Insurance Surcharges

Steven P. Lombardi is a highly experienced New Jersey Ticket Attorney.  He is a Ticket Lawyer practicing in all New Jersey Municipal Courts. 

 

Although motor vehicle points have been in existence since about 1952, insurance eligibility points have been around only since 1990, when the Fair Automobile Insurance Reform Act was signed into law by Gov. Jim Florio.  Insurance eligibility points were created by regulations emanating from the FAIR Act to enable the insurance companies to surcharge drivers who were higher risks. The point system essentially replaced the old insurance rating system that enabled insurance companies to charge higher rates based on a driver's age, sex or residence. The point schedule is similar in many respects to the point schedule used by the Division of Motor Vehicles.There is a significant difference between motor vehicle points and insurance eligibility points. The motor vehicle points affect driving privileges only after a total of 12 is accumulated. Insurance eligibility points, however, can expose a driver to immediate, substantial insurance surcharges.  For example, a conviction for driving while intoxicated, which does not carry any motor vehicle points, carries nine insurance eligibility points. The same is true for driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance and several other violations that are not included in the motor vehicle point schedule. Three Insurance companies out of 77 in NJ do not impose a surcharge for two points.  Some others have "point forgiveness provisions" for long-time policyholders.  Moreover, drivers with nine insurance eligibility points are automatically ineligible for voluntary insurance coverage and are placed in the "assigned risk" pool, for which they pay significantly higher insurance rates.  Another aspect of the insurance eligibility point system that is particularly troublesome concerns the issuance of five points for "at-fault" accidents.  In fact, under the current insurance eligibility point schedule, which has been approved by the Insurance Department, the surcharges that can be imposed as the result of being found at fault in an accident could even exceed the amount of the damage claim.

Insurance Surcharge Points

All moving violations are subject to insurance points based on points assessed in New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commision Point schedule on a point for point basis.  Therefore if you are assessed 2, 3 or 5 points for your ticket these Driver's License points translate into the identical amount of Insurance Points.

 

The following offenses result in nine (9) Insurance points 


39:4-50     Operating Under the Influence
39:4-50.4  Refusal to Submit to Chemical test
2C:11-2     Vehicular Homicide
39:3-40Operating while Suspended
39:6B-2Operating without Insurance
39:6A-15Misrepresentation Insurance Coverage

 

The following violations result in Five (5) Insurance Points


39:3-37Obtaining License through deception
39:3-38Making or using counterfeit plates
39:3-38.1Making, altering or counterfeiting License
39:5D-4 Moving Violation out of state
Each at fault accident

 

The following violations result in two, three or four Insurance Points


Failure to verify Insurance in accident (2)

For each year of court imposed suspension (3)
Involved in fatal accident(4)