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Governor Murphy Signs Into Law New Automobile Policy Limits Disclosure Law

By on September 24, 2021 in Insurance with 0 Comments

On July 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed legislation which requires the disclosure of the policy limits of a private passenger automobile insurance policy to a New Jersey admitted attorney representing an insured injured in a motor vehicle accident.  This new law requires a written disclosure of the policy limits to the attorney no later than 30 days from the receipt of the request.

According to this law, it only appears to apply to policies under a private passenger automobile insurance policy issued by the insurer to an insured.  A request for a disclosure of policy limits shall be in writing and must include the following:

  1. A statement that the attorney represents an individual who has suffered bodily injury or death alleged to be caused by a motor vehicle accident with an insured under a private passenger automobile insurance policy issued by the insurer.
  2. The name and last known address of the insured.
  3. The date and approximate time of the motor vehicle accident. 
  4. A copy of the accident report, if available.
  5. A statement from the claimant or an attorney representing the claimant, providing insurance information which must include the claimant’s: (a) insurer, policy number, and policy name, (b) tort threshold selection, and (c) personal injury protection coverage limit.

According to this law, the disclosure is only to be made to an attorney admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey.  The disclosure must indicate the limits of all private passenger automobile insurance policies and any applicable umbrella or excess liability insurance policies issued by the insurer to the insured. 

This new law specifically states that disclosure of policy limits shall not constitute an admission that the alleged injury or damage is subject to the policy.  Further, information concerning the insurance policy shall not be admissible as evidence at trial by reason of disclosure.  Last, the disclosure shall be confidential and available only to the individual injured and the attorney representing the injured person and personnel in the office of the attorney.

Pursuant to the new law, the Department of Banking and Insurance shall publish on its website the e-mail address of each insurer, which shall be supplied by each insurer issuing private passenger automobile policies in the State, for the purpose of receiving these disclosure requests. According to the law, it shall take effect immediately, except for the e-mail portion of the statute, which was not to take effect until the 60th day following the enactment (i.e. September 20, 2021).

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About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Ramos is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Capehart Scatchard, P.A. located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She is an experienced litigator with over 25 years experience handling diverse matters. Practice areas include tort defense, business litigation, estate litigation, tort claims and civil rights defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage, employment litigation, shareholder disputes, and general litigation.

For the years 2020 and 2021, Ms. Ramos was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Litigation - Insurance. The attorneys on this list are selected based upon the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. A complete description of The Best Lawyers in America© methodology can be viewed via their website at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology.

In 2021, Capehart Scatchard and Ms. Ramos received the “Best Law Firm” ranking in the area of Litigation – Insurance (Metro, Tier 3) published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Law firms included on the list are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one attorney who has been included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States. Betsy Ramos (Litigation – Insurance) was recognized for this prestigious award in the 2021 edition. For a description of the “Best Law Firm” selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

“Best Law Firms” is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. For a description of the selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

*No aspect of this advertisement has been submitted to or approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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