No matter what state highways you’re cruising on, car insurance should always be at the top of your priorities as far as driving goes. Whether you are a new driver in the state of New Jersey or just scoping out your options for the best car insurance rates, let’s break down some of the main things you should keep in mind when shopping for car insurance in the Garden State.

Car Insurance Requirements In New Jersey

If you were to ever be involved in a traffic accident in New Jersey, it would be in everyone’s best interest for you to have proper insurance coverage. The state of New Jersey has several different routes you can take to make sure that you are insured. In order to abide by the insurance laws of the Garden State, you will need to choose between a basic and standard insurance policy.

The Basic Policy

The Basic policy option is on the cheaper side of the two packages, but it only comes with limited coverage. This coverage includes:

  • Property damage liability: $5,000 per accident to cover any damages you may have caused to another party’s property in a car accident.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): $15,000 per person, per accident to cover any injuries that you might suffer from as a result of a car crash.
  • Coverage for extremely severe injuries: $250,000 to cover medical costs for serious injuries like permanent brain damage.

One of the drawbacks to purchasing the Basic policy is that bodily injury liability coverage is not included in the package. However, if you want to add it to your plan for peace of mind, most policyholders will give you the option to add it to your plan with about $10,000 of bodily injury liability coverage.

The Standard Policy

The Standard policy option is going to cost you more, but it also offers a lot more coverage. This policy covers:

  • Bodily injury liability: a minimum of $15,000 per person, per accident to cover the injuries of the other party if the accident was your fault and a minimum of $30,000 if multiple people were injured in the accident.
  • Property damage liability: a minimum of $5,000 to cover the damages that you inflicted in an accident. 
  • Personal injury protection: a minimum of $15,000 per person.
  • Personal injury protection for serious or irreversible injuries: up to $250,000 for serious injuries such as brain damage or paralysis.

When you choose the Standard policy, you will also have to decide where you stand on your right to sue if you are injured in an accident. Keep in mind that no matter what decision you make regarding your right to sue, you cannot sue for medical expenses or lost wages. This is because your insurance will already have those covered.

There are two options you can choose when it comes to your right to sue:

  • Unlimited right to sue: This option allows you to sue any person who is at-fault for an accident that caused you to be injured. Since this option comes with a wider range of rights to sue, you will have to pay a higher premium for this option.
  • Limited right to sue: This option will only allow you to sue the person who is at-fault for the accident if you end up enduring any of the following injuries:
    • Losing a body part.
    • Severe disfigurement.
    • Severe scarring.
    • Displaced fractures.
    • Losing a fetus if you were pregnant.
    • Permanent injury.
    • Death.

This selection is cheaper than the unlimited right to sue option as well as the only option you can choose if you selected the Basic policy plan.

Optional Car Insurance

Besides the Basic and Standard car insurance selections, the majority of New Jersey car insurance companies will also offer the following coverages as add-ons:

  • Comprehensive: If your car ever gets damaged due to a reason other than a car accident such as vandalism or weather, comprehensive coverage will take care of that for you.
  • Collision: This is the coverage that will pay for the repairs on your car, should you ever be in an accident with another car.
  • Towing and labor coverage: If you ever need to get your car towed or have maintenance done on the spur of the moment, this coverage will help you pay for that.
  • Rental car coverage: If you ever get in an accident and need to rent a car, this coverage will cover the fees.

It’s important to remember that while comprehensive and collision coverages are not mandatory by law in New Jersey, you will need them if you are leasing a car or took out a car loan.

As you can see, there are a lot of different options for car insurance in New Jersey depending on what it is you are looking for. Make sure to do your research and talk to an insurance agent before purchasing so that you can get the best policy for your circumstances.

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