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New Jersey Minimum Coverage Limits for Auto Insurance Set to Increase in 2023

In New Jersey, an injured person’s right to sue and the amount they may ultimately get paid for their pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills may depend upon the decisions made when the auto insurance policy was bought for their household, or the car they occupied. As a result, buying car insurance is a major decision not to be taken lightly, and it may have dire consequences to someone injured no matter who caused the accident. A new law effective as of January 1, 2023, changes the minimum auto insurance requirements in New Jersey.

New Jersey Minimum Coverage Limits for Auto Insurance Set to Increase in 2023

Fifty years ago, New Jersey adopted No-Fault insurance that required all New Jersey cars carry liability insurance of no less than $15,000. Putting that in perspective, in 2023 dollars, $15,000 would amount to $106,834. New Jersey was long overdue for a coverage change, but it falls short of inflation.

The change applies to all policies, except the dollar-a-day policy for certain drivers who have no assets and are on public assistance. Driving without liability insurance is against the law and could result in both motor vehicle convictions and loss of the ability to sue for injuries.

The new law requires that upon renewal, New Jersey drivers’ minimum liability coverage will increase in two phases. All standard auto insurance policies issued after January 1, 2023, must provide at least:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage equal to the minimum bodily injury liability

 The minimum coverage limits for standard auto policies issued after January 1, 2026, will increase to:

  • $35,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $70,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage equal to the minimum bodily injury liability

2023 New Jersey Auto Insurance Explained

Drivers have two main options regarding auto insurance policies in New Jersey. The first option is a basic auto insurance policy, which provides minimal coverage but is much cheaper than a “standard” auto policy. The basic policy is a special policy to help make limited auto insurance coverage available to drivers who are eligible for Federal Medicaid with hospitalization. Such drivers can obtain a medical coverage-only policy at a cost of $365 a year.

A basic New Jersey auto insurance policy includes:

  • $5,000 in property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • An option for $10,000 in bodily injury liability

It also provides only a Limited Right to Sue another driver after a crash. The changes to New Jersey’s auto insurance minimum requirements do not affect basic policies.

For those not on public assistance, the minimum requirement is met for New Jersey drivers by the standard auto insurance policy.

The current minimum coverage requirements for a standard auto policy are:

  • $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 in property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • An option for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
  • An option for collision or comprehensive coverage

Standard auto policies can include a Limited or Unlimited Right to Sue, depending on how much a driver wants to pay in premiums.

If you are hurt in a crash, your first option for recovering compensation is your PIP coverage. Your PIP pays according to the applicable policy for medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. Your options for recovering additional compensation depend on your insurance coverage and who caused the crash. If you were mostly at fault for the accident, you will still be able to get your medical bills paid and lost wages from your household auto insurance policy or, if you have none, then from the car you occupied. But if the other driver was to blame, their insurance provider should cover your property damage repairs and certain other losses up to their policy limits.

You may have to file a lawsuit against the other driver to get full compensation. The no-fault insurance policy that applies to you determines whether you can pursue non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. If that policy has a Limited Right to Sue, you will be subject to the “verbal threshold.” In that case, you must show you suffered a permanent injury before you can sue for your pain and suffering non-economic damages. Drivers with standard auto policies that include an Unlimited Right, also called “no threshold” or “zero threshold,” can sue for pain and suffering after sustaining any injury and need not show a permanent injury.

An important exception is when the accident is caused by a truck or commercial vehicle. In that case, no threshold applies, and an injured person can sue for all injuries, whether permanent or not.

When buying car insurance, it is critical not to buy the minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. The minimum offered is $15,000, but we recommend that everyone purchase $250,000 in primary medical coverage when buying auto insurance.

The law can be tricky to figure out who pays the medical bills for people that do not own, drive, or live with a family member that owns a car. To find the answer to that, we recommend that you visit www.pipulator.com for guidance.

How Will This Change Impact New Jersey Drivers?

New Jersey Advance Media reports that over one million drivers could see their premiums rise in 2023 due to the increase in minimum auto insurance coverage in NJ. Supporters of the insurance changes argue higher premiums are worth it to provide better coverage for injured parties. Still, the full effects of the increased insurance requirements remain to be seen. To learn more about New Jersey’s auto insurance system and how the upcoming changes could affect your policy, contact the NJ car accident lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C.

Reach Out to a Knowledgeable New Jersey Car Accident Attorney Today

Have you been hurt in a car accident in New Jersey? Are you worried about how complicated NJ auto insurance laws and regulations could impact your personal injury case? Then contact Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in New Jersey.

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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.