Car insurance nj

Best Car Insurance Rates in New Jersey

We conducted a study of auto insurance quotes in New Jersey across 50 companies and four driver types to find the cheapest car insurers. Our research showed that rates in the state can differ widely: for example, the cheapest auto insurance quotes in New Jersey for a middle-aged married couple were about $4,630 or 79% lower than the most expensive company. One company’s premium could pay for almost four years of insurance for our married NJ drivers. That’s why you need to compare quotes to get the best rates. Read more, or type your zip code above for a list of cheap companies insuring in your area to start comparison shopping.

No matter where you live in New Jersey, Liberty Mutual rewards your responsible choices with Car Insurance Discounts that could help you save hundreds of dollars a year. As a proud member of the New Jersey community, we offer exclusive savings to members of various college alumni groups, employers and associations across the state, including Rutgers University, Fairleigh Dickinson, Seton Hall and the State of New Jersey employees.

New Jersey Car Insurance Information
As with most states, in order to register and drive your car in New Jersey, the state requires that you have a minimum level of certain types of auto insurance coverage. These include:

  • Personal Injury Protection: $15,000 per person, per accident (up to $250,000 for certain injuries)
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000 per accident

Most people opt for higher amounts of auto insurance coverage than the state minimum in order to protect themselves in case of an accident. To learn more about New Jersey auto insurance minimums, download this brochure from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?
If you are injured in a car accident, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for your medical expenses and other related costs. PIP coverage in New Jersey has a minimum amount of $15,000 per person and covers:

  • Medical expenses from injuries suffered in an auto accident.
  • Lost wages due to missed time at work.
  • Household replacement services when paying someone to help you with tasks you could have done on your own before you were injured.

Considerations When Purchasing Car Insurance in New Jersey

There’s a lot to consider when you purchase car insurance in NJ.  Some coverages are required by law, while others are optional. Whether you call us, get an insurance quote online or work with an agent, you’ll have access to experts who will help you fully understand your options, so you can choose a policy that fits your needs and budget.  Click here to learn more about the coverage options available.

Selecting The Best Auto Insurance Coverage

There are coverages that help to protect your car and other ones that help to protect your assets. Navigating through your options, selecting the best coverage and setting your limits can be confusing, but our experts are here to help you think through important questions that could influence your decisions:

  • What is the value of the car or cars you are going to cover?
  • Are any or all of your vehicles financed or leased?
  • Where and how do you drive?
  • What other assets and income do you need to protect?
  • What deductibles should you choose?
  • What happens if you have a young driver in the house?

Your Plymouth Rock agent, or one of our licensed professionals, can help you build the right policy to comfortably protect you and your family.

I got quotes for New Jersey’s minimum coverage with five different companies and found that prices varied as much as $466. GEICO was the best option for cheap car insurance option for me (and my driving record), but it might be a different story for you. Quotes are highly personalized, so it’s impossible to say one company is the absolute best for everyone.

Insurance rates are based on algorithms that calculate your individual risk as a driver. That risk profile includes driving specific data like the make and model of your car and your driving record, but it also includes personal factors that are less directly related to your driving record, including your age, your credit score, and your zip code. Even if you know the risk factors that you’re triggering, it’s not easy to predict which company will be the cheapest; every insurance company uses its own formula that weights those factors differently. The only way to find the best company for your particular scenario is to get at least five quotes and compare them.

Really, getting a quote isn’t as big of a fuss as it’s often made out to be. Most of the national companies let you get an online quote in less than five minutes, but if you have to call for a quote, know it’ll add 10 to 15 minutes to the process. If you don’t know your annual mileage or the details of any accidents you’ve had in the last five years, look that up before getting started. Otherwise, it’s as simple as clicking a few buttons and checking some boxes. Personally, I put on a podcast and by the time it was over, I’d already finished getting my quotes.

Car Insurance Requirements in NJ

In order to comply with New Jersey’s car insurance laws, you must choose a car insurance policy. Basic and standard policies are available; you should choose whichever policy best suits your insurance and financial needs.

Basic Policy

The Basic policy option is the more affordable insurance package; however, it offers limited coverage, including:

  • $5,000 of property damage liability (PDL) per accident. This covers damage you may have caused to someone’s property in a car crash.
  • $15,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) per person, per accident. This coverage pays for injuries you suffer in a car crash.
  • Up to $250,000 for very severe injuries, such as permanent brain injuries.

NOTE: Bodily injury liability (BDL) coverage is not included in the Basic policy; however, policyholders are offered the option to purchase $10,000 of BDL coverage.

Standard Policy

The Standard policy option has a higher premium but offers more extensive coverage.

With the Standard policy, you get a minimum of:

  • $15,000 of bodily injury liability (BDL) insurance per person, per accident. This coverage will pay for injuries to anyone not in your car if you cause a car crash.
  • $30,000 of BDL for multiple injured people per accident.
  • $5,000 of PDL per accident.
  • $15,000 of PIP per person in a car accident.
  • Up to $250,000 of PIP for severe or permanent injuries.

Right to Sue

If you choose to purchase the Standard policy, you will have to make a decision on your right to sue if you are injured in a car accident.

Regardless of which right to sue option you choose, you will not be eligible to sue for medical expenses or loss of income, as both of those will be covered by your PIP; you can only sue for pain and suffering.

Unlimited Right to Sue

If you choose the unlimited right to sue option, you can sue a person who caused an accident you were injured in.

Because this is option offers broader rights to sue, it comes with a higher premium.

Limited Right to Sue

If you choose the limited right to sue option, you agree to only sue a person who causes a car accident if you suffer any of the following injuries:

  • Loss of a body part.
  • Significant disfigurement.
  • Significant scarring.
  • Displaced fractures.
  • Loss of a fetus.
  • Permanent injury.
  • Death.

The limited right to sue option is the more affordable of the right to sue options, and is the only option available in the Basic policy plan.

New Jersey Auto Insurance Is on the Rise

How expensive is “expensive”? New Jersey drivers pay an average of $1,301.52 per year for car insurance. That’s 43 percent more than the national average. The 2011 study moves New Jersey up from slot number three where they previously ranked below Washington D.C. and Louisiana. The average cost of auto insurance in New Jersey is up from a 2007 low of $1,227.63. The average U.S. driver paid $911.56 in 2011, which was a decrease from 2007 in which drivers paid roughly three dollars more.

Don’t let the date of the study fool you, insurance data lags by about two years, which is normal for the industry. The 2011 study is the most recent one available.

Why is New Jersey Auto Insurance so Expensive?

The NAIC came up with their $1,301.52 figure by factoring in what auto insurance companies charge in New Jersey, as well as what consumers are buying. The reason the number is so much higher is because consumers in the state, on average, are electing for higher coverage levels.

That means that you can get more affordable coverage in New Jersey, but the average consumer there feels it necessary to utilize higher coverage levels to protect themselves. This can be related to a number of factors, some of which are related to the fact that most of New Jersey is considered to be an urban area. Urban areas carry with them higher crime rates and higher numbers of auto accidents and subsequent insurance claims.

Another reason New Jersey auto insurance rates are higher than the national average is because the insurance agencies in that state allow for much higher Personal Injury Protection (PIP- a coverage that covers medical costs related to a vehicle accident) coverage limits, which in turn, drives up the cost of auto insurance. New Jersey allows for the second highest levels of PIP coverage in the U.S., second only to Michigan whose PIP limits can be as high as the buyer wants (provided they are willing to pay for the coverage). According to the study, New Jersey drivers carry on average the maximum levels of PIP coverage allowed within the state: $250,000.

How PIP and Insurance Fraud Affect Auto Insurance Rates

PIP as a concept is smart. It attempts to make sure that no one gets buried alive by hospital bills following an auto accident. To ensure the best possible coverage, New Jersey and auto insurers within that state agreed to raise the maximum limits of PIP coverage to $250k. That makes sense because prolonged need for hospital care and expensive tests, operations, etc. can really drive up medical costs. Both the state and the auto insurers were attempting to do their due diligence. Since no good deed goes unpunished, some people found ways to trick the system and capitalize on these very high deductible payouts. As more and more people defrauded insurers, the cost of insurance would rise in an effort to recapture the money the insurers were losing via fraudulent claims. Last year New Jersey enacted laws to counteract this and prevent further rate hikes. These laws didn’t stop fraud or lower rates, but they helped stabilize the car insurance industry in their state, ultimately saving drivers from further rate hikes at the hands of fraudsters.

New Jersey Car Insurance Laws

According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, New Jersey’s car insurance laws require all drivers to present proof of liability insurance when they register their vehicle. New Jersey vehicle owners with cars registered in their name must be able to certify that they have insurance and that it meets state minimum requirements for:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury to or death of one individual or $30,000 for any one accident;
  • $15,000 for personal injury protection; and
  • $5,000 for injury to the property of others in any one accident.

New Jersey Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance

In the state of New Jersey, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without proof of insurance or financial responsibility. The driver must maintain proof of continuous insurance throughout the registration period. The penalties for driving without car insurance in New Jersey include: fines of $300-$1,000 for the first offense, up to a year suspension of license, and community service.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Laws and Penalties

New Jersey DUI laws state that drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more are considered to be driving under the influence. New Jersey DUI laws also prohibit driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine or inhalants. A first offense conviction of DUI in New Jersey carries penalties of up to 30 days jail time, fines and fees of up to $1,000, and license suspension of 90 days to one year. Refusal to submit to a chemical test carries a penalty of a seven-month license suspension after the first offense.

New Jersey Cell Phone Driving Laws and Texting While Driving Laws

The state of New Jersey has a full ban on cell phone use for all drivers. New Jersey also has a texting while driving ban for all drivers. Violators could face a fine up to $400 for a first offense.

Car Insurance Benefits Offered to New Jersey Drivers

New Jersey drivers could receive valuable car insurance benefits from the AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford, including:
  • 12-month Rate Protection
  • Lifetime Renewability
  • New Car Replacement§§
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Disappearing Deductible
  • 24/7 Claim Service

Required Car Insurance Coverages in New Jersey

New Jersey state law requires liability car insurance at the following minimum limits:2
  • $15,000 for bodily injury, per person per accident.
  • $15,000 for bodily injury, total per accident.
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident.

Proof of Car Insurance in New Jersey

New Jersey state law requires you to furnish a copy of your car insurance ID card if requested by a police officer or other party if involved in an accident. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your ID card in the vehicle with your registration. For added convenience, New Jersey is now among the states that will accept an electronic copy of your ID card. With The Hartford’s mobile app, you can store your ID card right on your mobile device. Visit the App Store™ or Google Play™ for more information.

New Jersey Uninsured Driver Facts

According to a 2012 Insurance Research Council report, 10.3 percent of New Jersey drivers are uninsured. This is below the national average of 12.6%.3
Uninsured/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage can help with your medical bills if you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or a driver who does not have adequate car insurance coverage. In New Jersey, your uninsured/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage must have the following minimum coverage amounts:2
  • $15,000 per person
  • $30,000 per accident

Additional Car Insurance Coverages and Benefits Available to NJ Drivers

For added protection, New Jersey drivers may also be eligible for the following coverages from the AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford:
  • Comprehensive
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Transportation Expense

New Jersey Minimum Liability

Unlike most states, New Jersey offers drivers two minimum insurance coverage options: a basic policy and a standard policy. The basic policy is less expensive than the standard policy, but you also get less coverage (which means that if you are in an accident, you could end up paying more out-of-pocket).

