2009 New Jersey Code
39:6A-3.3 - Establishment of special automobile insurance policy

39:6A-3.3  Establishment of special automobile insurance policy.

45. a. In order to assist certain low income individuals in this State and encourage their greater compliance in satisfying the mandatory private passenger automobile insurance requirements, the Legislature intends to establish a special automobile insurance policy. The special automobile insurance policy shall be offered only to individuals who qualify for and are actively covered by designated government subsidized programs in the State.  For the purpose of this section, "eligible low income individual" means an individual who meets the income criteria established by the commissioner by regulation.  In setting the low income criteria, the commissioner shall limit availability to those persons eligible and enrolled in the federal Medicaid program.

b.As an additional option to the mandatory coverage provided in sections 3 and 4 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-3 and 39:6A-4) or the alternative covered provided in section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1), an owner or registered owner of an automobile registered or principally garaged in this State, who is an eligible low income individual, may elect a special automobile insurance policy providing the following coverage:

(1)Emergency personal injury protection coverage, for the payment of benefits without regard to negligence, liability or fault of any kind, only to the named insured and dependent members of his family, as defined by the federal Medicaid program, residing in his household, who sustain bodily injury as a result of an accident while occupying, entering into, alighting from or using an automobile, or as a pedestrian, caused by an automobile or by an object propelled by or from an automobile, and to other persons sustaining bodily injury while occupying, entering into, alighting from or using the automobile of the named insured, with the permission of the named insured.  "Emergency personal injury protection coverage" issued pursuant to this section means and includes only payment of treatment for emergency care in an amount not to exceed $250,000 per person per accident.  "Emergency care" means all medically necessary treatment of a traumatic injury or a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that absence of immediate attention could reasonably be expected to result in: death; serious impairment to bodily functions; or serious dysfunction of a bodily organ or part.  Such emergency care shall include all medically necessary care immediately following an automobile accident, including, but not limited to, immediate pre-hospitalization care, transportation to a hospital or trauma center, emergency room care, surgery, critical and acute care.  Emergency care extends during the period of initial hospitalization until the patient is discharged from acute care by the attending physician.  Emergency care shall be presumed when medical care is initiated at a hospital within 120 hours of the accident.  "Emergency personal injury protection coverage" shall also include all medically necessary treatment of permanent or significant brain injury, spinal cord injury or disfigurement after the patient is discharged from acute care.  In the event benefits paid by an insurer pursuant to this subsection are in excess of $75,000 on account of bodily injury to any one person in any one accident covered by a policy issued or renewed prior to January 1, 2004, that excess shall be paid by the insurer and shall be reimbursable to the insurer from the Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1977, c.310 (C.39:6-73.1);

(2)Death benefit in the amount of $10,000;

(3)The tort option provided in subsection a. of section 8 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-8) shall apply to every named insured and any other person to whom the special automobile insurance policy applies.

c.A special automobile insurance policy shall not provide liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

d.The policy form for special automobile insurance policies shall be subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance and shall clearly and conspicuously set forth the limitations on benefits provided under the policy.

e.The commissioner shall approve the rating system to be used for a special automobile insurance policy, which shall be administered by the plan created pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1970, c.215 (C.17:29D-1), to provide a uniform Statewide rate to be utilized by all insurers providing coverage through a special automobile insurance policy. The rate established by the commissioner shall be sufficient to reimburse the insurer for the cost of writing the policy and an amount set by the commissioner to be forwarded to the Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund to offset claims paid by the Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund.  The commissioner may adjust the rate annually.

f.Special automobile insurance policies shall be assigned to insurers pursuant to the apportionment methodology of the plan created pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1970, c.215 (C.17:29D-1).  The number of policies assigned pursuant to this subsection shall not be included in the determination of a competitive market pursuant to subsection d. of section 27 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-15).


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