New Jersey Car Insurance
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.
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.
Cheap car insurance in New Jersey
New Jersey car insurance requirements for basic coverage
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
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.