Benefits of Raising Your Auto Coverage
- November 10, 2021
In almost all states, New Jersey not being an exception, liability coverage is the commonly required level of auto insurance, and drivers must buy a minimum amount of liability coverage. Even though meeting a state’s minimum coverage requirements might be enough to get you on the road, chances are that you need more insurance than the state requires.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, car accidents often cost more than a state's minimum auto insurance limits. This is especially true in the case of serious car accidents. So, while meeting New Jersey’s minimum limits is enough to get you on the road, it might be a good idea for you to raise your auto liability limits. In New Jersey, the minimum auto liability limits are $15,000 for bodily injury per individual, $30,000 for bodily injury for all individuals per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.
Lamentably, many times, when people are looking for auto insurance, they look for the minimum limits allowed by state laws and the lowest possible premiums. People usually do this hoping that paying the least amount of premiums and going with a state's minimum limits will save them money. Contrary to popular belief, carrying the lowest auto insurance liability limits can leave your financial security at risk. For example, when it comes to personal injury cases that result in a victim taking legal action against an at-fault party, the minimum of $15,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person is rarely enough to compensate the plaintiff. If your policy limits are exceeded, you are legally obligated to pay for any remaining damages.
Generally, your insurance company is only obligated to pay up to the limit dictated by your auto policy. Unfortunately, if your minimum liability coverage is not enough to cover the damages a plaintiff has suffered in an accident, you could end up paying thousands of dollars out of your pocket. So, as a general rule, the amount of liability coverage you carry, be it bodily injury liability coverage or property damage liability coverage, should be enough to protect your assets if you are found at fault in an auto accident.
How Much Insurance Should You Carry?
Generally, you should carry more than the minimum coverage state limit. Usually, the higher you set your coverage limits, the less you will pay out of pocket after a claim is filed against you. However, you need to determine how much you can comfortably afford before settling on an amount.
So, how much insurance should you carry in the state of New Jersey? Most experts recommend you carry at least $100,000/$300,000 in liability for bodily injury alone. But experts warn that sometimes that amount is not even enough. So, generally, America is not a place for cheap auto insurance.
Reasons To Increase Your Auto Coverage Limits
As already mentioned, you should increase your auto coverage limit to protect your assets if you are found at fault for an accident. Suppose you get sued after an auto accident, yet your auto insurance coverage is not enough. In such a case, if you own a valuable house, you might end up losing the house. Remember, the greater the value of your assets, the more you stand to lose. So, it is a good idea to buy liability insurance that matches the value of your assets.
Additional reasons to increase your auto coverage limits are outlined below:
- You have a teenage driver on your auto insurance policy: According to the CDC, teenage drivers represent a higher risk of auto accidents because, among other things, they lack experience and are easily distracted while on the road.
- You have several drivers on your auto policy: The more drivers you have on your auto insurance policy, the more at risk you are of facing an accident claim.
- You drive an SUV or a large truck: As much as all vehicles are prone to accidents, the reality is that larger vehicles have the potential to cause more serious bodily injury or property damage in the event of an accident.
In addition to purchasing more liability coverage, you should consider having uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. This type of coverage pays for bodily injury or property damage if you get involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver. In New Jersey, UM/UIM can also help you if you get involved in a hit-and-run accident. Remember, just as is with liability coverage, the higher the value of your UM/UIM coverage, the more protected you are. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that in NJ, the value of your UM/UIM coverage cannot exceed the value of your liability coverage.
Contact Us for Legal Help
When it comes to auto coverage, you need legal advice so you can ensure you are purchasing auto insurance coverage that will protect you. For professional unbiased legal guidance, contact Selem Antonucci Law today to schedule a consultation.