The new year brings new challenges, opportunities to reset, and start over, and for drivers in New Jersey, it will also bring on expensive car insurance.
Drivers in the Garden State who renew or get new auto insurance after January will pay more in 2023 after a bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.
According to NJ.com, drivers can expect an increase of $125 a year for car insurance. Cardholders must pay $25,000 in liability insurance, up from the current $15,000, with the next increase coming in 2026 when the minimum price reaches $35,000.
There is also a $20,000 increase in accidental insurance coverage to $50,000.
The Department of Finance and Insurance estimates that at least 1.1 million people have less insurance, reports NJ.com.
Murphy signed the bill in August after the state Senate voted 25-13 in favor of the legislation and the General Assembly voted 44-29. Those who support the bill argue that the increase in the minimum amount will also increase the risk of accidents, and that medical expenses will not be a burden because the lowest.
The bill underwent changes and was an adjustment from the original law proposed by Senate President Nick Scutari, which required drivers to have at least $250,000 in insurance.
Scutari challenged those who opposed his bill by saying, “The people of New Jersey need this Legislature to protect them from themselves because we Give them what they deserve, and that’s what they get.”
The argument against the increase in car insurance will hurt low-income families who struggle to pay the low insurance.
John Harmon, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, told NJBiz that the bill forces people to make decisions that don’t benefit anyone.
“It’s a very bad bill,” argued Rep. Robert Auth, R-Bergen, in June. “Let’s give poor, middle-class, and working-class families in New Jersey a break, for crying out loud.”
Pennsylvania’s minimum auto insurance coverage for bodily injury is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.