(Photo 12 / Getty Images)

New Jersey is home to more than nine million people, and nearly 70 percent of that population includes licensed drivers. That’s significantly more drivers than most other states have. In fact, New Jersey is just shy of cracking the top 10 U.S. states with the most licensed drivers. By comparison, Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina have a similar number of drivers, while New York, Florida, and Texas have 13 million or more drivers each. The sprawling state of California is home to the most drivers in the country, with about four times as many motorists as New Jersey.

New Jersey’s average insurance rates are quite attractive compared to those of some other states. Michigan, for example, has an average insurance rate of nearly $10,500. That’s almost double the average cost of coverage in New Jersey. To get the cheapest auto insurance rates in New Jersey, you’ll want to have a clean driving record, good credit, and residency in a county that receives fewer insurance claims than others, though you can save money by shopping around. New Jersey car insurance rates vary quite a bit depending on the insurance company you choose.

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Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in New Jersey

Company Average Rate
GEICO $2,754.94
Progressive $3,972.72
Travelers $4,254.49
Allstate $5,713.58
Liberty Mutual $6,766.61
State Farm $7,527.15
Farmers $7,617.00

 

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in New Jersey

U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in New Jersey?

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Based on data from seven insurance companies, the average insurance rate in New Jersey is $5,515. Geico offers the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey, with average annual rates coming in at $2,754.94. Progressive is the second-cheapest auto insurance company in New Jersey, with average annual rates at $3,972.72.  New Jersey drivers looking to save money may want to pass on Farmers insurance. With an average annual rate of $7,617.00, it is the most expensive car insurance company in the Garden State.

Teen drivers have the most expensive coverage because they’re at the highest risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident within the first two years of driving. A single 17-year-old female pays an average of about $10,210 for auto coverage in New Jersey, while a male of the same age pays a higher rate of nearly $11,930 because they have a statistically higher chance of getting in a crash. Prices significantly decline when drivers reach the age of 25, but men still typically pay more than women. A single 25-year-old female has an average insurance rate of nearly $3,975; a male of the same age tends to pay a bit more, at $4,165. Married couples around the age of 35 have one the lowest risks of being involved in an accident, which explains why their rates are lower by more than $680 on average. Married men and women around 60 years old get slightly lower rates, averaging about $3,420.

Company Single 17-year old female Single 17-year old male Single 25-year old female Single 25-year old male Married 35-year old female Married 35-year old male Married 60-year old female Married 60-year old male
Allstate $10,796.36 $13,185.02 $4,043.02 $4,156.11 $3,436.75 $3,420.45 $3,335.46 $3,335.46
Farmers (as Foremost Ins Grand Rapids) $14,124.39 $16,232.62 $5,737.03 $5,845.35 $4,830.46 $4,873.04 $4,699.01 $4,594.08
GEICO $4,064.28 $4,063.96 $2,576.09 $2,513.20 $2,243.42 $2,201.66 $2,188.44 $2,188.44
Liberty Mutual $11,601.57 $13,165.70 $4,919.44 $5,646.81 $4,480.25 $4,480.25 $4,919.44 $4,919.44
Progressive $9,241.04 $10,160.06 $2,412.68 $2,305.40 $2,040.52 $1,885.91 $1,841.28 $1,894.85
State Farm $14,395.61 $18,483.25 $5,007.86 $5,593.47 $4,392.28 $4,392.28 $3,976.24 $3,976.24
Travelers (as St Paul Protective Ins Co) $7,272.20 $8,195.88 $3,130.99 $3,100.17 $3,221.64 $3,123.67 $2,982.74 $3,008.61

A car driven 10 miles daily (or 6,000 miles annually) in New Jersey has an average insurance rate of $5,470. Insurance coverage for a car driven 12,000 miles annually (or 25 miles per day) has an average premium of $5,560.  

