How much car insurance do I need in New Jersey?
Learn about minimum insurance coverage requirements for vehicles in New Jersey, consequences for driving without insurance, and more.
There are two common types of car insurance policies in New Jersey: "Standard" and "Basic." Most people purchase the Standard option because it gives you a number of choices for coverage. The Basic option is less expensive because it provides less coverage. That said, the Basic option does meet New Jersey's minimum car insurance coverage requirements for vehicles registered in and in operation in the state. Those minimums are:
- $5,000 per accident for property damage (Note: covers damage to other vehicles, but not damage to your own vehicle)
- $15,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits
- $250,000 in PIP benefits for specified injuries, e.g. brain or spinal cord injuries
Many New Jersey drivers choose to add additional coverage to their car insurance policy so that damage to their own vehicle will be covered. And even though New Jersey does not require it, it is wise to carry uninsured motorist coverage in case you are in an accident with a driver who has no car insurance.
New Jersey's "choice no-fault" system
Interestingly, drivers in New Jersey may choose between no-fault and traditional car insurance when they buy their policy. The type of coverage you choose can make a big difference in terms of your options if you end up getting injured in a car accident in New Jersey.
Under traditional rules, drivers may file a third party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against a driver who causes a car accident.
Under no-fault car insurance rules, drivers must turn first (and sometimes exclusively) to their own insurance policy to pay medical bills and other crash-related expenses. Under New Jersey's no-fault system, a driver may only file a lawsuit if the accident resulted in "serious injury", which includes dismemberment; significant disfigurement or significant scarring; displaced fractures; loss of a fetus; or permanent injury (other than scarring or disfigurement).
More Information on car insurance in New Jersey
You can find more information on New Jersey's auto insurance requirements at the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance website. Our article on New Jersey Auto Insurance Laws is also a useful resource.