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Dollar-a-Day insurance in New Jersey

Get low-cost coverage for medical emergencies, but be prepared to pay out of pocket after an accident.

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Dollar-a-Day insurance is available for those on a limited income who might otherwise drive uninsured. However, this policy doesn’t meet the state’s legal limits for liability coverage or offer additional coverage like collision. Consider the state’s other insurance offerings or independent insurers to meet New Jersey’s insurance requirements.

How does New Jersey Dollar-a-Day insurance work?

The Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) is New Jersey’s way of helping uninsured drivers with a limited income cover emergency medical injuries. The policy allows drivers who qualify for Medicaid to carry insurance protection for emergency room visits and ongoing care for brain or spinal injuries. A small death benefit is also included for fatal accidents.

However, SAIP does not offer enough coverage to meet state liability minimums or any added coverage like comprehensive and collision. This policy is nicknamed “Dollar-a-Day insurance” because it costs policyholders roughly one dollar per day, or $30 per month.

What are the requirements for Dollar-a-Day insurance?

Because this policy is meant for those who might drive uninsured otherwise, drivers must have a limited income to qualify. The requirements include:

  • Medicaid with hospitalization
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Must not have car insurance
  • Pay the premium up front or semiannually

What does Dollar-a-Day insurance cover?

This policy offers minimal coverage for emergency medical treatment and doesn’t take the place of meeting legal insurance requirements. Note that outpatient visits or ongoing treatment for anything other than brain or spinal cord injuries gets turned over to your Medicaid policy, rather than car insurance.

Instead, SAIP includes:

  • Emergency room visits. Covers emergency hospitalizations up to $250,000 per accident.
  • Ongoing brain or spinal cord treatment. Offers up to $250,000 for these expensive treatments if they’re accident-related.
  • Death benefit. Provides loved ones with $10,000 to cover funeral expenses.

What’s not included with Dollar-a-Day insurance?

While Dollar-a-Day insurance could help drivers on a limited income, it doesn’t offer standard coverage that protects you from paying for damage with your own cash. Unprovided coverage you could find helpful:

  • Property damage liability. Pays for damage to another driver’s car or property as well as court fees, if necessary.
  • Bodily injury liability. Covers injuries that other drivers or passengers incur along with court fees.
  • Collision. Keeps you from repairing or replacing your car out of pocket if you’re found at fault.

How much does Dollar-a-Day insurance cost?

This policy gets its nickname from its low cost, which is $365 per year, or $1 per day. If you pay the premium in full, the policy costs only $360. However, for medical expenses covered under Medicaid, you may be responsible for copays or office fees that apply to these.

How to get Dollar-a-Day insurance in New Jersey

Applying for this state-run policy is as simple as making a phone call or finding the nearest provider to you. New Jersey’s insurance department makes this process simple by providing a directory of SAIP providers. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. From the directory, select the county you live in. Click Submit.
  2. Choose an SAIP insurer from the list provided.
  3. Contact the provider by phone or in person to start your application.
  4. You can also retrieve this information by phone from the state’s Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (PAIP) customer service.

Dollar-a-Day insurance phone number

To contact the PAIP customer service, call 800-652-2471 with your questions about the Dollar-a-Day policy.

How to save on car insurance in New Jersey

You may have several options to save money besides an SAIP policy, even on a tight budget. Other ways to save in this state:

  • Opt for wider state-run insurance. New Jersey offers a basic or standard insurance policy that meets legal requirements while getting wider protection than a SAIP policy. If you choose the standard policy, you can opt for additional coverage like comprehensive and collision.
  • Compare several providers. Even if you look into a state policy, get quotes from multiple companies for the best rate and coverage.
  • Track your driving habits. You could let your insurer track your driving habits using telematics, which often leads to safer driving and lower rates.
  • Save with automatic payments. Many companies offer an instant discount for choosing this payment route.
  • Get an online quote. Start saving right away by applying for insurance online, rather than using more personal customer service or local agents.
  • Buy a cheaper car. Getting a car with lower value means your insurer pays out less for car repairs, and your insurer’s savings could transfer to your premium.

Bottom line

This policy helps uninsured drivers care for the most crucial medical needs without any coverage for other drivers or vehicles involved in an accident. In addition, drivers must have Medicaid with hospitalization to qualify.

If you’d prefer wider protection or don’t meet the requirements, compare other New Jersey providers for low rates and coverage.

Frequently asked questions about New Jersey Dollar-a-Day insurance

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