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New driver car insurance nj compare

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
  • 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. 

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Find The Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes In Your Area

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The five cheapest companies for the general population are NJ Skylands, Farmers (Mid-Century Insurance), Norfolk & Dedham (Fitchburg Mutual), Plymouth Rock, and GEICO. Their average annual premium was $1,394, which cost 37% or $834 less than the fifty-insurer composite.

To see how other auto insurance companies ranked in our NJ research, take a look at the table below. We've ranked the 37 major providers from the lowest to the most expensive companies based on our benchmark drivers. Your quotes will differ depending on where you live and your driving history, but these companies are a good place to start for cheap car insurance. Not every company underwrites policyholders the same way, so drivers should always compare car insurance quotes between several carriers to get good rates. 

Rank Auto Insurance Company Average Annual Rates
1 AAA / Western United Insurance* $1,187
2 New Jersey Skylands 1,213
3 Farmers / Mid-Century Insurance 1,301
4 Norfolk & Dedham / Fitchburg Mutual 1,443
5 Plymouth Rock 1,488
6 Teachers Auto Insurance Co of NJ* 1,516
7 GEICO 1,525
8 USAA* 1,576
9 Encompass P&C Insurance Co of NJ 1,850
10 Founders Insurance Co 1,869
11 Amica Property and Casualty Ins Co 1,877
12 United Farm Family Ins Co* 1,881
13 California Casualty & Fire Insurance* 1,916
14 Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) 1,934
15 Progressive 2,003
16 MAPFRE / American Commerce Ins 2,118
17 Esurance Ins Co of NJ 2,146
18 Liberty Mutual 2,152
19 Hartford Fire Ins Co 2,153
20 Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange (CURE) 2,210
21 AIG Property Casualty Company 2,233
22 Allstate NJ Property and Casualty 2,337
23 Mercury Indemnity Co of America 2,381
24 21st Century Centennial Co 2,448
25 Ameriprise / IDS Property Casualty 2,483
26 Selective Auto Ins Co of NJ 2,528
27 MetLife / Metropolitan P&C Ins Co 2,574
28 ACE Group 2,705
29 State Farm 2,734
30 NJM* 2,773
31 Fireman's Fund Indemnity Corp 2,874
32 IFA Insurance Co 3,015
33 Electric Insurance Co 3,309
34 Kemper Direct / Response Insurance 3,472
35 Chubb Insurance Company of NJ 3,832
36 Personal Service Ins Co 4,251
37 Hanover Insurance Co 4,385

*A couple of notes on the auto insurance companies above and special eligibility: AAA / Western United Insurance had the best rates in most of the cities we saw, but you have to have an AAA membership ($60/year in dues) in order to qualify. Teachers Auto Insurance of NJ only insures member of the education and school community while USAA covers only members of the military, both active and retired, and their families.

Additionally, while GEICO ranked as the 7th overall low-cost company in New Jersey, they actually had the cheapest underwriter in the state: Government Employees Insurance Company. Unfortunately, those low rates were balanced out by another vehicle, GEICO Indemnity Co, which had higher costs. Since consumers have no say in which company issues their policy, we've averaged the rates for our study.

Cheapest Car Insurance in New Jersey: by City

Auto insurance costs vary based on where you live, drive, and park your car, so let's take a look at costs at the city level. We compared car insurance quotes across fifty companies for four drivers to find the cheapest auto insurance companies for thirty cities in New Jersey. Even in locations such as Newark, Passaic, or Paterson, which ranked as the three costliest cities overall, we found companies with rates that were significantly cheaper than their citywide mean.

