Motorists in New Jersey will now have better protections should they be involved in accidents with drivers who carry minimum coverage, thanks to a new law now in effect.
The law stems from a measure signed last year by Gov. Phil Murphy (S481) that raises the minimum amount of auto liability insurance drivers in New Jersey are required to carry. As of January 1, 2023 the minimum amount of auto liability insurance coverage was increased to $25,000 from $15,000.
Here are some additional facts about the new law.
- The $25,000 liability minimum is now in effect (as of January 1, 2023). Motorists seeking new policies and those who carried the previous $15,000 in coverage will need to purchase more insurance.
- Under the law, the minimum amount of coverage for auto liability insurance will increase to $35,000 starting in 2026.
- Officials from the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance estimate that 1.1 million to 1.2 million vehicles currently carry minimum liability coverage. That’s roughly 20% of the 5.97 million private passenger vehicles currently insured in the state.
As we have discussed in previous blogs tracking this legislation, the liability minimum increase is an important update that will better protect those who are involved in accidents with drivers who carry minimum coverage.
That’s particularly true given that victims of auto accidents can incur considerable expenses, including those related to property damage and the medical bills, lost income, and other losses that arise from personal injury – expenses that have only increased since the $15,000 minimum was implemented more than 50 years ago. As Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Michael Fusco noted:
“The $15,000 minimum policy limit was set half a century ago— you could buy a decent house for that amount in New Jersey in the early 1970s. It’s only fair to raise these limits to protect New Jersey drivers.”
Insurance Coverage and Auto Accidents
As a firm that represents victims in personal injury cases involving auto accidents, our team at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. supports the new law and provisions that will continue to raise the liability minimum. That’s because we know that having sufficient insurance coverage is vital to helping victims cover expenses related to property damage and any injuries they suffer in crashes.
In our work as personal injury lawyers, we help clients explore their options for securing full and fair recoveries after preventable crashes. Typically, this involves seeking compensation for our clients’ losses from an at-fault party’s auto insurance carrier. Sometimes, however, such as in cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists, it requires creative solutions to explore the availability of coverage from other at-fault parties, corporate entities that are liable for the actions of employees, and even our own clients’ uninsured / underinsured (UM / UIM) policies.
While increases to the minimum liability coverage is certainly welcomed, it does not detract from the need for all motorists to ensure they have sufficient coverage of their own. This not only incudes having sufficient liability insurance to pay for damages you cause others, but also sufficient UM / UIM coverage that can help make the difference when you’re hurt by a motorist who doesn’t carry enough (or any) insurance to compensate for your losses.
Our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients make sense of insurance policies and their legal rights following all types of moto vehicle accidents. If you have questions about a potential case, call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online for a free consultation.