No matter where you live in New Jersey, Liberty Mutual rewards your responsible choices withthat 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.
Auto insurance is mandatory in New Jersey, but the type and cost of that coverage can vary significantly. Every day, consumers are finding that there are options available to make it easier to comply with the law. The Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act mandated that a Basic Policy be available to all drivers.
It is important to realize that you are breaking the law if you drive uninsured. The penalties for driving uninsured are getting more severe — in addition to risking economic loss by not having insurance protection, you risk fines, suspension of driver’s license or registration and even time in jail. In the future, your car could be impounded if you are caught behind the wheel without coverage.
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.
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.
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.
- Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
- Best Car Insurance Rates: by City
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
- Average Cost in New Jersey: by City
- New Jersey Auto Insurance Requirements
Cheapest Auto Insurance in New Jersey
We compared quotes from fifty companies in the Garden state to identify the cheapest auto insurance companies in New Jersey for four different kinds of drivers: single young and middle-aged men, and middle-aged and senior married couples.
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.
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.
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 PDLper 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.
If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in New Jersey, having patience can pay off. Rates vary significantly from one company to the next, so it’s wise to compare several quotes rather than settle for the first price you see.
To help you save time and hassle, NerdWallet’s staff analyzed rates from the largest car insurance insurance companies in New Jersey. For each driver profile below we identified the cheapest insurers in the state:
Drivers with one at-fault crash
Drivers with poor credit
In comparing your choices, note that New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance serves only people (and their families) employed by the state of New Jersey or one of its counties, municipalities or townships, the federal government, a New Jersey public school, or an organization in the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, or who have some other eligibility factor.
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.
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:
- $5,000 property damage coverage per accident
- $15,000 personal injury coverage per person/accident
- $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.
How We Found the Best Auto Insurance in New Jersey
We ranked the five largest insurance providers in New Jersey using the same methodology we applied to our nationwide auto insurance review. We checked each insurer’s ratings with companies like A.M. Best to evaluate their financial strength and ability to pay out on claims; we used customer service evaluators like JD Power and Consumer Reports to learn whether real people were happy with their experiences. We compared each insurer’s coverage options, and checked to see how many discounts they offered: Can you get a reduced rate if you purchase multiple policies with the same insurer? What about if your car has airbags or anti-theft devices?
Finally, we looked at each insurer’s online resources and educational tools — a good auto insurance provider will not only provide coverage, but also resources to help you become a better driver.
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.
New Jersey SR-22 Insurance Documents
New Jersey SR-22 insurance documents are required for drivers who have been convicted of driving without auto insurance. An SR-22 form may need to be filed for three years with the MVC, showing proof of financial responsibility. This filing is usually required after the suspension of your driving privileges has been lifted. Your insurer can electronically file SR-22 insurance documents to the state of New Jersey for drivers that are required to keep and show valid auto liability insurance.
Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey
If you are looking for cheap car insurance in the Garden State, Good2Go Auto Insurance may be able to help. We help you find low down payments and easy monthly payment options to get you on the Thunder Road for less.
If you own your own home and are a New Jersey resident, you can save on your car insurance coverage with 21st’s homeowner discount. Also, if you insure more than one car with 21st Century, you can save money on your total car insurance costs with the multi-policy discount.
If you’re extra-careful on the road, and have taken a defensive driving course to make sure you’re well prepared, 21st Century offers you a car insurance discount. Just make certain your driving course is state recognized and the discount will last for three years after the course is completed.
If you’ve purchased a car with additional safety features you may also be eligible for discounts from 21st. Eligible safety devices include alarm systems, air bags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seatbelts. Just make sure to indicate which devices you have when you fill in the online quote forms at 21st.com or speak with an agent.
When searching for the best New Jersey car insurance quotes, make sure to get a free online insurance quote from 21st Century. 21st offers the same great coverage for less and New Jersey car insurance discounts that can help nearly everyone save money.