New Jersey Location Cheapest Insurer #1* Cheapest Insurer #2 Cheapest Insurer #3**
Newark NJ Skylands $1,428 Farmers $1,543 Norfolk & Dedham $1,651
Jersey City NJ Skylands 1,305 Farmers 1,403 Norfolk & Dedham 1,487
Paterson NJ Skylands 1,424 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,645
Atlantic City NJ Skylands 1,389 Norfolk & Dedham 1,511 Farmers 1,543
Elizabeth NJ Skylands 1,392 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,661
Bayonne NJ Skylands 1,156 Farmers 1,208 Plymouth Rock 1,336
Bloomfield NJ Skylands 1,265 Farmers 1,319 GEICO 1,365
Bridgewater NJ Skylands 880 Farmers 942 Founders Ins 1,087
Camden NJ Skylands 1,406 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,767
Cherry Hill** NJ Skylands 994 Farmers 1,055 Plymouth Rock 1,186
Clifton NJ Skylands 1,244 Farmers 1,356 Plymouth Rock 1,515
East Orange NJ Skylands 1,434 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,651
Gloucester NJ Skylands 1,026 Farmers 1,110 Norfolk & Dedham 1,212
Gloucester Township** NJ Skylands 1,063 Farmers 1,110 Plymouth Rock 1,175
Hamilton** NJ Skylands 1,132 Farmers 1,193 Plymouth Rock 1207.5
Hillsborough NJ Skylands 880 Farmers 913 Plymouth Rock 1,006
Lakewood Farmers 1,156 NJ Skylands 1,191 Norfolk & Dedham 1,295
Long Branch NJ Skylands 1,027 Farmers 1,038 GEICO 1,180
Montclair NJ Skylands 1,055 Farmers 1,122 Plymouth Rock 1,179
North Bergen NJ Skylands 1,370 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,738
Passaic NJ Skylands 1,406 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,772
Pennsauken NJ Skylands 1,244 Farmers 1,301 Norfolk & Dedham 1,382
Perth Amboy** NJ Skylands 1,284 Norfolk & Dedham 1,414 Farmers 1,543
Plainfield NJ Skylands 1,268 Norfolk & Dedham 1,324 Farmers 1,384
Teaneck NJ Skylands 1,166 Farmers 1,210 Plymouth Rock 1,344
Toms River NJ Skylands 996 Farmers 1,042 Plymouth Rock 1,210
Trenton Norfolk & Dedham 1,351 Farmers 1,353 NJ Skylands 1,369
Union City** NJ Skylands 1,354 Farmers 1,543 Norfolk & Dedham 1,706
Willingboro** NJ Skylands 1,156 Farmers 1,190 Norfolk & Dedham 1,318
Woodbridge NJ Skylands 1,093 Farmers 1,209 Plymouth Rock 1,294

*Generally speaking, Western United Insurance had some of the best rates for car insurance in each city, but drivers have to be AAA members to be eligible. Since not all drivers are AAA members, we've placed them aside in our analysis to make the information more useful to the general population. If you're an AAA member, however, we definitely recommend looking into quotes from Western United and seeing how they compare to other insurance companies you're considering.

**Teachers Auto insurance Company of New Jersey and USAA typically ranked as the third cheapest (after excluding Western United / AAA) in a handful of cities. We've also excluded them for the sake of being more relevant to the typical driver in the Garden State. However, if you are a teacher living in either Hamilton, Perth Amboy, or Union City, we recommend including Teachers Auto Insurance Company in your short list of companies for car insurance quotes - you might get a more favorable quote depending on your driving background. Active or retired members of the military and their relatives living in Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, or Willingboro have an extra option too. We suggest that residents in these three locations check out USAA for potentially cheaper quotes as well.

Newark, NJ

Cheap car insurance in Newark can still be had despite its status as the most expensive city in New Jersey. Average quotes for auto insurance ranged from $1,213 to $5,646 on the high end – a range of 4.7x. Rates here in the "Brick City" range from $1,800 a year for a married couple in their 60s to $3,600 for married middle-aged couples on average. If you’re a single male, rates in Newark are $3,192 for a 23 year old and $2,368 for a 35 year old. We greatly encourage young male drivers in Newark to comparison shop around: this age group had the biggest gap between the cheapest and the most expensive insurer - at $7,281 a year.

For residents of the largest city in the Garden State, and hosts of the New Jersey Devils: the three cheapest car insurance companies in Newark were New Jersey Skylands, Farmers (Mid-Century Insurance), and Norfolk & Dedham (Fitchburg Mutual), with average rates of $1,540 a year. Compared to the Newark average of $2,756, these companies’ quotes are about 44% cheaper. Note that the second cheapest was actually AAA (underwriting as Western United Insurance), with rates of $1,543 across our four drivers – but that’s only available to AAA members. One of the best rates we found for a single 35 year old man in Newark was $1,291 at Norfolk & Dedham (through their affiliate Fitchburg Mutual), which was about 45% less than what the typical company charged in the city for that demographic. We recommend that married couples in their 30s and 40s in Newark include Farmers in their quote comparisons. Farmers had the best rates in Newark for married folks, with average annual premiums of $1,502 that were 59% lower than the going average from other insurance providers for their two vehicles.