Here are the minimum insurance requirements for each policy:

Basic Policy

  • $5,000 property damage coverage per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury coverage per person/accident

Standard Policy

  • $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $5,000 property damage coverage per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury coverage per person/accident

The State of New Jersey only recommends the Basic Policy for people with no family or assets (including income) to protect. The vast majority of residents should opt for a Standard Policy — and you’ll probably want more than the minimum coverage. Adding comprehensive coverage, for example, will help protect your car from hurricane damage.

When you start shopping for your insurance policy, make sure to compare quotes from multiple providers. Each insurer calculates premiums differently, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the right coverage package for the lowest possible rate. Use our guide to the best insurance providers in New Jersey to help you get started.

Why People Allow Insurance to Lapse

There can be lots of details related to the reasons that car insurance is allowed to lapse, but for most people, the reasons can be broken down into one of about five different categories. The first is simply not having the funds available to pay for the insurance, and the second is forgetting to pay for the insurance. The third and fourth categories relate to the automobile being broken down or involved in an accident — it is no longer drivable for a period of time. And the last category relates to the vehicle being sold.

Obviously, within each of these categories, there can be various reasons and circumstances.

However, when it comes to car insurance, it is always best to never let the insurance lapse.

If the lapse is due to oversight or because of lack of funds, there is a good chance that the vehicle is still being driven. Clearly, this is not recommended. Even when a car is out of commission, it is not wise to allow the insurance to lapse.

Considerations

Driving a motor vehicle without insurance is indulging in risky behavior. Very serious outcomes could result. In the end, as the owner or registrant of the vehicle, you could be held personally liable in an accident.

Another concern is related to fines issued to uninsured drivers. Besides fines, other penalties may also be imposed. In addition, this adds insurance points which make the cost of your insurance policy more expensive.

Who Gets Charged?

It may seem that the driver of an uninsured vehicle would automatically be the person to receive any and all charges related to driving without insurance, but the reality is, the liability can also fall to the owner or registrant of the car. New Jersey law can actually impose the liability upon the registrant or owner if that person causes the vehicle to be operated.

This refers to the owner or registrant of an uninsured motor vehicle allowing another driver to drive the automobile. However, if the driver is aware of the fact that there is not any insurance on the vehicle, that driver may also be liable.

Liability coverage is legally required in New Jersey and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In New Jersey, the minimum is listed as 15/30/5 and explained below:

$15,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.

$30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.

$5,000 property damage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage that you cause in an accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is legally required in New Jersey and pays for injury and lost wages that you or your passengers may suffer in the event that you are hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver who is at fault. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into two categories. In New Jersey, the minimum is listed as 15/30/5 and explained below:

$15,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person injured in your vehicle by an uninsured/underinsured driver.

$30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries in your vehicle by an uninsured/underinsured driver if more than one person is hurt.

$5,000 property damage coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage caused to your vehicle by an uninsured/underinsured driver.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in New Jersey can be coordinated with your health insurance or is offered as a stand-alone coverage for drivers that do not carry health insurance. It is important to check with your health insurance provider as to how or if they provide coverage for injuries resulting from auto accidents. Work loss, death benefit, and funeral expenses are not required but can be added to PIP to broaden coverage for you and your passengers. Minimum PIP coverage in New Jersey is listed below:

$15,000 per person. This is the total that pays out for injuries suffered by anyone in your vehicle, including the driver, regardless of fault. Limits can be increased to better suit your needs.

The lawsuit options in New Jersey determine a driver’s ability to sue for pain and suffering resulting from an accident. Choosing the “limited” option restricts the policyholder and their household members’ right to sue for pain and suffering in an accident to extreme circumstances like death, permanent disfigurement, or loss of a body part in return for a lower premium. Selecting the “unlimited” option allows the policyholder to sue for pain and suffering regardless of the severity of the injuries. This is generally a much more expensive option.