UPDATED Sept 7, 2018
Know your options when you choose automobile insurance. People purchase insurance with the hope that they will never need it. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, so you and your family members should have adequate coverage.
Limitation on lawsuit v. no limitation on lawsuit
Choose the “No Limitation on Lawsuit Option.”
Do not choose the option called the “Limitation on Lawsuit Option.”This option or threshold allows a claim for non-economic loss only if the bodily injuries fall within one of the following categories: “death; dismemberment; significant scarring; displaced fractures; loss of fetus; or a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability other than scarring or disfigurement.” N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8(a). An injured person’s claim for non-economic loss will fail unless he or she can demonstrate a serious, permanent injury within a “reasonable degree of medical probability.” The statute provides that: “[a]n injury shall be considered permanent when the body part or organ, or both, has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.” N.J.S.A. 39:6A- 8(a).
STANDARD v. BASIC POLICY
Do not choose the “Basic Policy.” This policy does not provide any liability coverage or UM/UIM coverage. This means that if the operator of your vehicle causes an accident, your insurance company will not provide a defense for you and your assets may be at risk. Instead, opt for the Standard Policy with as much liability coverage as you can afford. It is usually not much more expensive to increase your coverage.
Make sure that your Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is equal to your liability coverage. Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage typically applies when you are injured by a vehicle that has no insurance or by an unidentified vehicle that fled the scene of the accident. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage typically applies when the vehicle(s) that caused the accident and injuries does not have adequate liability coverage. If your UIM coverage is greater than that vehicle’s liability coverage, you make be able to seek additional compensation from your own carrier.
Raff & Raff, LLP will gladly review (without any cost to you) any of your future N.J. automobile insurance policies prior to your submission to the insurance company.