Dollar a Day Insurance from the New Jersey SAIP

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The Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) is a residual market government auto insurance plan in New Jersey that's offered by the state to certain drivers with Medicaid. SAIP policies are commonly referred to as "dollar a day" car insurance because coverage typically costs $365 per year. While eligible drivers with dollar a day policies receive proof of insurance and are considered to be driving legally, SAIP insurance does not meet New Jersey's minimum auto insurance requirements for most drivers. The coverage provided by the Special Automobile Insurance Policy only pays for emergency treatment and the most severe of driver injuries but offers no liability coverage to pay for injuries or damages to others. Most ongoing treatment and the cost of damages to others are the responsibility of the dollar a day insurance policyholder, meaning this policy should only be considered as a last resort.

NJ Dollar a Day Car Insurance Coverage

New Jersey's SAIP insurance policy is incredibly limited in the coverage it provides and doesn't meet the minimum requirements for most drivers. The dollar a day policy only covers:

  • Emergency treatment, such as ER care, for the policyholder immediately after an accident. Additional medical treatment for critical brain and spinal cord injuries to the SAIP policyholder are also covered. The policy limit for medical coverage is $250,000.
  • If you die in a collision, there's a $10,000 death benefit that would be paid to your family. This is approximately the cost of a typical funeral.

The limited coverage of dollar a day car insurance policy means that it's unlikely to offer any coverage to you as the policyholder in most accidents. Instead, you would be responsible for the costs of:

  • Any ongoing and nonemergency treatments that don't apply to your brain or spinal cord. You can request coverage through Medicaid, but you would have to navigate the process yourself.
  • All injuries to other parties involved in an accident where you were at fault. If another driver or injured party sues you, your SAIP insurance would not assist with any legal costs.
  • All damage to others' property in an accident where you were at fault.
  • Any damage to your own vehicle or other property, no matter the cause.

Since the only people eligible for SAIP car insurance are on Medicaid, meaning those in particularly low-income families or with disabilities, it's likely you would have trouble affording any of these costs if involved in an accident. We recommend that you consider an alternative auto insurance policy, such as New Jersey's Basic or Standard policies, if at all possible.

Cost of NJ SAIP Insurance

New Jersey SAIP insurance costs $365 per year if paid in two installments, averaging out to $1 a day. Alternatively, if you pay for the entire year at once, the cost is just $360, or $30 per month. The cost of a SAIP policy is incredibly cheap compared to other policies and doesn't vary based upon your driving record or other criteria, because the program is funded by the state. However, since the cost of SAIP insurance is already so low, there are no additional ways to get the cost of these auto insurance policies subsidized.

The only situation in which SAIP insurance would cost more is if you have multiple cars that need to be insured. Only one car can be insured per policy, so if your family requires two vehicles, you would have to purchase a second dollar a day insurance policy for both to be covered.

How to Get Dollar a Day Insurance in NJ

The National Continental Insurance Company is the insurer that writes dollar a day auto insurance policies, but SAIP coverage can be purchased from most insurance company agents in New Jersey. The state makes the process of finding an agent simple, as you can search online by county to find locations near you. In Newark, for example, there are 47 agencies that offer dollar a day insurance policies.

In order to confirm your eligibility and purchase a SAIP policy, you will need to present your driver's license and Medicaid identification card to the agent. The eligibility requirements for dollar a day auto insurance include:

  • You must be an uninsured driver in New Jersey. If you already have an auto insurance policy, you don't qualify.
  • You, and any household members covered by the policy, need to be enrolled in a Medicaid program that includes hospitalization. Simply qualifying for Medicaid will not make you eligible to purchase SAIP car insurance. If you cease to be enrolled in Medicaid, your dollar a day auto insurance policy will remain in place until your next renewal, at which point you will have to find an alternative form of coverage.
  • Your driver’s license and registration need to be in good standing. If either has been revoked or suspended, you will not qualify for dollar a day insurance.

SAIP vs. Other New Jersey State Automobile Insurance Plans

We recommend that, before purchasing SAIP insurance, you first compare quotes for other New Jersey auto insurance policies. The state also offers a Basic plan as a lower-cost alternative to a standard auto insurance policy, and Basic auto insurance rates can be as low as $400, depending on your profile and driving history. Unlike dollar a day insurance, Basic policies are available to all drivers and offer significantly greater coverage. We also suggest that you get a quote for a standard auto insurance policy, as quotes are free and the additional benefits may be quite affordable if you're a safe driver.

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