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General New Jersey Insurance Guidelines
New Jersey currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in New Jersey
New Jersey's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $15,000 bodily injury per person.
- $30,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $5,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
The penalties for driving without insurance in New Jersey are:
- Fines, suspension of license, jail time
- In the future, car could be impounded
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. New Jersey requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for New Jersey are required at the same level as the liability coverage you maintain.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. New Jersey is a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. New Jersey requires drivers to purchase PIP insurance. The minimum PIP coverage amounts for New Jersey are $15,000 per person per accident and up to $250,000 for certain types of injuries.
SR-22 Requirements for New Jersey
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. New Jersey requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
New Jersey DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for New Jersey are:
- Up to 30 days imprisonment
- $300–$500 if BAC is equal to or greater than 0.10%
- 3-month license suspension
- 7-month to 1-year license suspension if BAC is equal to or greater than 0.10%
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device
- Minimum $525 DWI fee
- 3 year $1,000 auto insurance surcharge
- 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
Special Insurance Regulations for New Jersey
Auto insurance is mandatory in New Jersey, but the precise amount of coverage is not specified. The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act mandated that a Basic and Standard Policy be available to all drivers.
Additional Information on Insurance for New Jersey
For more information, please contact New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance: 1-800-446-7467 or visit their website at www.state.nj.us/dobi/.
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