New Jersey stands out from other states with its dollar-a-day car insurance program offered by the state government. New Jersey residents should definitely learn more about the program, and those from other states may also find it interesting or want to learn about similar options they may have.
From the dollar-a-day program to other insurance quotes and offerings, our team has reviewed the best car insurance companies in the industry to help you get the coverage you want at a competitive price.
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What Is Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance?
Dollar-a-day insurance is a program that is only available in New Jersey. This special program is part of the Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP).
The name “dollar-a-day” comes from the fact that it costs a total of $365 if you make two separate payments. If you pay for an entire year in one lump sum, it costs just $360.
Who Qualifies for Dollar-a-Day Insurance?
To qualify for dollar-a-day car insurance, you must be in New Jersey, as this is a state-exclusive program. Any driver in New Jersey with federal Medicaid that includes hospitalization coverage is eligible for the program. Being part of the Medicaid program is the only eligibility requirement for this car insurance policy and NJ SAIP.
What Does Dollar-a-Day Insurance Cover?
The dollar-a-day program covers any emergency treatment that patients need after an accident. It includes treating serious spinal cord injuries or brain injuries with coverage of up to $250,000. In the case of death, it provides $10,000, which is called a death benefit.
What Dollar-a-Day Coverage Doesn’t Cover
Because dollar-a-day coverage is so affordable, it should not be surprising that there are some important exclusions. This program does not cover any damage to your vehicle. It also doesn’t cover any damage to other vehicles if you cause an accident. There is also no included coverage for injuries to other drivers if an accident is your fault. These are important parts of auto insurance policy options to consider when choosing coverage.
While this insurance policy covers emergency medical treatment, it does not cover non-emergency treatment. That means that it will not cover treatment for pain and suffering, or things like back pain and bruising that show up later.
How to Get Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance in New Jersey
The process of getting this type of auto insurance coverage is fairly straightforward. You can contact any auto insurance agency in New Jersey to get access to SAIP.
If you prefer, you can also visit the Personal Auto Insurance Plan Agency’s website and search for an agency that offers SAIP. Just so you are aware, SAIP policies are underwritten by the National Continental Insurance Company.
Does Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance Satisfy New Jersey Minimum Requirements?
No, the dollar-a-day insurance program does not meet the minimum coverage requirements in New Jersey. This is because in New Jersey, you must meet either Basic or Standard levels of insurance in order to use your driver’s license.
New Jersey Basic Policy
A Basic policy is the bare minimum requirement for New Jersey drivers. It includes $5,000 of property damage liability per accident and up to $15,000 per accident per person for personal injury protection. With certain injuries, this coverage increases to $250,000. Basic policies also have the option of up to $10,000 coverage for bodily injury liability coverage per person per accident. Other options include collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
New Jersey Standard Policy
A Standard policy is the slightly higher level of minimum coverage. The limit for property damage liability can be anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000, or more. The limit for personal injury protection increases to between $15,000 to $250,000. As with the Basic policy, certain injuries have limits of $250,000, no matter what the limit is that you choose for the policy.
Standard policies include bodily injury liability coverage for anywhere from $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. You also have the option of collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Standard policies also let you add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage up to the limit you selected for liability coverage.
Because the dollar-a-day program does not meet minimum coverage requirements, you should think of it as a supplemental policy to give you even more coverage. This program overcomes the fact that the minimum insurance in New Jersey will not pay for emergency medical care following an accident. The dollar-a-day program addresses the need for a very cheap policy that covers those situations.
Remember that because this SAIP insurance is not full coverage, it also will not meet the insurance requirements for people financing a car. In that case, your lender will require full coverage, not just medical coverage.
Do Other States Offer Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance?
No, New Jersey is currently the only state to offer dollar-a-day insurance. As such, your address must be in New Jersey to qualify for this type of insurance.
While no other states offer dollar-a-day car insurance, there are some other cheap car insurance options available. This is especially true if you don’t drive very often. For example, some pay-per-mile or usage-based insurance policies may end up costing you just $2 per day if you don’t drive a lot.
You can also look for insurance companies that offer discounts for which you qualify. Many companies, for example, offer discounts for low mileage or for students away at school. There are also discounts for having a good driving record, for cars with safety or anti-theft features, for multiple cars on a policy and more. You should always ask your insurer about which discounts you may qualify for.
Comparing quotes is also incredibly useful for getting affordable insurance. Doing so lets you confirm that you are paying a fair amount for your chosen coverage. You should compare quotes before choosing an insurer, no matter the level of coverage you want.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Since you will still need additional auto insurance to supplement your dollar-a-day coverage in New Jersey, we suggest looking at other top insurance providers. Remember that New Jersey state minimums for auto insurance are higher than what dollar-a-day covers.
Based on our team’s extensive research, we can confidently recommend GEICO, USAA and Progressive.
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GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO did the best out of all the insurance providers in our rankings, with an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.0. The insurer also earned a 9.0 for coverage, cost and customer experience, along with a 9.5 for industry reputation. Some of the numerous discounts offered by GEICO include discounts for seat belt usage, a new vehicle, daytime running lights, driver’s education, defensive driving and multiple vehicles or policies.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA earned an 8.9 out of 10.0, putting it not far behind the top score. USAA is our top pick for those in the military, and it is open to those in the armed forces and their immediate family members. USAA earned a 9.0 for industry reputation, cost and customer experience, along with an 8.5 for coverage. USAA offers a range of discounts that will help you stick to your budget, including ones for safe drivers, defensive driving, multiple vehicles, good students, military installations, annual mileage and vehicle storage.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Progressive is our top choice for high-risk drivers with an 8.9 overall rating. This breaks down into a 9.5 for industry reputation, a 9.0 for coverage and an 8.5 for cost and customer experience. Just a handful of the discounts Progressive offers include signing online, teen drivers, multiple cars or policies, continuous insurance and going paperless.
FAQ: Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance
How much is dollar-a-day insurance?
Dollar-a-day insurance costs $365 for a full year if you make two payments, or $360 if you make a single payment. This works out to just one dollar per day, hence the name.
How do I get dollar-a-day insurance?
You can easily get dollar-a-day insurance by contacting any auto insurance agency in New Jersey and letting the company know you want to access SAIP. Remember that in order to qualify, you must have federal Medicaid with hospitalization coverage.
Is dollar-a-day insurance full coverage?
No, dollar-a-day insurance is not full coverage insurance. It only covers emergency medical expenses following an accident. As such, you need additional auto insurance in order to meet the state’s minimum requirements, which include liability insurance. If you want full coverage or have an auto loan that requires it, you will have to get liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.