Understanding Automobile Insurance In The Garden State

By Michael Deem

  New Jersey offers two types of automobile insurance policies that may be purchased: a Standard Policy and a Basic Policy.  A Standard Policy provides liability, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection (medical) coverage. A Basic Policy only provides personal injury protection (medical) coverage limited.  Protect yourself and choose the standard policy.

  Liability Insurance insures you against claims made by others for the property damage or personal injury you caused while operating your vehicle. Liability Insurance protects you from paying money to someone from your own pocket. Your insurance coverage will pay any monetary damage that you are required to pay to someone else but only up to your insurance policy limits. Choose your liability policy limits wisely. Most people choose liability coverage of $100,000.00, but I recommend choosing at least $250,000.00 of  liability insurance. The additional cost is usually nominal.

  Personal Injury Protection coverage is also known as “PIP” or “No Fault” Insurance. The “No Fault” concept means that your automobile insurance will provide you with personal injury protection insurance (PIP) coverage regardless of fault. In other words, it does not matter who caused the car crash. As long as you were operating, using, or getting in /out of an automobile at the time of the injury then you are covered. The “No-Fault” concept does not mean that the other driver is responsible for your medical bills. Protect yourself and choose the standard $250,000.00 in PIP Medical Expense Benefits.

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  Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM / UIM) protects you against financially irresponsible drivers. Sometimes people operate their vehicles without insurance coverage or with only very little insurance coverage, like those who operate their vehicle with a Basic Policy which was discussed earlier. If you sustain property damage or bodily injury and the person responsible does not have enough insurance to cover your loss, then you can file a claim with your insurance company under your Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage protects you and your family by providing additional insurance coverage for your loss, but only up to the policy limits that you choose. UM/UIM insurance coverage should never be less than your liability coverage. Most people choose liability coverage of $100,000.00, so your UM/UIM coverage should equal your liability coverage.

  At R.C. Shea & Associates, our automobile insurance attorney, Michael J. Deem. Esq. is here to help you with your automobile insurance questions. Please give him a call.