In New Jersey, you need insurance to register your vehicle. But how much coverage do you need?
If you live in a state that requires auto insurance, you must meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements — meaning you must have the specific types of coverage outlined at the specific limits. New Jersey car insurance requirements are as follows:
- Property damage: $5,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP): $15,000 per person and per accident, or up to $250,000 for certain injuries:
- Permanent or significant brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
If you’re caught driving without insurance in New Jersey, you could face fines, community service, a license suspension, and even imprisonment for second and subsequent offenses.2
|Penalty by offense number
|Period of community service
|License suspension length (from date of conviction) unless liability insurance is proven at the time of hearing
|Length of imprisonment
Drivers in New Jersey can choose their fault system. The at-fault party is responsible for the property damage they caused, although each party will file claims with their own insurers for their medical costs under PIP. You can choose whether or not you want bodily injury liability coverage, which would pay for the other party’s injuries in accidents you cause.
If you choose to get a standard policy, detailed below, you can choose either a limited or unlimited right to sue. With unlimited, you can sue for pain and suffering, non-economic losses, and any injury from a car crash. With a limited right to sue, you can sue only if you experience:
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a body part
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury
- Significant disfigurement
- Significant scarring
Due to the state’s modified comparative negligence laws, plaintiffs can seek damages in a civil suit as long as they are less at fault than the other driver or drivers. However, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
New Jersey also has laws surrounding car insurance cancellation and non-renewals, appeals, and self-insurance:
- Cancellation and nonrenewal notification laws: If an insurance company wants to cancel your policy mid-term, they must give you 15 days’ notice before the policy expires. If the insurer doesn’t want to renew your policy at the end of its term, it will need to provide 60 days’ notice.
- Right to appeal: If your insurance provider canceled your policy, you can appeal with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance by calling (609) 292-7272 or 1-800-446-7467, or by visiting.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm.3
- Self-insurance: In New Jersey, you can self-insure your own vehicles if you have more than 25 vehicles. Self-insurance is at the discretion of the state’s commissioner of insurance. You’ll need to pay a $1,000 filing fee at a minimum.4