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Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City’s auto insurance costs rank it as the 11th most expensive out of the state. Annual premiums in this place known among residents as “Chilltown” and in history as “America’s Golden Door” are just 9% higher compared to the state average. Car insurance quotes in Jersey City can differ by almost 4x from $1,036 to $4,901 on average.

This is a large range, but with some comparison shopping, we found the cheapest car insurance in Jersey City at New Jersey Skylands, Farmers (Mid-Century Insurance), and Norfolk & Dedham (Fitchburg Mutual). Among these three, rates averaged about $1,398, which represented savings of 43% compared to the overall city average of $2,439. Western United Insurance actually has the best rates in Jersey City, but it’s only available for AAA members – average rates can be as low as $1,221. Married couples in their 30s and 40s should also try their luck with Farmers (underwriting as Mid-Century Insurance Co.) as they had the cheapest quote for this demographic. Farmers' rates for a married pair operating two vehicles were discounted about 58% off of the Jersey City average based on our data. For a single male in his mid-thirties, we'd suggest getting quotes from Norfolk & Dedham as well as New Jersey Skylands, since these two companies showed the most favorable rates. Including one of these three companies in your quote comparison can make for an easier impact on the wallet.

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Paterson, NJ

Paterson may rank as the third most expensive city on our list, but we have some cheap auto insurance recommendations here too. We found the lowest quotes across our four drivers at New Jersey Skylands, Farmers (underwriting as Mid-Century), and Norfolk & Dedham (underwriting as Fitchburg Mutual). 43%: that is how much lower the average quote from these guys is compared to the Paterson-wide average of $2,704. Are you an AAA member in the “Silk City”? Through Western United Auto Insurance, AAA members can see the third lowest costs in Paterson of $1,639 a year.

How are rates by drivers in the nation’s first industrial city? Average rates for married drivers halve from $3,569 for middle-aged couples to $1,810 for senior citizens. Single male drivers in their early 20s can see rates of $3,118, while single 35 year old males can see rates of $2,319. However, through the three most affordable companies in Paterson, auto insurance rates made a 40% smaller dent in the budgets of a single male in his 30s, and 51% cheaper for a married middle-aged couple.

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Elizabeth, NJ

To find low-cost auto insurance in Elizabeth, drivers should start with New Jersey Skylands Association, AAA (underwriting as Western United), and Farmers (underwriting as Mid-Century). Because Western United is limited to members with an AAA membership, we’ll add a fourth company for Elizabeth drivers: Norfolk & Dedham. The average annual premium between the three insurance companies (excluding AAA) was $1,532, which was 43% lower than the mean cost from fifty insurers. We recommend that married couples looking to insure their car in E-town include Farmers in their review of quotes, as rates there were about 57% lower than the citywide average. For unmarried men in their 30s, we'll add Norfolk & Dedham / Fitchburg Mutual to the short list of car insurance companies they should get quotes from, since their rates were a 46% discount compared to the average Elizabeth insurer.

The fourth largest city in the Garden State, Elizabeth ranks as our sixth most expensive city for car insurance in New Jersey. Known affectionately as “Betsytown” or E-town, Elizabeth once served as the first capital of New Jersey. Rates in E-town are about 20% higher than the typical Garden State city. Rates for a single 35 year old man are $968, about $300 more than a married senior citizen couple. Married couples in their 30s and 40s can see annual premiums of $1,502, while a 23 year old guy can see rates of $1,137 in E-town.

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Woodbridge, NJ

The difference between affordable car insurance in Woodbridge and the most expensive rates can be as high as $2,941 a year. The cheapest insurers in Woodbridge are Western United Insurance (AAA), NJ Skylands, and Farmers (Mid-Century). Only AAA members can get auto insurance from Western United, though, so USAA (military + family only) and Plymouth Rock round out the five cheapest companies. We saw average quotes of $1,198 a year from NJ Skylands, Farmers, and Plymouth Rock across the four driver profiles – that’s a savings of $801 on average compared to the citywide average among the fifty companies in our analysis. We would advise Woodbridge's single male drivers in their 30s to definitely get auto insurance quotes from New Jersey Skylands (43% more affordable than what the typical insurer charged here). On the other hand, at $1,154, Mid-Century Insurance Company (a Farmers company) had the best rates out of 50 underwriters for a married couple in their 30s and 40s. 

