New Jersey Auto Insurance: What You Need To Know
By Ara Rubyan
Controlling the Cost of Auto Insurance
While some of the factors used by insurers to determine risk are out of your control (i.e., gender, age), you do have control over a variety of factors that influence the cost of your insurance.
Before you purchase auto insurance, check out:
Your Collision and Comprehensive deductibles
In many cases, consumers can save premium dollars by choosing higher deductibles or eliminating coverage for older cars that are paid in full. Remember, a higher deductible means you will pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident. You will need to decide how much you can afford to pay if an accident occurs.
Your Auto-related Health Insurer option
Consumers can save premium dollars by choosing their health care insurers as primary in the case of auto accident-related injuries. It is important to check with your health care insurer before choosing the Health Care Primary Option.
Your Personal Injury Protection deductible and limits
Standard policies usually carry a deductible of $250 and a PIP limit of $250,000. Consumers can save premium dollars by choosing a higher deductible of $500, $1,000, $2,000 or $2,500 and/or choosing one of the lower PIP limits of $15,000, $50,000, $75,000 or $150,000.
Your Lawsuit option
Consumers can save premium dollars by choosing the Limited Right to Sue (Limitation on Lawsuit Option), which limits suits for pain and suffering except in cases of death or permanent injury.
Your Vehicle options
The make, model and value of your vehicle affects the cost of your auto insurance premium. Generally, an older vehicle will cost less to insure, while a high performance or luxury car will
cost more. The cost to insure different makes and models of vehicles can vary among insurers, so be sure to check with several insurers to get the best price and coverage for your needs. Companies may offer discounts for vehicles with safety features, so check with your insurer for details, especially when you are considering purchasing a vehicle.
It is always a good idea to ask your insurer if any discounts may be available to you. The following are some of the discounts insurers may offer and to which you may be entitled:
Before you purchase auto insurance, check out if you are eligible for discounts...
Multiple Car/Other Policies
Insuring two or more vehicles on one policy may reduce your premium. Discounts may also apply if you have another policy, such as homeowner’s, renter’s or life insurance, with the same company.
Vehicle Safety Features
Insurers must offer discounts for vehicles that have anti-lock brakes, air bag and passive restraint systems, and anti-theft vehicle recovery systems.
Many insurers offer discounts for young drivers who maintain a 3.0 (“B”) or higher grade point average or for those family members attending school away from home.
New Jersey law requires insurers to offer discounts for drivers who have completed a Defensive Driving course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Finally, remember your insurance ABCs: check with your Agent, Broker or Company representative if you have questions about your coverage options.
[Adapted from the State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance]
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