Like your annual registration fees and the cost to renew your driver’s license, car insurance coverage is simply one of the costs associated with vehicle ownership in New Jersey. As a responsible driver, you maintain coverage, likely well above the minimum required of a basic policy.
You probably also do your best to avoid dangerous driving behaviors, like texting at the wheel or driving after having a few drinks. Unfortunately, other drivers won’t make the same responsible decisions that you do. The choices and actions of other people can directly lead to a crash that hurts you or damages your vehicle.
After a crash, you expect to make a claim against the other driver’s insurance. Occasionally, the person at fault for a wreck won’t have insurance coverage.
How many uninsured drivers are on the New Jersey roads?
Although the state mandates insurance, there are those who knowingly drive around without coverage on their vehicles. New Jersey is actually one of the safest states in terms of how many drivers carry active policies.
Just 3.1% of drivers have canceled or lapsed policies at any time, according to figures from 2019. That’s the lowest rate of uninsured drivers out of any state in the country. Still, there is a risk of one of those drivers causing a crash that hurts you or totals your vehicle. What protects you after a crash with a driver who doesn’t have insurance?
Your personal injury protection covers you and your passengers
Every driver, even those with a basic policy, should have at least $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and possibly as much as $250,000 or more in PIP coverage for severe injuries. That coverage on your policy protects you regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
Your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, if you carry a standard policy, can also help. Collision and comprehensive coverage can also play a role in offsetting the costs in a crash caused by a driver without an active liability insurance policy.
Some drivers don’t have that extra coverage or would prefer not to make a claim against their own policy. With proof of negligence or misconduct and verifiable losses, those affected by car crashes can sometimes bring personal injury claims through the New Jersey civil courts in addition to or instead of an insurance claim.
Learning more about how the law protects you after a motor vehicle collision can help you recoup the financial losses you suffer.