Car insurance is an expense that you probably pay without really considering it. After all, you have to have a policy in order to legally drive on the New Jersey roads. You likely just pay your policy when it renews and never spend too much time thinking about it until you need to make a claim.
Unfortunately, drivers in New Jersey often only learn about the shortcomings of their insurance coverage when they desperately need financial support after a wreck. The way that New Jersey structures its liability insurance system means that some drivers are left without adequate coverage after a crash.
What gaps are there in the New Jersey program?
In New Jersey, drivers can register their vehicles with as little as $20,000 worth of insurance coverage Someone with a Basic Policy might have just $5,000 worth of property damage coverage and no personal injury protection for people who weren’t in their vehicle. The Basic Policy also requires that a driver carry personal injury protection, but they may have just $15,000 worth of coverage for themselves and everyone else in their vehicle.
Drivers with more robust insurance may carry higher amounts of property damage liability coverage as well as bodily injury liability coverage that will pay for injuries they cause to others. Unfortunately, if you get into a crash with someone who only has a Basic Policy, their insurance may not pay for much of your losses.
If you have uninsured or underinsured driver coverage, you may be able to make a partial claim against your own policy for some of your uncovered losses, but doing so may increase what you have to pay for your coverage in the future.
After a crash with a driver who only has a basic policy
If the driver who caused your wreck doesn’t carry adequate insurance, you may have to turn to the civil courts to pursue justice. You may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the driver that will reimburse you for any of your uncovered losses, including medical expenses and the cost to fix or replace your vehicle if that exceeds $5,000.
Understanding how insurance operates in New Jersey can help you protect yourself after getting hurt in a motor vehicle crash.