Key takeaways

  • $15,000 of PIP insurance is legally required in New Jersey, but you can purchase up to $250,000 of PIP for additional protection.
  • PIP insurance pays for the initial medical expenses for a driver and their passengers, regardless of who was at fault in an accident.
  • Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, you can process an accident claim using your PIP insurance before fault is officially determined in the courts.

Car insurance requirements vary by state. In New Jersey, all drivers are legally required to include personal personal injury protection (PIP) in their car insurance policy. Regardless of who is deemed at fault in a car accident, PIP provides a minimum of $15,000 (and up to $250,000) to pay for any medical expenses that you and your passengers may have incurred. In this article, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team goes into further detail about what PIP insurance is and what is expected from New Jersey drivers under the state’s evolving car insurance laws.

What is PIP insurance?

New Jersey is one of the many U.S. states that are considered no-fault states. No-fault laws are put in place to help pay personal injury claims quickly following an accident. In a no-fault state, you have limited ability to sue the other driver, but your auto insurance extends coverage through your PIP insurance so that your claim is paid without having to wait for lengthy court cases to be resolved.

However, just because New Jersey is a PIP state does not mean fault from an accident is never determined. If the other driver is determined to be at fault, their liability limits could take care of your medical bills after fault is identified.

Nearly every state in the U.S. requires a minimum level of liability insurance in order to drive legally, and in New Jersey, these minimum limits are changing. Effective January 1, 2023 you are mandated by law to have at least the following minimum limits under a Standard Auto Insurance Policy to legally drive in the Garden State:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per accident

These minimum limits will increase once more on January 1, 2026. At that time, New Jerseyans will be required to carry liability limits of at least:

  • $35,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $70,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $35,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $70,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $35,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $70,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per accident

However, New Jersey also offers another option for minimum coverage through a Basic Auto Insurance Policy. Under a Basic Policy, minimum limits include:

  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)

A Basic Policy also has bodily injury liability as an option, with a limit of $10,000 per accident. What is important to note is that the Basic Policy does not extend uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and optional comprehensive and collision coverage may only be available with some auto insurers.

You may have noticed that whether you carry a Standard Auto Insurance Policy or a Basic Policy in New Jersey, PIP is required.

How does New Jersey PIP work?

New Jersey PIP helps pay your medical costs and those of passengers in your vehicle up to your coverage limit, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It may also pay for accident-related costs, such as lost wages, transportation to medical visits, funeral expenses and even essential services if you select this additional PIP coverage on your auto policy.

New Jersey also offers an option to leverage your personal health insurance coverage along with your PIP coverage, which might reduce your auto premium. However, it may be best to speak with a licensed insurance agent and contact your health insurer to understand if this option would provide you with sufficient coverage.

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Is PIP required in New Jersey?

As part of New Jersey’s minimum insurance requirements, all drivers must purchase at least $15,000 of PIP insurance before operating a vehicle on public roads. No car insurance company will sell you a policy that does not satisfy these requirements, but you can opt for higher PIP limits if you choose. Higher PIP limits offer you more coverage for initial expenses following an accident.

PIP coverage can be used in many ways. First and foremost, you can utilize your PIP coverage directly for you and your passengers’ medical bills. You can also use your coverage to cover lost wages and other essential services. It may be a good idea to speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine how much PIP coverage you need.

How much does PIP cost in New Jersey?

When you apply for auto insurance, your potential insurer will give you a car insurance quote. This quote is based on multiple factors, ranging from the age and make of your vehicle to the ZIP code in which you live, your driving history, marital status, age and credit rating. Thus, PIP insurance in New Jersey costs will vary greatly from person to person.

Other factors to take into consideration include your deductible amount  — a higher deductible generally means a lower premium — and the amount of PIP coverage you select.

Frequently asked questions

    • You might want to contact your auto insurer as soon as you’re able to following an accident. A claims adjuster can help walk you through how to file a PIP claim, how your PIP coverage applies (depending on which coverage option you chose), what paperwork you will need to provide and what to expect as far as claim completion time. It’s also best to save your medical receipts and other documents related to your injuries in case you need to provide those to your insurer.
    • These coverage types are similar in that they both cover medical expenses following an accident. However, PIP generally offers more robust coverage as it can also help pay for lost wages and household needs (such as a cleaning service while recovering from injury). On the other hand, medical payments coverage usually only pays for medical costs.
    • The cost of New Jersey PIP insurance will depend on your selected coverage limits as well as your personal rating factors, like age, vehicle type and ZIP code. The average cost of car insurance in New Jersey is $1,028 per year for minimum coverage, including PIP coverage. Average cost may be a good starting point for comparing rates, but the most accurate way to understand what you will pay for PIP coverage in New Jersey is by comparing personalized quotes.