Touted as having the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, New Jersey policyholders will not be pleased when they receive another premium increase. Surprisingly, the upcoming hike does not include relatively minor additional future increases caused by Superstorm Sandy claims amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
In an April 2013 article, NorthJersey.com identified the following factors contributing to the increases approved by regulators to date:
Past losses related to Tropical Storm Irene and the Halloween nor’easter
Higher trending medical costs
Low forecasts of income from investments
Not specifically mentioned in that article is the alarming increase in the value of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims in recent years. This coverage, also known as no-fault insurance, seems to encourage claim fraud on the part of some medical providers — as well as crime rings that stage collisions, typically targeting high-end vehicles likely to carry generous insurance coverage.
New Jersey PIP insurance was supposed to help injured auto accident victims quickly obtain the funds they need from their own policies without the need for an extensive investigation to determine liability. This coverage was intended to keep premium and claims costs low. However, rates continue to increase, in spite of new reforms establishing the maximum costs insurers have to pay for typical medical services connected with auto accident injuries.
Even with no-fault insurance, the bottom line is that car accident victims can still face unfair claim delays and denials that hamper their ability to pay their medical expenses. At the first sign of claim difficulties, you should retain an attorney who knows how the system works — and how to protect your interests.