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Five Important Things You Should Know About Car Insurance
Ask the average New Jersey about their car insurance policy and you’ll likely get the same answer. Just about everyone will tell you they have “full coverage”. It isn’t until someone is in accident that they understand. It’s not quite as simple as it sounds.
Automobile insurance can be costly. For this reason, many consumers breeze through options when completing car insurance applications. It isn’t just about choosing high deductibles to keep the price down. Or, excluding Collision coverage on an older vehicle. Your choices may actually limit your right to sue if you are injured in an automobile accident. And, yes, we’re serious.
Check Your Car Insurance Policy against this Short List
- Your Right to Sue for Personal Injury: Did you know that you may be paying less for automobile insurance because you have agreed to limitations on your right to sue if you are injured in a car accident? This option has gone by a few names, including the “Limitation on Lawsuit” or “Verbal Threshold” policy. This choice doesn’t mean you can’t sue for personal injury. It just means you can only sue if your injuries meet a certain criteria. For specifics on what types of claims are permissible with the threshold option, please take a look at the actual law.
The alternative to the Limitation on Lawsuit option is known as “No Limitation on Lawsuit”. This allows for pursuit of any bodily injury claim.
- Personal Injury Protection: Personal Injury Protection is also known by the acronym “PIP”. According to information provided by the State of New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance, most drivers choose a minimum of $250,000 as PIP coverage. Although personal injury protection generally covers medical expenses, you may pay for option coverage for:
- Reimbursement for lost wages
- Retention of someone to help you with your care
- Hiring someone to assist you with family responsibilities
- Death benefits
- Funeral expenses
Some individuals choose to use their health insurance benefits to pay for their medical bills. We suggest checking with your healthcare carrier to ensure that they do not specifically exclude coverage for automobile accidents.
- Liability Coverage: This portion of your coverage pertains to accidents where you are fault. The insurance company will hire an attorney to defend your actions if you are sued for a car accident. However, if you were injured and contend that the accident was not your fault, you should look into retaining an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: What happens if you are hurt in an accident with someone that is driving around without insurance? Fortunately, you have the ability to protect yourself on the portion of your policy designated as Uninsured Motorist coverage. The amount of coverage available mirrors your selection for Liability coverage.
- Underinsured Motorist Claim: Underinsured coverage is actually offered in conjunction with Uninsured Motorist options. If you have been seriously injured in an accident and the personal responsible for your injuries has nominal insurance, this becomes important. Again, you can only select Underinsured Motorist coverage up to the amount you select for Liability coverage.
Unfortunately, too many drivers are under the impression that they are sufficiently protected under their automobile policies. Have questions? At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have decades of experience handling automobile accident claims. We understand the intricacies of New Jersey car insurance. Contact us with any concerns.