Good credit has a significant impact on the amount of coverage an insurer is willing to offer. With good credit, the average car insurance rate in New Jersey is under $5,000. On the other hand, someone with poor credit would need to shell out about $3,060 more on average for auto coverage in New Jersey. For a motorist with Fair credit, the average cost of insurance is about $5,090.

Company Good Fair Poor
Allstate $4,043.95 $5,131.18 $7,965.60
Farmers (as Foremost Ins Grand Rapids) $6,688.96 $7,090.77 $9,071.27
GEICO $1,729.80 $2,386.66 $4,148.35
Liberty Mutual $5,367.00 $6,357.77 $8,575.06
Progressive $3,586.45 $3,883.17 $4,448.52
State Farm $5,120.55 $6,568.67 $10,892.25
Travelers (as St Paul Protective Ins Co) $2,856.24 $4,186.30 $5,720.93
(nigelcarse / Getty Images)

Auto insurance rates increase with each driving violation, including speeding, accidents, and DUIs. With a clean record, the average insurance rate is about $3,270. A speeding violation will raise your rate by $770. A driver’s average insurance rate in New Jersey increases to $6,330 after an accident. It jumps to $6,500 after a DUI.

Company Clean record With 1 speeding violation With 1 accident With 1 DUI
Allstate $4,287.07 $5,214.06 $7,126.18 $6,227.00
Farmers (as Foremost Ins Grand Rapids) $5,899.07 $6,395.36 $10,017.70 $8,155.86
GEICO $2,142.43 $2,142.43 $2,817.06 $3,917.82
Liberty Mutual $6,498.24 $6,498.24 $7,437.18 $6,632.80
Progressive $3,414.48 $3,985.79 $4,583.69 $3,906.91
State Farm $4,089.25 $6,597.21 $7,446.84 $11,975.32
Travelers (as St Paul Protective Ins Co) $3,268.35 $4,188.00 $4,864.10 $4,697.50

New Jersey Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

New Jersey requires three types of car insurance coverage for all drivers: liability, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured motorist.  

There are two common types of auto insurance policies in New Jersey: basic and standard. Both include the minimum auto insurance required by New Jersey, as well as some additional coverage. The basic policy is the least expensive, but it offers limited protection. It doesn’t include bodily injury (BI) coverage, but you have the option to purchase $10,000 in coverage for all people, per accident. The basic policy includes $5,000 per accident in property damage (PD) liability coverage and $15,000 per person, per accident in PIP coverage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage isn’t available with the basic policy. Collision and comprehensive coverage are available as options from some insurers. Neither comprehensive coverage nor collision coverage is required under New Jersey law. However, some automobile leasing and financing contracts require them.

The standard policy is more popular in New Jersey, and it offers a wider variety of coverage options. It includes BI coverage as low as $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident, or you can get a policy with up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. PD coverage ranges from $5,000 to $100,000 or more per accident. PIP protection coverage starts at $15,000 per person or accident and can reach $250,000 or more. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is available with this plan. Collision and comprehensive coverage in New Jersey has a standard deductible of $750, but higher and lower deductible amounts are available.

With the standard policy, drivers must also choose between two options regarding their right to sue other drivers. The “under no limitation on lawsuit” option gives you the right to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering or any injury after an accident. With the “limited right to sue” option, you forfeit your right to sue a person who caused you pain and suffering in an auto accident unless you sustain a permanent injury. Permanent injuries include loss of a body part, significant disfigurement or scarring, a displaced fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent injury, and death.

All drivers in New Jersey must carry proof of insurance via a paper or electronic New Jersey insurance identification card for each car under their policy. Paper identification cards must meet the specifications established by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Paper cards must be on 20-pound white card stock and measure between three inches by five inches and 3.5 inches by 8.5 inches. The front of the card must contain the insured party’s name and address; the policy number; an expiration date; an effective date; a vehicle description with VIN number, the name, company code, and address of the insurance company; and a State of New Jersey insurance identification card heading. The back of the card must display the insurer’s address for filing notifications of the commencement of medical treatment.