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Passaic, NJ

The birthplace of modern television, Zoe Saldana, and Paul Rudd, this city is also the second most expensive in New Jersey. Affordable auto insurance can still be found in Passaic, though. Mean annual premiums can cost on average $2,714, but rates among our three cheapest insurers were $1,574 (a difference of $1,140). These companies were New Jersey Skylands, Farmers (Mid-Century), and Norfolk & Dedham (Fitchburg Mutual). Note: Western United had the second best absolute numbers of $1,537 on average a year, but they’re only available to AAA members. We'd encourage single males driving in Passaic to obtain quotes from New Jersey Skylands, which quoted about $1,048 or 45% less than the city average. Married couples should also include Farmers in the mix of companies for car insurance quotes; Farmers' average rates in Passaic were about $2,073 or 58% less than what other insurers typically charge.

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Camden, NJ

Camden is home to 77,000 residents, including in the past American poet Walt Whitman. That makes it the twelfth largest city in our analysis, but the fourth most expensive for car insurance. In spite of this, we have suggestions for Camden drivers looking for more affordable protection for their vehicles.

So where can you find cheap auto insurance in Camden? Start with New Jersey Skylands, Farmers (Mid-Century), and Norfolk & Dedham (Fitchburg Mutual), whose mean rates are $1,572 a year for our four drivers. Otherwise, the average cost to insure an automobile in Camden is $2,688 annually, about 21% more than elsewhere in the Garden State. As an aside, AAA members can enjoy the second lowest rates in Camden at Western United through their membership (annual rates of $1,517 on average). For a married middle-aged couple with two vehicles to insure, Farmers had the lowest rates - we definitely suggest adding them to a list of companies for auto insurance quote comparisons. At $1,502 a year, rates at Farmers were a little more than $2,000 cheaper compared to what other insurance companies would charge our couple in Camden.

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Hillsborough, NJ

The best city for auto insurance in New Jersey goes to Hillsborough, a city at the base of Sourland Mountain in Somerset County. Hillsborough had the cheapest auto insurance rates in New Jersey across the four profiles surveyed with a composite average of $1,538. That’s 31% less than the overall average for New Jersey, and almost half the cost of insuring a car in Newark, NJ. It’s possible to save even more at the three cheapest companies (NJ Skylands, Farmers/Mid-Century, and Plymouth Rock), with a mean annual premium of $933. Out of the fifty underwriters in our research, Farmers had the best car insurance rates for a married couple's Ford Taurus and Chrysler Town & Country. The average rate in Hillsborough for these drivers was $1,047 or 53% more expensive more than the rate at Farmers. How about for single male drivers? Plymouth Rock, through their High Point and Palisades affiliates, had annual rates that were cheaper than the city average by 41%. We'd recommend that single men in their 30s add Plymouth Rock to their list of companies for cheap auto insurance quotes in Hillsborough.

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North Bergen, NJ

Measuring about 5,600 square miles in size, North Bergen is the base of one of the longest running shows on television, Law & Order: SVU, and has been featured in the film Cinderella Man. It also rounds off the top five most expensive cities in New Jersey with annual costs for car insurance of $2,673.

Drivers can still find low-cost car insurance in North Bergen, however. Auto insurance costs can be 42% lower at $1,550 at our three cheapest companies. Those three companies are: NJ Skylands, Farmers (through Mid-Century), and Norfolk & Dedham (through Fitchburg Mutual). AAA, through Western United Insurance, can provide its members with rates as low as $1,406 a year – we just haven’t included it in our top three since not all drivers may have this membership. Generally, our typical 35 year old man's quotes from these three providers were about 39% or $886 lower than what he would see across a range of insurers in North Bergen. For our married drivers, these three companies represent a $1,757 or 50% reduction compared to the citywide mean.

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Toms River, NJ

Toms River grabs the spot of the third cheapest city for auto insurance rates despite being the 8th most populous spot in our study. With miles of shoreline and frontage on the Jersey Shore to drive, motorists will be glad to learn that rates here are an affordable $1,770, about 21% less than the state average. The cheapest three companies averaged quotes of $1,082 a year, which is about 39% less than the city average. Where at? NJ Skylands, Farmers/Mid-Century, and Plymouth Rock are great places to start with. We suggest that single 35-year old men and married middle-aged couples start with auto insurance quotes at New Jersey Skylands and Farmers, respectively, when they're looking to compare rates. Annual rates at NJ Skylands are about $605 or 41% cheaper for single males, and at Farmers are $1,256 or 55% lower for married middle-aged pairs.

