The Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) is for New Jersey residents who can’t afford a standard car insurance policy and might otherwise drive uninsured. Many call SAIP policies “dollar-a-day” insurance because they cost just $365 per year, or $1 per day.

SAIP offers legal proof of insurance and covers a policyholder’s severe injuries and emergency treatment, but that’s it. Because of that, you should consider this kind of coverage a last resort.

This article will explain that further as well as answer these questions:

What is the NJ SAIP dollar-a-day car insurance plan?

NJ SAIP stands for the New Jersey Special Automobile Insurance Policy. This limited insurance policy makes auto insurance available to low-income drivers in the Garden State. Only residents enrolled in Federal Medicaid with hospitalization can get these plans.

The SAIP program does not meet the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements because it does not include liability coverage, which is required in New Jersey. It only covers emergency treatment for the driver. It does not cover the damages and medical bills of others involved. That means you should consider it a last resort for car insurance, and you should purchase a standard policy as soon as you can afford one.

What does NJ SAIP cover?

An SAIP dollar-a-day policy covers:

  • Emergency treatment after an accident.
  • Treatment of serious brain and spinal cord injuries, up to $250,000.
  • A $10,000 death benefit.

What doesn’t NJ SAIP cover?

SAIP plans don’t cover:

  • Damage to your car.
  • Damage to other peoples’ property, including their vehicles.
  • Injuries caused by an accident.
  • Outpatient treatments that Medicaid covers, like doctors' visits.

An SAIP plan doesn’t cover vehicle damage, property damage or injuries other than the ones highlighted above because they don’t include liability, collision or comprehensive car insurance coverages.

Also, an SAIP plan covers just one vehicle. If you want to insure more than one vehicle through SAIP, you need to purchase a second policy, which will cost you twice as much.

Who is eligible for SAIP dollar-a-day insurance?

To be eligible for dollar-a-day insurance in New Jersey, you must have Federal Medicaid with hospitalization. You also need to prove you are enrolled in Medicaid when you first purchase the policy and at each renewal date. You do this with the number on your Medicaid ID card.

Something to keep in mind here is that not all Medicaid programs qualify for NJ SAIP. Only New Jersey residents who are on Federal Medicaid with hospitalization can buy this coverage.

Also, if the state revokes or suspends your driver’s license or vehicle registration, you can’t participate in this program. You must have a valid license and registration to get SAIP dollar-a-day insurance.

Will my SAIP be canceled if I lose my Medicaid benefits?

If your Medicaid benefits are discontinued during your SAIP policy term, the state will not cancel your coverage.

How much does NJ SAIP insurance cost?

NJ SAIP insurance costs $365 a year paid in two installments, or $360 a year paid up front and all at once. That is why it’s often called dollar-a-day insurance; it costs about $1 per day to buy.

The cost of NJ SAIP is much cheaper than other car insurance policies. Plus, the cost is the same regardless of your driving history, credit score or other rate factors insurers usually consider when pricing auto coverage.

Before you get too excited about how cheap SAIP insurance is, remember that it’s meant to provide short-term protection. Also, it only provides a limited amount of coverage. Getting into a serious accident with SAIP insurance could be very expensive for you, even though it covers emergency treatments.

As such, it’s best to purchase a standard auto insurance policy as soon as you can afford one, as it will offer more protection and coverage.

How can I get New Jersey SAIP insurance?

You can get SAIP at most insurance agencies in New Jersey. If you have any problems finding or buying SAIP coverage, you can call the Personal Automobile Insurance Plan customer service number at (800) 652-2471.

When you go to apply for SAIP, you’ll have to show proof of Medicaid enrollment via your Medicaid ID card. You’ll also need your driver’s license and your vehicle registration.

If anyone else in your household is eligible for SAIP through Medicaid, you can add them to the policy. However, you can only insure one car per policy.

Because of the limited coverage that dollar-a-day insurance offers, we recommend you compare standard auto insurance policies in New Jersey before deciding one way or the other. A basic car insurance policy can cost as low as $50 more than an SAIP policy per year while offering more coverage.

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