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Cheapest Car Insurance in New Jersey

New Jersey insurance rates vary depending on the type of coverage you have. Low coverage doesn’t offer much protection from damage and injury after an accident, but it’s the most affordable option. The difference between the cheapest low-coverage insurance in New Jersey and the priciest high-coverage option is about $5,500; the average high-coverage rate is about $925 higher than the average low-coverage rate.

Company Low Medium High
Allstate $5,270.22 $5,797.50 $6,073.01
Farmers (as Foremost Ins Grand Rapids) $6,861.13 $7,577.22 $8,412.64
GEICO $2,462.30 $2,808.31 $2,994.20
Liberty Mutual $6,053.84 $6,971.85 $7,274.15
Progressive $3,603.50 $4,034.39 $4,280.26
State Farm $6,994.15 $7,625.56 $7,961.75
Travelers (as St Paul Protective Ins Co) $3,892.44 $4,254.54 $4,616.48

You can get low coverage for as little as $2,460 from Geico. However, the average cost for low coverage car insurance in New Jersey is $5,020. Medium coverage provides a good combination of value and protection, with an average price of $5,580. You should consider high coverage if you spend a lot of time on the road, have an expensive car, or there are other assets you want to protect. It has an average cost of $5,940.

Auto insurance rates are heavily influenced by your vehicle’s location. You’re likely to get a lower rate if you drive or store your car in areas that have fewer auto accident claims filed. In New Jersey, annual car insurance premiums start at around $4,780 for Middletown residents and climb up to $8,510 for Newark residents. Considering that Newark’s population is more than four times that of Middletown, it comes as no surprise that insurance prices are much higher due to the increased risk of accidents. Other New Jersey cities with similarly high risk factors and above-average insurance costs include East Orange, Passaic, Elizabeth, Paterson, and North Bergen, each of which have average annual insurance premiums of $8,200 or more. Toms River, Brick, and Cherry Hill have some of the lowest insurance rates in the state, ranging from $5,050 to $5,270. Costs in Edison, Lakewood, Woodbridge, and Trenton fall in the middle, with averages ranging from $5,630 to about $6,460. Of the six counties’ rates we compared, Ocean County (Jersey Shore) has the lowest insurance rates available in New Jersey.

City Average Rate
Newark $8,512.59
Jersey City $7,346.83
Paterson $8,228.41
Elizabeth $8,277.10
Edison $5,628.61
Woodbridge $6,159.60
Lakewood $5,759.55
Toms River $5,052.80
Trenton $6,462.87
Clifton $7,280.07
Camden $7,699.21
Brick $5,081.04
Cherry Hill $5,270.23
Passaic $8,293.85
Middletown $4,777.97
Union City $7,929.71
East Orange $8,384.68
Bayonne $6,864.86
Franklin $4,950.26
North Bergen $8,198.85

Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in New Jersey

There are also a number of personal factors that can affect a driver’s insurance rates, including their city, credit score, driving record, marital status, and more. Age and marital status are two of the biggest factors in insurance costs. According to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, young married couples receive excellent coverage rates because they tend to have fewer accidents and claims than single people. Still, 60-year-old married men and women get the best insurance premiums in the state, as insurers find that this age group has the lowest potential of being involved in accidents.   

(MCCAIG / Getty Images)

Younger drivers tend to have the highest insurance premiums, since their lack of experience makes them four times more prone to accidents than any other age group. In New Jersey, a 17-year-old driver pays on average between $2,500 and $9,000 more for car insurance than a 25-year-old driver. 17-year-olds also are the only demographic with a fairly significant difference in coverage costs between females and males, with men generally paying higher costs by a couple thousand dollars. The large gap between the cost of coverage for single males and single females is nearly eliminated after the age of 25.

