About New Jersey Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The New Jersey insurance industry continues to show growth despite the numerous challenges insurers has faced over the past two years. Strong natural disasters have caused some problems for the property sector, but the other aspects of the New Jersey insurance industry continue to flourish to some degree. The industry is regulated by the New Jersey Insurance Division, which is responsible for ensuring that consumers and businesses are protected from malicious activities and excessive rates. The agency also ensures that the state’s insurance companies can operate freely as for-profit businesses.
All drivers in New Jersey are required to insure the vehicles they operate. Coverage must be maintain at all times for active vehicles no matter where they are in the state. The New Jersey Insurance Division has determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of coverage and still be considered insured. These minimum requirements extend to three types of options that are offered by the New Jersey auto insurance companies.
The first option is Basic coverage, which accounts for $10,000 as an option for injury/death to more than one person and $5,000 for property damage. Basic coverage is geared toward young consumers with limited assets. The second level of coverage is Standard, which accounts for: $15,000 for injury/death for one person; $30,000 for injury death to more than one person; $5,000 for property damage; $15,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage; and $15,000 for uninsured/underinsured motorist injury. The third option is self-insurance and is only available to those with more than 25 vehicle registered to their name.
According to the New Jersey Insurance Division, the average cost of auto insurance coverage in the state is roughly $2,000.
Homeowners insurance is not mandated by the state. The New Jersey Insurance Division does regulate the property insurance sector, though its primary role is to ensure that insurance companies are not taken advantage of and that they pay claims in a timely and fair manner. The state has fallen victim to a high frequency of natural disasters in recent years, which have contributed to the growing costs of homeowners insurance in some areas. The average cost of homeowners insurance in New Jersey is $541, but rates begin to climb dramatically in locations near the coast.
In October 2012, the New Jersey Legislature passed a law that allowed the state to build and operate its own health insurance exchange, which will be governed by the New Jersey Insurance Division. The exchange program is part of the federal Affordable Care Act and is required to be fully operational by 2014.
New Jersey is home to 8.5 million people, 15% of which currently do not have health insurance coverage. An exchange program is expected to provide these people with the affordable health insurance policies they need.
New JerseyInsurance Resources:
New Jersey Insurance Commissioner: Marlene Caride
New Jersey Department of Insurance Website: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html
New Jersey Insurance Agent Licensing Info: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/inslic.htm
File Insurance Complaint: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm