On August 31, 2016, P.L. 2016, c. 35 (“Chapter 35”) was enacted. Among other statutory revisions, Chapter 35:
- Revised N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 to define auto cycles.
- Added a new section which required auto cycles to be registered as motorcycles pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:3-4, and
- Required that owners of auto cycles maintain personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4, as well as liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
In accordance with this law and pursuant to Chapter 35, auto cycles must have full PIP coverage, which includes more than pedestrian PIP pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:28-1.3. Providing full PIP coverage to auto cycles through a private passenger automobile policy as required under Chapter 35 would be sufficient and, therefore, no further action would be required. However, providing coverage to auto cycles through a motorcycle policy does not provide full PIP coverage, and therefore, is non-compliant with the new law.
On January 2, the New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance (“Department”) issued a Bulletin http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/bulletins/blt18_01.pdf addressing Chapter 35 which further demonstrates the Department’s intent to strictly implement New Jersey’s automobile insurance requirements to provide the fullest protection to all automobiles, passengers and third parties who may sustain injury as a result of an automobile accident. These coverage requirements related to auto cycles are the latest demonstration of the Department’s commitment to this strict standard. This regulatory policy as supported by legislative action continues to highlight the scope of automobile insurers’ obligations under New Jersey policies.