Are you new to New Jersey? Or are you just looking for the best car insurance rates in the Garden State? Whichever applies to you, this guide is for you.
As with most states, New Jersey requires that drivers cover their car with auto insurance. In this article, we’ll explore what the minimum requirements are for New Jersey car insurance and how you can avoid expensive penalties and fees for driving without coverage.
New Jersey Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
The minimum requirements for New Jersey car insurance aren’t unlike many other states. In order to legally register a vehicle, you’ll need to have:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability insurance: $5,000 per accident.
- PIP (Personal injury protection): $15,000.
- Uninsured and underinsured bodily injury liability protection: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
- Uninsured and underinsured property damage protection: $5,000 per accident-$500 deductible is the minimum required.
As with any state, you can choose to increase your insurance coverage. Additional protections may include towing and roadside assistance, comprehensive coverage, collision insurance, and rental car reimbursement.
Speak with your agent about which insurance options are best for you and your driving history.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey?
In general, New Jersey drivers can expect to pay more than the national average for their car insurance. The average cost of insurance if you opt for full coverage is around $1,757 per year. For minimum coverage, you’ll pay around $850 each year.
Remember that you can keep your insurance premiums down by asking your agent about discounts. You may qualify for lower rates through your employer, organizations you belong to, or just by having a clean driving record.
Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in New Jersey?
First things first, New Jersey is a no-fault state. That means that both drivers in an accident will file insurance claims with their own insurer, regardless of who caused the accident. This means higher payouts from insurers, and higher costs for you, the driver.
Secondly, the crime rate in parts of New Jersey are high. Your car is more likely to be vandalized or stolen in New Jersey, so insurance companies will charge more for your premiums.
Finally, about 15% of New Jersey drivers are driving without insurance. Insurance companies are paying more for uninsured and underinsured driver claims, so that means your premiums are pricier.
Lapses in New Jersey Car Insurance
If you’re driving without insurance in New Jersey, you can expect to face consequences. When you’re stopped by law enforcement and can’t provide proof of insurance, you could face any of the following penalties:
- Suspension of your driver's license
- Suspension of your registration
- Fines and fees
- Court costs
- Points on your license (usually meaning higher future insurance costs)
- Community service
- Reinstatement fees for your driving privileges
To keep things simple, it’s best to ensure you’ve got proper New Jersey car insurance. Carry your card or other proof of insurance with you at all times. Your inability to provide proof may be assumed a lack of coverage by law enforcement.
Best Auto Insurance in New Jersey
When you search for New Jersey car insurance, why not take the opinions of New Jerseyites into consideration? The five favorite car insurance companies in New Jersey, based on coverage, affordability, and customer service are:
- NJM Insurance
- State Farm
Of course, you should shop around for the best rate based on your age, marital status, driving history, and credit. Ask about discounts, as well. You may be eligible for lower rates based on your employer or organizations you’re affiliated with.
Driving in New Jersey
Headed to the Garden State and want to know more about how the locals drive? Here are some fun facts about driving in New Jersey to keep in mind while you explore the Jersey shore.
- It’s illegal for cars to pass horse-drawn carriages on the street in New Jersey.
- There are no self-serve gas stations in New Jersey; all are full serve and yes, a tip is appreciated. If you pump your own gas, fines can cost from $50 to $250.
- Driving under the influence? If you’re convicted, you’re not allowed to apply for a personalized license plate.
- There are no car dealerships open on Sundays, by law.
Conclusion: Car Insurance in New Jersey
The Garden State is known for its beaches and, well, its views of New York City. Whether you’re thinking of moving to the state or just shopping around for the best insurance rates, it’s critical that you keep your New Jersey car insurance up to date to avoid expensive fines and even mandatory community service.