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Get Legal with New Jersey's Basic Auto Insurance Policy

Auto insurance is mandatory in New Jersey
, but the type and cost of that coverage can vary significantly. Every day, consumers are finding that there are options available to make it easier to comply with the law. The Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act mandated that a Basic Policy be available to all drivers.

It is important to realize that you are breaking the law if you drive uninsured. The penalties for driving uninsured are getting more severe — in addition to risking economic loss by not having insurance protection, you risk fines, suspension of driver's license or registration and even time in jail. In the future, your car could be impounded if you are caught behind the wheel without coverage.

Below we will review the Basic Policy. The Basic Policy offers less protection, but at a lower cost than the Standard Auto Insurance Policy.

More resources
  Standard Automobile Insurance Policy
Find a PAIP producer (or call 1-800-652-2471)
Auto Insurance Purchasing Planner (interactive guide to buying a policy)
Who should consider buying the Basic Policy?

The Basic Policy should be considered by those with few family responsibilities and few real assets. It can provide a transition for younger drivers who are just beginning work, providing a basic, minimum protection when they may be least able to afford more comprehensive coverage.

Please Note
If you do not have any liability coverage, you are responsible for paying for the pain, suffering and other personal hardships and some economic damages, such as lost wages, that you cause. The insurer will not provide or pay for a lawyer to represent you if you are sued. Your assets will be at risk, including the risk of having money deducted from your wages if a judgment is entered against you. And, if you lack coverage and someone hits you, you cannot sue.
Where can I purchase the Basic Policy?
A Basic Policy may be purchased through any New Jersey licensed insurance producer. New Jersey law exempts producers from liability on account of selling insurance with the minimum required coverage.
Differences Between Basic and Standard Policies

The chart below compares the differences between the Standard and Basic policies and explains the amounts of coverage you may be able to purchase from an insurer.

Type of Coverage
Standard Policy
Basic Policy
Bodily Injury Liability   
Coverage for claims and lawsuits by people injured as a result of an auto accident you cause
As low as: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident

As high as:
$250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident
Coverage is not included but $10,000 coverage for all persons, per accident, is available as an option
Property Damage Liability   
Coverage for claims and lawsuits by people whose property is damaged as a result of an auto accident you cause
As low as: $25,000 per accident

As high as: $100,000 or more
$5,000 per accident
Personal Injury Protection   
Coverage for injuries sustained in an automobile accident by you or other persons covered under your policy
As low as: $15,000 per person or accident

As high as: $250,000 or more

Up to $250,000 for certain injuries* regardless of of selected limit
$15,000 per person, per accident

Up to $250,000 for certain injuries*

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Coverage pays for property damage or bodily injury if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist (a driver who does not have the minimum level of insurance required by law) or a driver who is insured, but who has less coverage than your underinsured motorist coverage

Coverage is available up to amounts selected for liability coverage None
Coverage for damage to your
vehicle as the result of a collision with another car or other object
Available as an option Available as an option (from some insurers)
Coverage for damage to your vehicle that is not a result of a collision, such as theft of your car, vandalism, flooding, fire or a broken windshield. Comprehensive coverage also pays if you collide with an animal.
Available as an option Available as an option (from some insurers)
*permanent or significant brain injury, spinal cord injury or disfigurement or for medically necessary treatment of other permanent or significant injuries rendered at a trauma center or acute care hospital immediately following an accident and until the patient is stable, no longer requires critical care and can be transferred to another facility in the judgment of the physician.
The Right to Sue

The Basic Policy includes the Limited Right to Sue option (Limitation on Lawsuit option).

Obtaining a Basic Policy

If you have any questions about the Basic Policy your agent, insurance company or DOBI can assist you. If you have any problem purchasing the basic policy please contact DOBI immediately.

OPRA is a state law that was enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey.
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