The make and model of your car also has an impact on your insurance rates. Older cars are less expensive to insure, while luxury and sports cars are likely to have the highest premiums due to their high cost of repairs. Insurance companies can also base your premium on how much you use your vehicle. For example, insurers may charge you more if you quickly rack up mileage or have a lengthy daily commute, regardless of whether your vehicle is for personal or professional use. However, insurance companies consider mileage to varying degrees. Driving 6,000 miles per year will cost you the same as driving 12,000 mile per year if you’re insured by Farmers or Progressive. However, if you’re insured by State Farm, doubling your annual mileage from 6,000 to 12,000 miles costs an extra $390 on average.

Drivers with good credit typically save about $3,000 on insurance premiums over those with poor credit. They save about $1,000 compared to those with fair credit. New Jersey introduced an insurance scoring system in 2003. Much like the credit scoring system used by banks, this system allows insurance companies to assign individual drivers a rating based on their risk factors for an accident. The insurers coverage cost is determined by the driver’s score, which is based on their driving record, driving experience, vehicle type, coverage limits, claims, and credit history.

If you live in an area where people file a high number of car insurance claims, you may also be charged higher premiums than areas with fewer claims. Other factors that can affect coverage rates include policy adjustments, deductible changes, relocation, or adding new drivers or cars to your policy.

How to Get Cheapest Car Insurance in New Jersey

The best way to get cheap car insurance in New Jersey is to shop around and find the company with the lowest rates for your situation.  You can also make sure you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need and that you’re maximizing any discounts you are eligible for. For example, between New Jersey’s two major coverage policies, basic and standard, the latter offers the most cost-saving options. The standard policy is available with extra PIP package coverage, which pays for lost wages and temporary disability due to an auto accident. It also includes reimbursement for necessary services that require outside help due to injuries, including house cleaning and lawn services. This package also pays uncollected benefits to family members of the deceased or their estates.

You can also save some money on your car insurance premiums by paying higher deductibles. Although it means you’ll have to fork over more cash to handle repairs or medical costs associated with an accident, a higher deductible will bring down your annual insurance rates.  

Additionally, the fewer driving infractions you have, the lower your insurance premiums will be. For instance, a New Jersey motorist who has a clean driving record pays about $4,290 for car insurance coverage from Allstate. After one speeding violation, that driver’s premium climbs to about $5,210. It would reach an average of $6,227 after one DUI, or $7,130 after one accident. However, differences in what you pay based on your driving record vary by insurance company.  

Be sure to ask your insurance company about special offers that may be available to you. Some offer good student discounts to teen drivers who maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. You can save money by insuring more than one car on a policy or by having another active policy with the insurer. You may also get a discount on vehicles that comes with active safety features like a rearview camera or blind spot monitoring. Insurers are required to offer discounts to drivers who have completed the state-approved Defensive Driving Course.

New Jersey state employees can apply for automotive insurance discounts from NJM Insurance Group if the company insures both your house and car. Liberty Mutual also offers car insurance savings to NJ state employees.

If you need help figuring out the right amount of coverage for you, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance offers an auto insurance purchasing planner. It can help you determine the best policy and protection for your driving habits.

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Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in New Jersey

New Jersey requires all drivers – even those who don’t own a vehicle – to have car insurance.

The state’s no-fault coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical bills from injuries related to auto accident. It also covers any expenses resulting from injuries, including lost wages and hiring household help.

Digital insurance cards are permitted in New Jersey, so long as they are visible as an image on an electronic device like a cell phone or tablet. If a driver does not have a paper insurance card, an electronic card must be present in the vehicle. A driver must be able to produce the electronic document before an inspection, when involved in an accident, when stopped for a traffic violation, or when stopped in a spot check by a police officer. Failure to present a paper or electronic card may result in fines.

Driving an uninsured vehicle is illegal in the state of New Jersey, and it can carry the consequences of fines, community service, license suspension, and insurance surcharges. Insurance fraud, including providing false claim information to insurance companies may result in jail time, up to $15,000 in civil fines for each violation, and the loss of your driver’s license.

New Jersey law gives you the right to choose the best insurance policy for you at any time. You can always change your coverage or policy limits, as well as get refunds on your unused premium within 60 days. Additionally, insurance agents, brokers, and agencies are required to inform you of your coverage options regardless of your current insurance policy status.

