For New Jersey drivers, automobile insurance policies provide three separate and distinct benefits: Liability Coverage, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage. Automobile policies in New Jersey also limit your right to bring a claim for your injuries if you have The Verbal or Lawsuit Threshold.
Even though you may be a very cautious driver, accidents happen. What happens if you are involved in an accident and the other driver is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance (commonly referred to as being “underinsured”)?
What is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
The second benefit that your own automobile policy provides is protection for you and your family in the event that you are injured by someone who has no insurance coverage or who has a limited amount of coverage, which is insufficient to compensate you for your own personal injuries. This is called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
By law, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Most insurance companies will simply add this to a policy regardless of whether or not the amount is sufficient for your needs. It is strongly recommended that motorists purchase more than the minimum coverage.
You can only buy Uninsured/Underinsured coverage up to the limits of your liability coverage. For example, if you choose liability limits of $300,000, then you can and should buy Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of $300,000. In the event you are seriously injured in an automobile accident caused by someone who has no coverage or who has less coverage than the coverage you purchased to protect yourself, then you can seek recourse under your own policy up to the limits of the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage you have chosen. On the other hand, if you only purchased a policy of $15,000/$30,000, then you cannot purchase higher Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits. With the lower Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, it is likely that in the event you are seriously injured by a driver who is also minimally insured, you will never be fully compensated for your losses.
Think of what that could mean to you and your family. Is it worth saving a few dollars on your insurance policy to put you and your family at such great risk?
The premium cost for additional Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits is less than the additional cost of increased liability limits. In the past, some insurance companies automatically wrote Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits equal to the additional liability coverage you purchased, but that is no longer the case. If you do not select the higher Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits, the insurance companies will sell you lower and often minimal limits, since the lower Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits protects the insurance carrier from exposure rather than providing protection for you and your family.
Pursuing a claim under your own policy for uninsured/underinsured benefits does not result in a surcharge where you are not at fault for the accident. It is best to speak with one of attorneys if you have questions with your automobile insurance policy coverage or need help after an accident.
How Can I Save Money on My Auto Insurance Policy without Sacrificing Coverage?
Let’s face it, with the cost of living rising each year, automobile insurance rates continue to increase as well. If you are looking to save money on your auto insurance policies, there are things you can do that will not affect your coverage.
- Increase Your Deductibles – One way that you can potentially save on your policy is to consider increasing your deductibles rather than reducing your coverage. Of course, it is important to note that higher deductibles mean you will pay more out-of-pocket if you are involved in an accident in order to cover the higher deductible before your insurance kicks in. Still, many drivers opt for the higher deductibles based on the savings it provides annually.
- Take a Driver Safety Course – For several reasons, it is a good idea to consider taking a Defensive Driving or Driver Safety Course, many of which are now offered online for a nominal fee. Most insurance companies offer substantial multi-year discounts to their customers who take these type of refresher courses. In addition to saving you money, the courses teach evidence-based strategies to help keep you safe behind the wheel.
- Use One Insurance Company – Do you have renters or homeowners’ insurance? Consider using one insurance company for ALL of your insurance policies and you can earn a multi-line discount, good for up to 10% off of your total premium.
- Drive a Safe Car – Did you know that the type of vehicle you drive affects your insurance rates? Choosing a vehicle with added safety features like air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and automatic seat belts, can potentially mean additional discounts for you.
- Shop Around – If you have ever shopped around for automobile insurance, you are probably familiar with this scenario. You compare prices with several companies and find a policy that fits your requirements and offers great rates. You enthusiastically sign up for the policy at the great initial rate, only to learn that your rates are increased with every renewal. Insurance companies know that most people are either too busy or just lazy when it comes to shopping around to compare prices on a regular basis. They use the low price initial rate as an incentive to attract your business. Once they have you as a customer, they bank on you not shopping around and just accepting their rate increases. Many organizations offer policy discounts for their customers, such as AAA or AARP. You may also receive discounts for being in the military, being a teacher, or being a member of another professional group. Check around and you may end up saving yourself a great deal of money by being a savvy shopper. Also, seriously consider consulting an insurance agency rather than buying direct from a company through the Internet. An agent can shop around for you and get you the best rates for your needs.
Petro Cohen’s Personal Injury Team Can Help with Your Automobile or Motorcycle Accident
With a proven track record of success, the personal injury team at Petro Cohen, P.C. has successfully handled thousands of automobile accident cases throughout New Jersey. We offer free consultations to our clients and you will not be obligated to pay any of our legal expenses unless we are able to make a recovery on your behalf.
Susan Petro, who heads the PI department and is also the Managing Partner of the firm, along with Rich Gaeckle and Mike Veneziani, will handle your personal injury case, fighting for full and fair compensation in every case they handle. Together the firm’s personal injury attorneys have successfully helped thousands of clients throughout southern New Jersey with their personal injury cases. Additionally, Richard Gaeckle has been named to the NJ Super Lawyers® list nine years in the practice area of personal injury. Richard also has a Superb rating on AVVO and an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell, both of which are the highest possible ratings by the respective organizations.
In addition to automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents, our attorneys have dealt with a variety of serious personal injury claims. Whether your injury resulted from a slip and fall accident, dog bite, or a construction site accident, we can assist. Our firm has also successfully handled many claims against public entities, traumatic brain injuries, maritime personal injury and boating accident cases, premises liability claims, pedestrian injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases.
We know you have choices with your legal representation for your serious personal injury. Select Excellence. In Litigation, You Don’t Get a Second Chance.
Contact Petro Cohen Law Firm Today
If you, a friend, or loved one were injured in a car accident, you may have legal recourse. The team of experienced personal injury attorneys at Petro Cohen, P.C. are here to assist. We will review your situation free of charge, and help you to determine if you have a viable case. With decades of combined experience, the attorneys at Petro Cohen will handle your claim with the focus, dedication, and respect that you should expect from your legal counsel.
For your convenience, Petro Cohen Law Firm has four offices in Northfield, Cherry Hill, Hamilton, and Cape May Court House. You can contact any of our offices Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM to schedule a convenient appointment. In many cases when clients are unable to come to our offices, our attorneys will come to you to discuss your case. To get started and receive your free consultation, please call us today at (888) 675-7607 to consult with one of our team members or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you promptly.
You can also contact our personal injury attorneys directly. Susan Petro can be reached at email@example.com. Rich Gaeckle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mike Veneziani can be reached at email@example.com
Our experienced attorneys handle other types of cases as well, including: