Auto Insurance

By: Michael Paglione

The Governor has just lifted the stay-at-home order and many of us will be returning to a life of relative normalcy. That means more people will be driving and there will be more accidents. Now is a good time to check your auto insurance policy to make sure you are properly covered. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage is a very important part of your New Jersey auto insurance policy. This coverage protects you and your family when you are injured in an accident caused by another driver who has little or no insurance. When choosing your insurance policy, you have the right to select the amount of money your insurance company must pay to anyone you might injure in an accident (liability), and you also have the right to select the maximum amount of money your insurance company is obligated to pay you or your family injured by someone else (uninsured/underinsured). Too often, this critical selection is not fully explained and you, unknowingly, sell yourself short.

For example, decent insurance coverage provides liability limits of at least $100,000.  That means if you are careless and injure someone in an accident, your insurance company will pay up to $100,000 to the other driver or passenger depending upon the severity of injuries sustained. However, if you or a passenger in your vehicle are injured because of the other driver’s negligence, and that driver has little or no insurance, your insurance policy may only provide uninsured/underinsured coverage of $35,000.  And the sad truth is, for a few more dollars you could have selected $100,000 instead of the $35,000.  This can be devastating in serious injury or death cases. I recently handled a death case in which the negligent driver had insurance of only $15,000.  My client who was killed in the accident had selected liability coverage of $300,000, but the insurance company sold him underinsured coverage of only $100,000.  The family was shocked, but it was too late. For less than $30 dollars more in his annual premium, the $100,000 could have been increased to match the $300,000 liability limit, and his family would have collected another $200,000.

So the moral of the story is – Don’t get caught short. Review your auto insurance Declaration Page and make sure you and your loved ones are protected. Please call me directly 609-275-0400 ext. 240 and I’ll be glad to review your auto insurance coverage free of charge. Be safe, secure and properly insured.

The foregoing is intended for general information purposes and is no substitute for specific legal advice.