Auto insurance policies have several different types of coverage under the policy, some of which are mandatory coverages while others may be optionally selected by the insured party. In addition, policyholders can select the total dollar amount of coverage, subject to a minimum coverage amount for mandatory coverages, as required by state law. If you own a vehicle, it is important to know what kinds of coverages are available to you, what they cover, and what you are required to have under your policy.
Base Insurance Coverage
Base coverage in an auto insurance policy usually refers to the liability coverage available under the policy. Liability coverage pays out when you cause a car accident to compensate someone for their personal injuries and property damage. Each state requires drivers to carry a minimum of liability coverage. In New Jersey, these minimums are $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $5,000 per accident for property damage. Although many drivers only carry the minimum of liability coverage to help keep their insurance costs down, it can be helpful to carry more than the minimum coverage since you may be personally on the hook to provide additional compensation in the event you cause a serious accident.
Collision coverage pays to repair a vehicle damaged in an accident, or when the cost of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle or the vehicle is too heavily damaged to be safely repaired (when the vehicle is “totaled”), pays out the cash value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. Collision coverage may be waived for a vehicle that the owner owns outright; if you lease a vehicle or if you have a car note on your vehicle, the bank will likely require you to obtain this coverage to ensure that the bank’s interest in your vehicle is protected.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage not caused by an accident, such as weather-related or theft-related damage. Comprehensive coverage can be expensive and is often only obtained for vehicles leased or bought on loan, although anti-theft devices can help lower the cost of this coverage.
Personal Injury Protection
In New Jersey, drivers are also required to carry personal injury protection coverage under their policy. This coverage pays for medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses (such as lost wage) you and your passengers incur due to injuries suffered in an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. New Jersey requires drivers to have at least $15,000 of personal injury protection coverage, although the law also requires auto insurers to provide up to $250,000 in coverage, regardless of the selected limit, if the insured suffers significant or permanent spinal cord or brain injury or other significant injury requiring critical care.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when you are injured in a car accident caused by someone who doesn’t have auto insurance, or whose auto insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your economic damages. Uninsured motorist coverage may also be available if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver who cannot be identified.
Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Hwy. E. Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.