Legislation that would increase minimum personal injury protection coverage, was introduced in the state Senate on Oct. 31. This legislation (S-3266) is the latest in a long line of bills to address auto insurance coverage limits that have been introduced this legislative session.
What does the bill do?
S-3266 would increase the current personal injury protection minimum limits for both basic and standard auto insurance policies issued in the state. Basic policies, which are available through the New Jersey Personal Auto Insurance Plan, currently have a PIP limit of $15,000 per person, per accident. Under S-3266, those limits would increase to $50,000 per person, per accident. The legislation would make a slightly different change to standard auto policies. Currently, standard auto policies must include at least $15,000 in PIP coverage. Those minimums would be increased to $50,000, if the bill were to become law.
The New Jersey Legislature has been active this session on issues pertaining to auto insurance reform. The most notable move the Legislature has made in this area is the passage of legislation that increases the minimum limits for standard auto policies in New Jersey. That bill was signed into law earlier this year.
Who is sponsoring the bill?
Sen. Joseph A. Lagana, D-38, is the prime sponsor of the bill. Lagana is an attorney by trade, and he has been in the Senate since 2018. Currently, he serves the vice chair of the Senate Labor Committee.
Where is the bill?
It has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. When legislation is introduced, typically, it is referred to at least one committee of jurisdiction for consideration before the bill is voted on by the full chamber. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over bills that pertain to financial matters, including insurance and it is the typical landing spot for most insurance-related bills.
Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.
Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., joined PIA as government affairs counsel for the Government & Industry Affairs Department in 2012 and then, after a four-month leave, he returned to the association in 2018 as director of government & industry affairs responsible for all legal, government relations and insurance industry liaison programs for the five state associations. Prior to PIA, Brad worked as an attorney for Steven J. Baum PC, in Amherst, and as an associate attorney for the law office of James Morris in Buffalo. He also spent time serving as senior manager of government affairs as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, a chamber of commerce serving the Buffalo, N.Y., region, his hometown. He received his juris doctorate from Buffalo Law School and his Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Politics from Utica College, Utica, N.Y. Brad is an active Mason and Shriner.