A new bill that raises costs of auto insurance for New Jersey drivers was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, impacting nearly 1.1 million drivers, the state’s Insurance Council says.
State Senators and personal injury attorneys, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, and Sen. Jon Bramnick, R-Union, are the ones who pushed for the bill.
Supporters say crash victims haven’t been able to consistently get medical coverage due to the low coverage option. Those against it, though, say it’s nothing but another hit to the wallets of Garden State residents.
Starting next year, drivers with the lowest current coverage ($15,000) can expect to pay about $125 more each year until 2026, Insurance Council of New Jersey President of the Aid Christine O’Brien tells NJ Advance Media.
The minimum amount of liability insurance in New Jersey will rise from $15,000 to $25,000 under the new bill, and in 2026, it will hike again to $35,000. When more than one person is injured in an accident, the minimum coverage will increase to $50,000 and in 2026, that will be $70,000, minimum coverage.
The bill was part of a larger package that also requires landlords and business owners carry liability insurance, and require certain insurers disclose policy limits upon request by attorneys under certain circumstances.
In an op-ed in USA Today, O’Brien opines these new laws will only make things worse for already-struggling New Jersey residents.
“All told, the impact of these five bills on the wallets of New Jersey drivers could cause some to forgo insurance altogether,” she says, “especially low-income drivers who already must dedicate a higher proportion of their paycheck to obtaining coverage.
“Now more than ever, Garden State residents need smart policies that improve their standard of living and help keep them and their families and loved ones safe. These bills do just the opposite.”
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