UM & UIM Coverage: How to Stay Best Protected in New Jersey

Most drivers in New Jersey do not carry the right kind of car insurance coverage. Most do not have enough coverage. Here are a few tips that I strongly recommend. You can change your policy at any time and do not have to wait until the policy expires. For military and veterans, please be sure to use USAA that is the best option for you. For seniors, AARP provides insurance through The Hartford. That is a good company.

There are some companies that boast of low rates but remember you get what you pay for. I’d rather pay a few extra dollars to make sure the company will not fight me if I have a claim. Here are the five basic “tips” for New Jersey drivers. [the same concepts about UM and UIM apply in every state]

Insurance Tips for Driving in New Jersey

  1. Get at least $500,000 UM and UIM [uninsured and underinsured motorist] coverage.   This protects you and your family if you are injured by a driver with no insurance or a small policy.
  2. Always choose the PIP Medical $250,000 option.   That pays up to $250,000  of your medical bills regardless of who is at fault
  3. Always raise your PIP income continuation benefits to your weekly income.   For example, if you make $700 a week, you can buy coverage that will pay you $700 a week for as long as the disability persists.   Otherwise, you only get $100 per week.
  4. If you can afford it, choose the “no limitation on lawsuit” option.  This will enable you to make a claim in every situation where you are injured and the other driver is at fault.
  5. You can eliminate collision coverage to save money if you have an older car and would not fix it if it was damaged.

The Most Important Part of Your Insurance Policy

Most drivers lack sufficient Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) coverage.  These coverages are for the injuries you or your family may suffer when injured in a car crash caused by a driver with no insurance (UM) or a minimal amount of coverage (UIM).   You may buy UM and UIM coverage up to the limit of your liability coverage (which covers harms you cause others). I recommend everyone carry at least $500,000 UM/UIM coverage to protect yourself and your loved ones should you ever be involved in a serious auto crash. You can also get umbrella coverage with much higher UM/UIM coverages from some insurance companies, such as Chubb.

PIP coverage is also important.   Make sure you DO NOT reduce the standard $250,000 medical coverage.  Also, basic PIP comes with a wage loss benefit of $100 a week.   Most of you earn more than that, so you should elect the option that matches your salary.   The most you can get is $700 per week for as long as the disability persists. Please call your insurance company to make these changes and call us if you need help navigating these choices. The consultation is free. We’re here for you should you ever be in a serious car, bus, and truck crash.

For more information please contact me and I will be happy to review your policy at no charge and reveal the names of the car insurance companies I suggest you avoid.
Mike Ferrara