No matter how much you drive or how good of a driver you are, car insurance is a legal and moral requirement. Auto insurance can help to save lives by covering health insurance for anyone you may injure, including yourself, but only if you have sufficient coverage.
Every state has different laws on minimum required insurance coverage. New Jersey follows the $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 rule, meaning $15,000 for bodily injury per person injured with a maximum of $30,000 per accident, as well as up to $5,00 for additional property damage. While this is enough to handle small accidents with minimal physical and property damage, it’s not enough to cover the treatment of any serious injuries or extensive property damage. This is why it is a required minimum: it ensures everyone has the insurance to cover minor accidents, but not everyone can afford further insurance.
If you can afford anything more than the minimum coverage, you will want to get as much insurance as you can. It’s a situation where you never want to have to use it, but you want as much coverage as possible if you do need it. There are certain types of insurance that you definitely want to invest in.
Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage will help you if you get into an accident with a driver that either doesn’t have insurance, or their insurance isn’t enough to cover your expenses. This is especially relevant in New Jersey, where a 2015 study found that 14.9% of motorists are uninsured (Florida has the highest rate of uninsured motorists at 26.7% uninsured). If you get injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you are on the hook for all of your expenses.
Personal injury protection insurance covers the costs related to any bodily injury you sustained during an accident, whether or not you were at fault for the accident. This is another type of coverage you might want to splurge on. Health care costs can be exorbitant, and you don’t want to be left hanging when the other driver’s insurance runs out.
Extended BI and PD Coverage
As previously mentioned, New Jersey law already requires a minimum level of bodily injury and property damage insurance. We highly recommend that you get more. You don’t want to be stuck in the situation where you are the underinsured motorist and have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket. In the State of New Jersey, you can get coverage for up to $250,000 for bodily harm per person and up to $500,000 total in bodily injury coverage, and up to $100,000 in property damage coverage.
In summary, you want as much insurance as you can afford, with significant value being given to UM/UIM and PIP coverage. If you have recently been involved in a New Jersey car accident and are unsure if your insurance company is providing the coverage they promised, contact our team at Seigel Law. We’re here to help you through your recovery.