:
- Jail time
- Up to $15,000 in fines
- Driver’s license suspension.
Reporting Car Insurance Fraud
If you encounter a suspected car insurance fraud, report it immediately to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) in New Jersey. You can do so through the following ways:
- Online through OIFP website
- Via email at [email protected]
- By use of OIFP hotline at (877) 553-7283
- By mail: NJ Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor P.O. Box 094 Trenton, NJ 08625-0094
The OIFP offers rewards if you report any suspected car insurance fraud. You receive a reward if your tip leads to arrest and criminal conviction. Your tip must be new; not under investigation. If you intend to submit a reward application, you must do so within 30 days of original OIFP notification.
Most Stolen Cars in New Jersey
Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen car in New Jersey include:
- Honda Civic and Honda Accord
- Dodge Caravan
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Econoline E250
- Nissan Altima
- Nissan Maxima
- Toyota Corolla.