The best thing a New Jersey driver can do to save money on auto insurance today, is to get New Jersey car insurance quotes. There are many longer term solutions that can potentially save you even more money, but a quote will save you money based on your current driving history, car, credit score, etc.
You can get started right away using the free zip code form above. If, on the other hand, you want to find out a few more things about New Jersey auto insurance before getting a new policy, please keep reading. We have information on many of the basics of how insurance works in the state. Moreover, we have included links to sources you might find useful, if you want to learn even more.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In New Jersey
New Jersey has arguably the most complex system of auto insurance found in any US state. While all vehicles and drivers in the state must buy insurance, there are two different coverage plans you can choose from. Moreover, each plan has it`s own minimum insurance requirements.
The minimum requirement for the standard policy are as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance of $15,000 per person;
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance of $30,000 per accident;
- Property Damage Liability Insurance of $5,000 per accident;
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $15,000 per person or per accident;
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage equal to Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Purchased.
The basic plan has fewer requirements but also limits your protection (see below for more on this):
- Property Damage Liability Insurance of $5,000 per accident;
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $15,000 per person, per accident;
Generally speaking the minimum insurance requirements from either plan are likely not enough to fully protect you in an accident. Each plan has additional coverage options that can be purchased as part of your policy. You are strongly advised to get in contact with a licensed New Jersey insurance agent and/or company who can advise you on how much of what type coverage you should purchase given your present situation.
It is also a good idea to learn more about what each type of insurance coverage does and does not protect. You can learn more from the What’s in a Policy? section of the ‘Everything you Wanted to Know About Auto Insurance But Were Afraid To Ask Guide.’
New Jersey State Auto Insurance Laws
New Jersey’s auto insurance laws are very complex. As a result you really do need the help of a licensed agent or company to help make sure you buy all the coverage you need. Unfortunately, we can not provide this service, although you may be able to find a suitable company or agent by using our free quote from above.
The key thing to know about New Jersey auto insurance is that it operates under choice or optional no fault insurance. In practical terms this comes down to a choice between the unlimited right to sue and the limited right to sue. True no fault insurance means your own insurance company pays for your costs in an accident, no matter who is at fault.
Thus, if you opt for the limited right to sue you are opting for partial no fault coverage for your pain and suffering; unless one of a number of thresholds are met. Including (but not limited to) loss of body part, displaced fracture, permanent injury or scaring and death. Moreover, you do no give up your right to sue for economic damages (property, lost wages, etc.)
Here is where things get even more complicated. If you opt for the standard policy you have the right to make the decision of which system you would rather use. If you chose the basic policy you have to opt for the limited right to sue. So as you can see, which policy you choose has a large impact on your legal rights.
In either case, you are required by law to show proof of insurance in the form of a New Jersey Insurance Identification Card in any of the following situations:
- When stopped in a spot check by a law enforcement officer;
- When stopped for any traffic violation (speeding, dangerous driving, DUI, etc.);
- When you are involved in an accident (at fault or not);
- Before your vehicle’s inspection.
Finally, there are many other things you should know about auto insurance in New Jersey. We just don’t hve the space to cover them all. You can find out more about Personal Automobile Insurance information from the Insurance Division’s website. Moreover as stated above, you should get in contact with a licensed agent and/or company before buying any policy.
New Jersey Car Insurance Companies
Similar to other states, New Jersey has a large number of licensed insurers with a few big insurance groups originating most new policies. You can find a complete list of New Jersey insurers on the Department of Banking and Insurance’s website.
The following companies account for most new policies in the state and all are members of the Insurance Information Institute:
Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)
You should do your homework before considering buying insurance from any company. A good place to start is by looking into enforcement actions taken against a company. Generally speaking the more enforcement actions taken, the worse the company. The Department of Banking and Insurance also welcomes your inquires and complaints about a company should you have them.
Finally, if you can’t find a licensed insurance company in New Jersey willing to sell you a policy, you will most likely have to look into the New Jersey Personal Auto Insurance Plan (PAIP). It may be able to help you find a company that is willing to offer you policy.
Average New Jersey Auto Insurance Rates
New Jersey drivers have the bad luck of living in one of the most expensive states in the whole nation, in which to insure a vehicle. The Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998 has completely failed to bring down rates in the state.
In 2008, the Insurance Information Institute ranked New Jersey as the 3rd most expensive state with Newark coming in as the 3rd most expensive city in the United States. Average annual premiums for drivers in the state overall were $1,081 per year and rose to a staggering $3,241 per year for those living in Newark.
CarInsurance.com has published more recent numbers for 2011 that do not paint an improving picture. They claim the average quoted price for car insurance in the state is $2,322 per year, compared to the national average quoted price for a policy of $1,446. Thus, a driver in the state is likely to pay 30-60% more for car insurance in New Jersey, compared to an identical driver in another state.
Since price varies so widely in the state, you are strongly urged to have a look the 2011 Auto Insurance Premium Comparison Guide published by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. It is the most accurate guide to rates in the state, short of just getting a free car insurance quote.
New Jersey Car Accident Statistics
The one silver lining about New Jersey’s auto insurance rates is that they could be even higher. Fortunately, based on statistics from the New Jersey Department Of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the state is far safer than average when it comes to crashes and traffic fatalities.
In 2009, the state recorded 301,223 car crashes which resulted in 583 traffic fatalities. While this may sound like a lot (which of course it is) it is actually better than the US national average. In terms of 100 million vehicle miles traveled, there are 0.80 fatalities in New Jersey compared to 1.14 nationwide. Moreover, the drinking and driving rate in New Jersey is six percentage points lower than the overall US average.
Unlike other states, which see fatality rates spread evenly between counties, New Jersey’s fatalities occur disproportionately in just a few problem ones, according to the NHTSA. The following 5 counties accounted for over 40% of all fatalities in the state: Ocean County, Burlington County, Middlesex County, Atlantic County and Camden County. If you drive in these counties make sure you pay extra special attention as your risk is much greater than it is in the rest of the state.
New Jersey Car Insurance Quotes – Agents, Brokers And Online
As you can see above, New Jersey auto insurance is among the most expensive in the country. This makes it even more important to make sure you get multiple New Jersey car insurance quotes. Just make sure you are fully informed about your legal rights before buying a policy. You should seriously consider talking to an agent and/or insurance company before buying a policy.
There are also insurance brokers who are available and will help you sift through the immense number of packages and policies that auto insurance companies will offer you. They may help you find the best possible quotes they can get for you. They can research the market and offer a personal service.
Hiring an insurance broker can be very useful but sometimes pricey. On the other hand, you can also search the Internet for sources of New Jersey car insurance quotes. Many websites offer information and quotes you need for free, like us. You have many options to choose from when getting auto insurance quotes in New Jersey. So get a New Jersey car insurance quote and get the ball rolling:
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