New Jersey Driving Laws and Punishments

Under New Jersey law, a distracted driver is anyone participating in an activity that could divert focus from their principal role of driving. This includes using a handheld cell phone, smartphone, or wireless electronic communication device to text, talk, or listen to another person. Distracted driving also includes eating, drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading (including maps), using a navigation system, watching a video, and using audio systems.  

There is a fine of $200 to $400 for the first distracted-driving offense. A second offense within 10 years carries a $400 to $600 fine. A third or subsequent offense within a 10-year period results in a $600 to $800 fine, three motor vehicle points, and a possible 90-day license suspension.

Motorists who keep one hand on the wheel are permitted to use handheld electronic device under certain conditions, such as when you are reporting to appropriate emergency response authorities or when you have a reason to fear for your own safety or that of another person.

You’re considered guilty of drunk driving in New Jersey if you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. However, you can still be convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC below .08 percent.

Parents or guardians convicted of driving while intoxicated when a 17-year-old or younger passenger is in the vehicle can also be charged with a disorderly persons offense. As a result, they forfeit their right to operate a motor vehicle for up to six months and are required to perform community service for up to five days.

(Icon Sportswire / Getty Images)

There are also potential consequences for underage drinking and driving in New Jersey, including a $500 fine, the loss of your driver’s license for six months, postponement of future driving privileges for up to 90 days, 15 to 30 days of community service, and participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program.

New Jersey Car Insurance FAQs

Is car insurance required in New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey requires three types of car insurance coverage: liability, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured motorist.  

Which cars are required to be insured in New Jersey?

Any vehicles registered in New Jersey are required to have all three types of mandatory car insurance. They cover expenses from auto accidents involving vehicles that are running, not running, or in storage.  

When should I get car insurance in New Jersey?

If you’re driving in New Jersey, you’re required to have car insurance, so get it as soon as possible. You can purchase, cancel, or change your auto insurance at any time and for any reason. You can also get a refund on a previous policy’s unused premium. You don’t have to wait until it’s time to renew your policy to start considering better coverage, so be sure to regularly shop around to find the best insurance for your needs.

What happens if my car is not properly insured in New Jersey?

Improperly insuring your car in the state of New Jersey could result in fines, suspension of your driver's license or registration, car impoundment, or jail time.

Is New Jersey a no-fault state?

Yes, New Jersey is a no-fault state. The state’s no-fault coverage (personal injury protection) pays for your medical expenses from injuries related to an auto accident. It also covers any expenses incurred from injuries, including lost wages and hiring household help.

Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in New Jersey?

Yes, uninsured motorist coverage is required in New Jersey. It reimburses you for injuries or damages resulting from an auto accident caused by an uninsured driver. New Jersey also offers underinsured motorist coverage, which pays for damages or injury from an accident caused by an insured motorist who has a plan that covers fewer expenses than your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.   

Is liability insurance required in New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey requires liability insurance. There are two types of liability insurance: bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD).

Body injury liability insurance covers claims and lawsuits from people who were hurt or killed in an auto accident you caused. It reimburses victims for pain, suffering, and lost wages. This coverage is generally paid out in two separate dollars amounts. One amount is for the coverage per individual and the other is the maximum combined amount to all parties injured in an accident you caused. Property damage liability insurance pays for lawsuits and claims from people whose property was damaged as a result of an auto accident you caused. Both types of coverage can be purchased as a combined single limit, which provides a maximum combined limit of bodily liability and property damage coverage for each accident.  

Does New Jersey accept digital insurance cards?

Yes, New Jersey accepts digital insurance cards. Your insurance company is required to issue you either a paper or electronic New Jersey Insurance Identification Card for every vehicle your policy covers. Paper cards must meet a specific set of physical guidelines outlined by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Digital insurance identification must be viewable as an image on an electronic device such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer. 

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