What car insurance coverage is required in New Jersey?

If you’re looking to move or have recently moved to New Jersey, or are simply looking to evaluate your existing policy, it can be helpful to know exactly what coverage is required by the state.

This guide outlines basic coverage, the bare minimum required to operate a vehicle, as well as standard coverage, which offers more protection and more rights should you pursue legal action.

Many options are available to give you added protection over-and-above the minimum coverage described in this article. Most people will want to speak to their insurance agent to select the coverage that is right for your unique situation.

Basic coverage

Anyone that drives a car in New Jersey must at the very least have a “basic” auto insurance policy. According to state law the least expensive basic policy must provide:

  • Property damage coverage of $5,000. This is insurance that pays for damage to the other driver’s vehicle if you are found at fault in an accident, and
  • Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) of at least $15,000. PIP covers you for medical costs after an accident and loss of wages if you are unable to work.

Standard coverage

Standard coverage is the most popular type of insurance purchased in New Jersey. It includes the same limits for property damage and personal injury protection as a basic policy and adds coverage for bodily injury liability.

  • Bodily injury liability: This coverage covers other people involved in an accident when you’re found at fault. It can help pay for the other parties’ medical expenses, loss of income and any pain and suffering they claim. The standard coverage comes with a $15,000 limit for accidents involving one injured party and a $30,000 limit if multiple people are injured.

The Right to Sue

One of the biggest differences between basic and standard coverage is that basic limits your ability to sue the other party in an accident for your pain and suffering. If you purchase standard coverage you can select to pay for the the unlimited right to sue. Whichever option you select you can still sue the other party for medical expenses and lost wages.

Uninsured or underinsured drivers

If you opt for a standard insurance policy you can add uninsured/underinsured bodily injury liability coverage that protects you when another driver is found at fault but either doesn’t have coverage or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover your bills. You can also add uninsured motorist property damage coverage that pays for repairs to your vehicle.

Don’t just guess—ask an agent

Qualified auto insurance agents can help you figure out how much auto insurance coverage you should have, not just what you need. Contact John B Wright today for a free consultation to find a policy that fits your needs.