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New Jersey Car Insurance

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New Jersey car owners have a choice between two types of NJ auto insurance policies: basic or standard. The basic option is the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey, but offers limited coverage. The standard policy costs more, but provides sufficient coverage.

AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE RATES
by ZIP Code & City

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES in New Jersey

MOST EXPENSIVE PER MONTHLEAST EXPENSIVE PER MONTH
07055- Clifton: $88 08557- Sergeantsville: $43
07106- East Orange: $88 08559- Ringoes: $43
07198- Newark: $88 08556- Rosemont: $43
07184- Newark: $88 07979- Pottersville: $43

The average car insurance rate in New Jersey is $1,346 a year. The severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood, your driving record, the type of car you drive and other variables are used by insurance companies to figure out the cost of your policy. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. For example, drivers in Newark ZIP code 07199 can save $1,654 by shopping around. That’s because the highest rate among six carriers is $2,734 for that neighborhood, compared to $1,080, the lowest. When shopping for car insurance, use our average car insurance rates tool to compare rates. Enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for your neighborhood. You will also see the highest and lowest rates for up to six major carriers surveyed to get an idea of what the most affordable car insurance price is in your area. For a more customized rate, choose from among six age groups and three coverage levels.

The basic policy, which is the cheapest car insurance in NJ, meets only the minimums needed to drive legally in the Garden State. Though you can drive with a basic policy, they are hard to find, as most insurance companies only issue standard policies. A basic policy consists of:

  • Property damage liability coverage of $5,000. Covers, up to your limits, damage you cause to other cars or property.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) of $15,000 per person, per accident. Pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers and those you give permission to drive your car. It also covers you and your family members if you are injured while riding in someone else's car or if struck by another vehicle while on foot. PIP is sometimes called “no-fault insurance” because it kicks in regardless of who is at fault.

The basic NJ car insurance policy covers your own injuries and a small amount of damage to other cars you hit, which makes it suitable only for those who have little savings or few other assets. There is an option to add $10,000 in bodily injury liability, but uninsured motorist coverage is not available. Your right to sue for pain and suffering is limited to severe or permanent injuries.

Standard NJ auto insurance

For most drivers, we recommended New Jersey's standard policy, as explained below.

Cheap car insurance in New Jersey

New Jersey car insurance requirements

Standard policies include:

  • Bodily injury liability of at least $15,000 per person, up to $30,000 per accident. This pays, up to your policy limits, for injuries that others receive in an accident caused by you or other drivers listed on your policy. If you have substantial savings, a home or a business, you should raise those limits even higher.
  • Property damage liability of at least $5,000. Covers damage to other’s property and cars. This can be raised, and should be.
  • PIP of $15,000 per person or accident; this can be raised as high as $250,000.
  • Uninsured and underinsured bodily injury motorist coverage equal to your liability limits. Helps to cover costs for injuries when hit by uninsured drivers and those with little coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist property damage of at least $5,000. Covers damage to your car when in an accident with a driver with insufficient coverage.

Holders of a standard NJ auto insurance policy can choose between the limited right to sue and the unlimited right to sue. The unlimited option means you retain the right to sue for pain and suffering over any injury.

With both the basic and standard New Jersey car insurance policy, your medical bills and lost wages are paid up to your limits by your PIP coverage and then by any bodily injury liability claim or lawsuit brought against the at-fault driver.

Regardless of the limit you have chosen, PIP will pay up to $250,000 for certain severe injuries, such as damage to the spinal cord or brain.

It does cost more to buy more protection, but as you’ll see in the chart below, it usually isn’t cost prohibitive. Increasing your insurance from the state minimum to full coverage with a $500 deductible costs, on average, $669 more, or $56 a month.

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in New Jersey from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Cheapest New Jersey auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in New Jersey, by company. You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for New Jersey drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.

Best car insurance in New Jersey

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Companies not in the top 10 of market share do not qualify. All scores are out of 100.