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Long Branch, NJ

Coming in as the #4 cheapest city in the Garden State is the beach resort town of Long Branch, home to 31,000 residents. Annual costs to insure a car run at $1,788 for Long Branch drivers, which is 20% below the state average. Drivers interested in the cheapest car insurance quotes in Long Branch should look into NJ Skylands, Farmers/Mid-Century, and GEICO. Rates among these three companies were 37% cheaper for unmarried 35-year old men, and 47% more affordable for a married pair in their 30s or 40s.

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Cherry Hill, NJ

With yearly costs of $1,812, the city of Cherry Hill in Camden County ranks as the fifth cheapest city in New Jersey. The city is located centrally, within half an hour from Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton. While average annual premiums are already 19% below the state average, you can save even more by considering NJ Skylands, Farmers/Mid-Century, and USAA. At these three companies, the average premium is $1,074, which is 41% lower than the Cherry Hill average. While rates at Farmers and USAA (a specialty insurer for military families) are relatively inexpensive for a single man driving in Cherry Hill, rates at New Jersey Skylands were 42% easier on the wallet compared to what the typical insurer would charge here. A married pair living and driving in Cherry Hill should consider getting quotes from Farmers and a few other carriers - Farmers' rates here were about $1,300 better or 56% cheaper versus the citywide mean for the couple.

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Find The Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes In Your Area

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Best Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey

To find the best auto insurance companies in New Jersey, we took a look at which companies received the least complaints compared to the rest of the auto insurance companies, and then combined it with our auto insurance rate data above. Based on their low complaint index and costs, New Jersey Skylands, Farmers, and Plymouth Rock are three of the best companies in New Jersey. 

Below are the top companies in the Garden State ranked by their complaint index, which measures how many justified complaints a company gets compared to the average insurer. An index of 1 is average, while index numbers greater than 1 are worse.

RankInsurer# of VehiclesComplaint Index
1 NJM Group 806,226 0
2 Palisades Group 153,709 0
3 Encompass 44,705 0
4 IDS Property Casualty Ins Co 31,265 0
5 NJ Skylands 30,980 0
6 Farmers Group 25,288 0
7 Founders Insurance Company 21,096 0
8 Hartford Group 19,605 0
9 Chubb Insurance Company of NJ 19,332 0
10 American National Financial Group 18,759 0
11 High Point Group 286,399 0.288
12 USAA Group 227,929 0.544
13 Esurance 64,608 0.639
14 Travelers Group 180,780 0.685
15 Progressive Group 426,714 0.871
16 Metropolitan Group 87,604 0.943
17 State Farm 500,451 0.99
18 Liberty Mutual 389,148 1.061
19 Allstate Group 627,015 1.317
20 GEICO Group 880,643 1.36

Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey: by City

The average cost of insurance in New Jersey was $2,228 across the fifty underwriters surveyed in the largest cities in the state. This figure represents the average of rates for single 23 year old men, single 35 year old men, married middle-aged couple, and a married 65 year old couple. Generally speaking, the larger and more densely populated the city, such as Newark, the higher the average annual costs to insure a car. 

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Auto Insurance Requirements in New Jersey

Auto insurance is required in New Jersey. New Jersey's standard policy requires liability insurance for bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury protection. Driving in New Jersey requires a motorist to be insured for $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person (up to $30,000 per accident), $5,000 for property damage, and $15,000 for personal injury protection.

LiabilityMinimum Liability AmountsHigh
Bodily Injury Liability $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident $250,000 per person / $500,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability $5,000 per accident $100,000 per accident
Personal Injury Protection $15,000 per person or accident $250,000 or more

Limited vs. Unlimited Right to Sue for Non-Economic Losses

There’s a unique feature to New Jersey’s car insurance regulations that gives you the choice of a limited or unlimited right to sue for non-economic losses. Picking a limited right to sue usually means paying lower premiums. An unlimited right to sue can cost about 30% more than the limited option. Here’s what the average premiums look like under both options:

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What are non-economic losses?

Non-economic losses are typically referred to as “pain and suffering” losses that are more subjective in nature (e.g., loss of companionship / pleasure in life). This is different than suing for quantifiable damages such as income loss from missing work, or medical payments to cover your hospital bills. 

What’s the difference between limited and unlimited right to sue?

