Insurance can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s important to understand your insurance coverages so you’re able to best protect you and your family on the road. One of the coverages you’re required to carry in New Jersey for a standard policy is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Here’s everything you need to know about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in NJ.
What is an Uninsured Motorist?
An uninsured motorist is exactly what it sounds like: a motorist that does not carry auto insurance. While insurance is a requirement for drivers in most states, this does not mean every single driver on the road is following the law. A driver without insurance, or with low insurance limits may not be able to pay for injuries they cause in an accident.
That’s where uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage comes in. This protects you, your passengers and your relatives who live in the same household as you when hit by a driver who is operating their vehicle without insurance or with liability limits that don’t fully cover the injuries you sustained. It may also pay for injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents.
There are two kinds of UM/UIM coverage in New Jersey: bodily injury and property damage. Both are required. As their names suggest, UM/UIM bodily injury coverage pays for medical expenses, and UM/UIM property damage coverage pays for physical damage to your vehicle.
In New Jersey, UM/UIM property damage coverage can only be used if the other driver is identified. If they can’t be identified, as in the case of a hit-and-run, your collision coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicle.
Accidents with an Uninsured Driver
If you’ve been involved in any accident, you should exchange information with the other driver. Record their insurance policy number if available, and take down their phone number and license plate number. Take pictures of the accident scene. Call the police and file a police report. Then, contact your auto insurance carrier and open a claim.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, you probably won’t have much information. Call the police and file a report. Tell the officer everything you can remember about the accident. Contact your insurance carrier and open a claim.
This process can sound scary, but we’re here to help. Plymouth Rock makes it easy to file a claim, and our specialists will guide you through every step. Our skilled adjusters will review the accident and make sure your claim is settled in a timely manner.
How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from uninsured or underinsured motorists is to carry more coverage.
As of 2023, the minimum limits for bodily injury coverages on a standard are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage limits must be at least $25,000 on a standard policy. Your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage limits are capped at your respective liability limits. Having more coverage means that you can drive assured that in the case of an accident, you’ll be protected no matter what the situation is.
Remember that UM/UIM property damage coverage does not cover physical damage to your car unless the other driver is identified. If you want to make sure your vehicle is protected from hit-and-run accidents, collision coverage helps pay for damages sustained from hitting another vehicle or object.
Still have questions about insurance in New Jersey? We’ll be happy to help. Contact us and one of our friendly insurance specialists will guide you through coverage options.