 

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Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey by company

Below you'll see average annual rates for New Jersey, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

  • State minimum liability requirements
  • Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
  • Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible

Largest car insurance companies in New Jersey

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Who has the cheapest New Jersey car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $1,173, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

Low cost auto insurance for New Jersey drivers with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average New Jersey driver with a full coverage policy:

Car insurance for New Jersey drivers with bad credit

Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. New Jersey ranks 2nd among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com's data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in New Jersey with bad credit pay 106 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You'll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $1,557 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That's how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in New Jersey?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In New Jersey, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 223 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in New Jersey, and how major insurers compare on price. GEICO Govt Employees had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in New Jersey

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

Show Tablular Data

Recommended car insurance coverage

The cheapest car insurance in NJ may not be the best car insurance for your particular situation.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation on how much coverage you need.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision pays for damage to your car from an accident. The average annual cost for collision coverage in NJ is $450, according to CarInsurance.com’s data analysisComprehensive pays to replace stolen cars and for damages to your car from theft, fire, flood waters, hail, animal strikes, falling objects and vandalism. The average annual cost for comprehensive coverage in NJ is $102. These are optional coverages.If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

These coverages are required in New Jersey and should match the liability limits you choose. Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. New Jersey requires you to carry PIP, so MedPay isn’t a must-have coverage. MedPay is an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

New Jersey car insurance laws and resources

Speeding tickets

If you are cited for speeding, points will be tacked on your license as follows:

  • 1 to 14 mph over limit – 2 points
  • 15 to 29 mph over limit – 4 points
  • 30 mph or more over limit – 5 points

Typically insurers review your driving record upon renewal, and will raise your rates if you have a speeding ticket. This higher rate typically lasts for three years. A speeding ticket in NJ will raise your rates, on average, by 27 percent, according to our analysis of rates based on Quadrant Information Services data.

NJ Points and surcharges

New Jersey uses a point system to record driving infractions. You can review a list of all the New Jersey points for citations online. If you get six or more points within three years on your driving record, you will be assessed a surcharge. This means you’ll be fined $150 plus $25 for each additional point for three years.

If you get 12 or more points on your record, your license will be suspended. You will receive a suspension notice by mail.

Getting points on your license may also increase your insurance rates. Insurers typically review your record upon policy renewal and may hike your premium if you have a moving violation.

You can view your NJ driving record online by visiting the New Jersey Motor Vehicle website.

NJ Special Automobile Insurance Policy

The SAIP program is designed to help low-income drivers afford limited car insurance coverage. If you are currently enrolled in federal Medicaid with hospitalization you qualify for SAIP. A policy through SAIP costs $365 a year and covers:

  • Emergency treatment immediately following an accident
  • Treatment of serious brain and spinal cord injuries up to $250,000
  • It also provides a $10,000 death benefit

For help purchasing a SAIP policy, call the customer service number at 1-800-652-2471.  

Eligibility points in NJ

Auto insurance companies assign motorists eligibility points for traffic violations, at-fault accidents and suspensions. Also, newly licensed drivers, regardless of age, are assigned three "inexperience" eligibility points. For each year of experience the driver gets, one point is removed. To be considered for the voluntary insurance market in New Jersey, you need to accumulate fewer than seven insurance eligibility points in the preceding three years.

STATE CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

To drive legally in New Jersey, you must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and property damage liability insurance with at least limits of:

15 / 5

Personal injury protection limits of $15,000, to cover you, your passengers and authorized drivers who are injured while in your car, and property damage liability of $5,000, to pay for damage to other cars and property. 

*Bodily injury liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not required by New Jersey state law, but is required by most insurance carriers.

Click here for an explanation of liability requirements numbers

HOW MUCH IS CAR INSURANCE IN NEW JERSEY? The average car insurance rate in New Jersey is:
$1,346 per year
22nd most expensive state in the U.S.
"No-Fault" Insurance Law
Under a no-fault system, when you have an accident, your auto insurance provider automatically pays you for certain damages, regardless of fault, up to a specified limit.
DRIVING IN NEW JERSEY
In our independent study of the best and worst states for driving, New Jersey was the
10TH WORST STATE
68% percent of roads are in poor/mediocre condition
10.3% of the drivers on the roads are uninsured
6.2% traffic-related deaths per 100,000 population
3.91% of the average annual median household income is spent on car insurance
74 hours of commuter delay per year in Newark, the state's most congested city

Full report: Best and worst states for driving