A limited right to sue means that you agree beforehand NOT to sue for pain and suffering. You can only sue for pain and suffering if your injury results in one of these examples: a body part loss, major disfigurement or scarring, a displaced fracture, a loss of a fetus, permanent injury to a body part or organ such that it can’t heal normally, and death. 

You can still sue for economic losses, but you have to pick between a limited right to sue or an unlimited right to sue for non-economic losses.

Methodology

Sample quotes are based on New Jersey's Department of Banking and Insurance data. Included in the study are cities with population sizes greater than 30,000. Please note that auto insurance rates presented in the study are for informational and illustrative purposes only. Your actual rates will depend on various factors such as your own driving history, the amount of liability protection you need, where you live and garage your car, the type of car you drive, the annual mileage and usage of the car - just to give a few examples. Here are the liability limits and characteristics of the profiles (note: they've all been accident and traffic violation free in the past three years):

  • Single Male, age 23: drives a 2006 Buick LaCrosse CX, has Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage of 15/30/5, PIP of $250k/$250, and Comprehensive and Collision deductibles of $750
  • Single Male, age 35: drives a 2012 Ford Taurus SE, has Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage of 100/300/25, PIP of $250k/$250, and Comprehensive and Collision deductibles of $750
  • Married Couple, ages 30 - 49: drive a 2012 Ford Taurus SE and 2010 Chrysler Town & Country LX, have Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage of 100/300/25, PIP of $250k/$250, and Comprehensive and Collision deductibles of $750
  • Married Couple, ages 65: drive a 2012 Ford Taurus SE, have Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage of 100/300/25, PIP of $250k/$250, and Comprehensive and Collision deductibles of $750

*Limit amounts are presented in the format of "Bodily Injury Protection per Person / Bodily Injury Coverage per Accident / and Property Damage", and apply to both regular liability and Uninusred Motorist Coverage. Personal Injury Protection is presented in the format of "Limit in thousands / Deductible". Deductible amounts apply to both individual comprehensive (OTC) and collision coverage

Source

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

Source


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 NJ, but offers limited coverage. The standard policy costs more, but provides sufficient coverage.

The average car insurance rate in New Jersey is $1,239 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 07102 can save $678 by shopping around. That’s because the highest rate among six carriers is $2,108 for that neighborhood, compared to $1,430, 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 from the six major carriers surveyed to get an idea of what the most affordable car insurance price is in your area.

Cheap car insurance in New Jersey

New Jersey car insurance requirements for basic coverage

State law requires the following coverages:
Minimum property damage liability $5,000
Personal injury protection (PIP) $15,000

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.

New Jersey standard car insurance requirements

State law requires the following coverages:
Minimum bodily injury liability $15,000/$30,000
Minimum property damage liability $5,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury/uninsured motorist property damage $15,000/$30,000/$5,000
Personal injury protection (PIP) $15,000

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 $1,000 deductible costs, on average, $1,291 more, or $108 a month.

Coverage limits Average annual rate
Liability Only – state minimum $1,086
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD $1,462
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$1,000 Comp/Collision deductible
$2,377
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$500 Comp/Collision deductible
$2,550
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$250 Comp/Collision deductible
$2,735

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

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 PRIMARY RESIDENCE OWN RENT VEHICLE FINANCING 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 $356, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Comprehensive 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 $118, according to the III. 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.

Car insurance companies 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.

Best car insurance companies in New Jersey

Best customer service:

  1. USAA -- 100
  2. State Farm—92
  3. Allstate – 91.8
  4. Travelers – 90.6
  5. Geico – 88.7

Best claims service:

  1. USAA – 100
  2. Travelers – 97.5
  3. Liberty Mutual – 96
  4. Geico –93.9
  5. Progressive – 92.5

Best value for the price:

  1. USAA – 91.3
  2. Travelers – 88.8
  3. Progressive – 86.3
  4. State Farm – 84.6
  5. Geico – 88.1

Get Personalized Car Insurance Quotes Age Currently Insured I am married I own my home I've served in the military

Largest car insurance companies in New Jersey

Rank Company Name Direct premiums written Market share % Overall Customer Review Ranking
1 Geico 1,321,895 18.65% 88.1
2 NJM Insurance Group 906,558 12.79% n/a
3 Allstate Insurance Group 888,108 12.53% 87
4 Progressive Insurance Group 726,001 10.24% 89.6
5 State Farm Group 611,174 8.62% 90.4
6 Palisades Group 566,344 7.99% n/a
7 Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies 511,246 7.21% 86.4
8 USAA Group 263,872 3.72% 97.2
9 Travelers Group 234,443 3.31% 91.2
10 Farmers Insurance Group 226,448 3.19% 81.8

Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2015.

