New Jersey SR-22 Insurance Explained
- New Jersey SR-22 Insurance Explained
Whether you live in the Garden State to be near the Big Apple without suffering the cost or are a proud New Jerseyan who relishes in a visit to Long Beach Island, Ocean City, or one of the state’s many famous diners, drivers with cars registered in the state must always have a sufficient New Jersey auto insurance policy.
Drivers who fail to carry adequate insurance, cause a severe accident while inebriated, or otherwise fail to comply with the rules of the road and have their license or registration suspended may expect to require an SR-22 for several years following the incident. Let’s check out what an SR-22 is, what it means for drivers in the Garden State, and how you can get a policy even with an SR-22 on file.
New Jersey SR-22 Insurance Explained
Before going any further, it’s essential to note that an SR-22 isn’t a specific type of coverage or vehicle insurance in New Jersey but rather a form an insurer files on behalf of a high-risk driver. SR-22s aren’t even required in New Jersey.
However, some New Jersey residents may need one if they’re convicted in a state that does require SR-22s. Typically, an SR-22 is filed on behalf of a high-risk driver who has had their license or registration suspended as part of the process for the driver to have their documents reinstated.
The purpose of an SR-22 is to help the driver certify with the state that they have an active and adequate car insurance policy and are able to accept financial responsibility should they be involved with another traffic incident like the one that landed them the document in the first place.
While drivers in the Garden State won’t require an SR-22, those convicted of an appropriate crime and have their license or registration revoked in another state then move to New Jersey will have to carry their SR-22 over and keep up with the requirements in the state where the form was issued.
While New Jerseyans don’t have to worry about an SR-22, driving without sufficient coverage is illegal in the state. Those who fail to carry adequate coverage may face fines, license or registration suspension, community service, or even jail time. Plus, drivers who fail to carry enough coverage will be considered high-risk drivers and may see a significant increase in their premiums for several years.
The minimum amount of auto insurance coverage required in New Jersey differs depending on the plan the driver selects. With a basic policy, drivers must have at least $10,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $5,000 in property damage liability per accident, and $1,5000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per accident since New Jersey is a no-fault state.
Drivers with a standard policy must have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $25,000 in property damage liability per accident (25/50/25 liability coverage), the same 25/50/25 limit in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), and $15,000 in PIP. Those who lease or finance their vehicles may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverage on their full coverage policies.
While carrying a policy that only meets the minimum requirements but doesn’t exceed them is legal, it may not be the safest option. A full coverage policy allows drivers to tailor their auto insurance to meet their needs and feel protected on the road. Generally, a full coverage policy in the Garden State will contain higher limits of the required coverages, plus additional coverages like collision coverage, gap coverage, comprehensive coverage, or medical payments coverage (MedPay), among others.
The average full coverage policy in the Garden State costs about $1,900 annually, or about 10% higher than the national average of $1,670 annually. While auto insurance can get expensive in the Garden State, several of the state’s top insurers offer policies with below-average rates and many opportunities for discounts to reduce premiums further.
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What Are the Requirements for an SR-22 in New Jersey?
While New Jersey SR-22 insurance isn’t required or even offered, those with an SR-22 on file from another state must meet its requirements while driving or living in the Garden State. Typically, drivers with an SR-22 on file must pay their premiums on time and in full and always maintain the minimum coverage required. Drivers who fail to meet the demands of their SR-22 may face severe penalties like jail time, vehicle impoundment, or hefty fines.
Generally, an SR-22 will remain on one’s file for about three years, considering the driver has no subsequent incidents. During this time, the driver must maintain their policy and not let it lapse, as failing to meet the requirements of one’s SR-22 can lead to further penalties.
While a driver has an SR-22 on file, they may find that their premiums are significantly more expensive than the average rate in the state. High-risk drivers, or those more likely to file a claim with their insurer, generally pay higher premiums to compensate for this risk. Those with an SR-22 on file may see higher premiums for several years.
The good news is that insurance premiums ebb and flow over time. So, while those who have an SR-22 on file may see higher premiums for some time, they’ll eventually even out so long as the driver practices safe habits behind the wheel and continues to pay their premiums on time. So, while drivers with an SR-22 on file may not be eligible for the cheapest policy in the state, they may see lower rates as the SR-22 becomes a thing of the past.
Does New Jersey Require an SR-22?
No, SR-22 insurance in New Jersey isn’t required or offered. However, many other states require this form for high-risk drivers to reinstate their license and registration after a severe traffic incident, including surrounding states like Connecticut and Maryland. Drivers will require the document if it’s been issued to them by a police officer or a judge following a severe traffic incident. Still, the form isn’t given to the driver directly, but the driver must request that their insurer file it on their behalf.
How To Find an Auto Insurance Quote in New Jersey
Thankfully, many drivers in the Garden State don’t need to worry about finding an affordable policy with an SR-22 on file, as New Jersey doesn’t issue SR-22s to high-risk drivers. However, it can be difficult for high-risk drivers to find a policy at an affordable rate or to bind a policy with a standard insurer. However, before accepting defeat, it’s crucial that drivers get and compare quotes online to see what types of policies they’re eligible for. Getting and comparing quotes online can help drivers see all the rates and discounts they qualify for so they can make the best decision for their needs and budget.
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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.