By Michael J. Deem
In 1998, the State of New Jersey adopted the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA) to reduce the cost of automobile insurance by reducing the benefits available to persons who are injured in automobile accidents. This means less coverage to pay for medical treatment and less rights to recover monetary damages from careless drivers who injure your family. Protect yourself.
Automobile insurance is mandatory in New Jersey. The failure to carry automobile insurance may be punishable by imprisonment.
When purchasing automobile insurance, you have two choices; you are required to select either a Basic Policy or a Standard Policy.
We do not recommend choosing the Basic Policy.
The Basic Policy only provides minimal coverage and leaves you unprotected in several areas. A Basic Policy only provides you with $5,000.00 of property damage liability coverage if someone makes a claim against you and only provides $15,000.00 of medical expense benefits should you require medical treatment for your injuries. The Basic Policy does not cover you if you injure someone else. The Basic Policy does not provide Uninsured Motorist coverage to protect you and your family if the careless driver who causes the collision is uninsured or is insured under a Basic Policy. Perhaps most importantly, the Basic Policy will not provide you with a free lawyer to defend any claim against your personal assets.
We recommend that you purchase a Standard Policy. A Standard Policy provides the best insurance coverage to protect your assets if you are sued and to provide compensation to you and your family if you/they are injured.
The Standard Policy does provide medical expense benefits (PIP) coverage which includes medical expenses up to $250,000.00 per person per accident. The Standard Policy also provides you with Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM Benefits), so if you are injured by someone who does not have automobile insurance, is insured under a Basic Policy or leaves the scene of the collision then you and your family are covered for your losses.
When you purchase the Standard Policy you must elect a “tort option” that will determine your right to make a claim. You must select either the “limitation on lawsuit option” or the “no limitation on lawsuit option.” If you purchase the Basic Policy then you are assigned the “limitation on lawsuit option.” We recommend that you choose the “no limitation on lawsuit option.” Ask your insurance representative what is the actual dollar amount that your overall premium will increase if you elect the “no limitation on lawsuit option.”
By choosing the “ limitation on lawsuit option” you are limiting you legal right to make a claim for monetary damages unless you sustain one of the following injuries: Death, Dismemberment; Significant scarring or disfigurement; Displaced Fractures; Loss of Fetus or a Permanent Injury that can been diagnosed by credible, objective medical testing.
Selecting the correct insurance coverage is extremely important when it comes to protecting your family and personal assets.
Call the Attorneys at R.C. Shea & Associates 732-505-1212 for a free evaluation of your automobile insurance policy.