Customer review rankings based on Insure.com's 2016 "Best Insurance Companies" survey of 3,700 customers. Scores out of 100.

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.

Source


If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in New Jersey, having patience can pay off. Rates change significantly from one company to the next, so it’s wise to compare several quotes and not settle for the first price you get.

To help you save time and hassle, NerdWallet’s staff sorted through 200 rates from the largest car insurance insurance companies in New Jersey. For each driver profile below we identified the cheapest insurers in the state. (Here’s our full research methodology.)

Good drivers

Young drivers

Drivers with one at-fault crash

Drivers with poor credit

Retired drivers

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

Cheapest for good drivers

For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.

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price

  • $1,258/year
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  • $1,396/year
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Price

  • $1,896/year
Get a quote

The average for good drivers among the three cheapest companies is $1,517 per year. Travelers Insurance led the field with rates well below that mark, at $1,258 a year.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance was the next cheapest option. Note, however, that NJM 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.

It’s a good idea to compare safe-driving perks among insurers before making your final decision.

Cheapest for young drivers

For drivers in their early 20s.

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  • $845/year
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  • $960/year
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Price

  • $1,188/year
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Since drivers in their early 20s often don’t have pricey assets or families to protect, they can typically get by with less coverage than older drivers. We factored this into our analysis by gathering rates for young drivers who carry the New Jersey minimum state-required coverage.

NJM fetched the lowest average quote for this group, $845 per year, which comes to roughly $70 a month. Travelers and Allstate were the next cheapest options, respectively.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

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  • $1,396/year
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  • $1,944/year
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Price

  • $3,715/year
Get a quote

Even drivers with an at-fault crash on their records can potentially save a lot of money by shopping around. NJM (which has specific eligibility requirements) offered the best deal in our results at $1,396 per year. This was $138 higher than the cheapest quote for drivers of the same age with clean records.

For drivers who don’t qualify for NJM, Travelers was by far the most cost-effective option with an average price tag of $162 a month; every other company we sampled had rates over $300 a month.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For drivers placed in the “Poor Credit” tier.

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  • $1,960/year
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  • $2,966/year
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Price

  • $3,237/year
Get a quote

Car insurance companies in most states use applicants’ credit history to help predict the likelihood of future claims. New Jersey drivers who have poor credit are particularly susceptible to sky-high rates, based on our analysis.

For example, the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey for this group — $1,960 from NJM — was $702 higher than the most affordable rate for good drivers with no credit problems. And rates spiked more than $1,000 going from NJM to the next cheapest company, Travelers.

Cheapest for retired drivers

For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.

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  • $939/year
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  • $1,255/year
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  • $1,311/year
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Retirees can often score relatively cheap quotes thanks to their reduced time behind the wheel.

We researched rates for drivers in their 60s who travel half as many miles as most other groups. NJM notched the lowest average rate for cheap car insurance in New Jersey for retirees, at $939 per year. This was more than $300 less than the cheapest quote for good drivers half that age.

Motorists age 55 or older may also be able to earn a discount for completing a driver improvement course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Find a list of approved courses from the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey requires drivers to carry liability insurance and personal injury protection, or PIP, in the following amounts:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $15,000 PIP.

Even though these minimums will allow you to drive legally, you may want to buy more liability coverage to better guard your savings and assets against lawsuits. For example, if you total another person’s car, the damage could easily exceed a $5,000 property damage liability limit on your policy. The difference would have to come out of your pocket.

It’s also wise to consider common optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive, which keep you from paying out of pocket if, say, you skid on ice and hit a tree, or your vehicle is stolen.

Learn more about your required and optional New Jersey coverages with our guide to state car insurance requirements.

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

If DUIs, poor credit or other factors are preventing you from getting car insurance on the voluntary market, you can seek coverage through the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help finding competitive car insurance quotes in New Jersey, try NerdWallet’s comparison tool.

Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversTravelers
Young driversNJM Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault crashNJM Insurance
Drivers with poor creditNJM Insurance
Retired driversNJM Insurance

Alex Glenn is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aglenn@nerdwallet.com.

Updated Jan. 11, 2017.

METHODOLOGY

For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used a 2013 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups, as did our low-mileage driver. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Source

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