The Best and Cheapest Car Insurance in New Jersey (2019)

Finding the car insurance New Jersey residents need that’s also high quality and reasonably priced is not easy. This state is the most densely populated in the US. This pushes insurance rates above the national average. That’s why we are here to help you.

We provide multiple car insurance rankings based on affordability, customer service, and overall quality. Furthermore, we compared prices in the biggest cities in New Jersey. We’ll tell you where to start looking if you want the best car insurance quotes New Jersey drivers hope to find. In addition, we’ll provide the details you’ll need pertaining to New Jersey’s relevant insurance laws, from the minimum policy limits to the country’s peculiar no fault-system.

No matter how unique your demands are, you can find the right option for you here. We conducted thorough research on how these insurance companies compare in all the relevant metrics. Additionally, we found the right choices for each different category of driver.

Experts Top Picks for Best Car Insurance in New Jersey

  • Best Overall: Geico
  • Optimal for Risky Drivers: Progressive
  • Best Customer Satisfaction: NJM
  • Best for Roadside Assistance: AAA Auto Club
  • Top Choice for Military: USAA
  • Best for Classic/Collector Cars: NJM

To determine which company offers the best car insurance in New Jersey, we compared multiple parameters. These included financial strength, the overall affordability, the number of additional coverage options, and the customer service ratings. Furthermore, we searched for the best option for each of the most common driver categories. Here are our results:

The Best Overall: Geico

It is a very close race between Geico and NJM when competing to provide the best auto insurance in New Jersey, but the former comes out as the winner. Geico offers the lowest prices, and it’s a bigger company, indicating better financial stability.

Geico may not rank as well in the customer service department as NJM in the mid-Atlantic region, but it still gets exceptional scores in claims handling satisfaction. Furthermore, the company has a polished mobile app and top-notch website. It even offers a number of discounts that can lower your premium even further. Shopping for the best car insurance New Jersey residents need? Geico should be near the top of your shortlist.

Also consider NJM, State Farm, and Progressive.

The Best for Risky Drivers: Progressive

Given that Progressive is as a company that specializes in insuring risky drivers, it comes as no surprise that it is a winner in this particular category. Additionally, Progressive is the single cheapest company in our analysis.

Furthermore, our other comparisons note that Progressive is the second cheapest among the best car insurance companies in New Jersey for risky or young drivers (after Geico). There are many factors that can make you a high-liability driver. The most common are previous accidents, DUIs, being a young or first-time driver, or having a poor credit rating. Whatever your cause for falling into this category, Progressive is the way to go.

Also consider Geico, NJM, and Allstate.

The Best Customer Satisfaction: NJM

When it comes to ranking the best car insurance companies in New Jersey in terms of customer satisfaction, NJM and USAA sit at the top. Unfortunately, USAA is available only for military members and their families. That’s why we had to give this award to NJM. It holds first place in J.D. Power’s 2018 regional study in claims handling satisfaction, beating out Erie insurance (not available in New Jersey) and Geico. They’re definitely worth reaching out to when you get a few New Jersey auto insurance quotes.

Additionally, the company has a respectable A- from the Better Business Bureau website (although this company is not accredited there). On top of that, the company received zero valid complaints in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2013, according to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. If you are looking for top-notch customer service, you can’t go wrong with NJM.

Also Consider State Farm, Geico, and Allstate.

The Best for Roadside Assistance: AAA Auto Club

If you worry about your car getting stuck on the side of the road and that you’ll need to call for help, there’s no better choice than AAA. This company is actually an auto club that offers car insurance to its members together with other products. The AAA auto insurance New Jersey office includes roadside assistance with every policy. The company scored well in our comprehensive review, meaning you will not have to compromise if you want to have high-quality roadside help coverage.

Also consider MetLife, Geico, and Nationwide.

The Best for Military: USAA

USAA auto insurance is among the best and cheapest car insurance companies in New Jersey. Our detailed analysis only confirms that the company excels in all categories. In fact, it is the best overall auto insurer in the US market. However, USAA is only available for former and current US army members and their families.  Nevertheless, those eligible would be hard pressed to find a better solution for their car insurance.

Also consider Geico, NJM, and MetLife.

The Best for Classic/Collector Cars: NJM

If you own a perfectly preserved 1972 Ford Mustang or a gorgeous 1962 Shelby Cobra, you will need some kind of classic New Jersey car insurance. NJM is the right choice since American Modern, the best company in our classic car insurance comparison, supports their vintage car insurance program. The interesting fact is that, when it comes to regular car insurance, American Modern is backed by Geico, which competes directly with NJM.

Also consider Progressive, USAA, and State Farm.

Experts Top Pick for Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in New Jersey

We’ve also researched the companies that offer cheap auto insurance in New Jersey for each of the most common driver categories. Given the high prices for auto insurance, it comes as no surprise that many customers are looking for a budget choice. You will also find information on how those companies score  in different insurance metrics. These include customer service, financial strength, discounts and optional coverages.

The Cheapest Overall: Geico

If you are looking for cheap car insurance in New Jersey, then you should definitely start with Geico. Not only does this insurance company offer the most competitive rates, but it gets excellent scores in the customer service department. It’s ranked third from the top in the New Jersey region. Geico also has a top-notch website and a superb mobile app. That’s why it is rated as the best car insurance company in New Jersey overall, as well as among the best in the US.

Some reviews highlight how the company is not that forgiving toward riskier drivers. That’s why if you fall into that category, you should consider Progressive and NJM as better alternatives. On the other hand, there is also data showing that Geico is the cheapest company offering the kind of car insurance New Jersey high-risk drivers can take advantage of.

These conflicting results confirm the narrative that insurance companies take numerous factors into consideration when calculating a final premium. Two drivers that may seem alike can get very different final rates. That’s why it’s always wise to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurers before you choose the one that’s the most fitting.

The Cheapest for Low-Mileage Drivers: Travelers

If you don’t drive your car a lot, you are automatically less likely to be involved in an accident. That’s why New Jersey auto insurance companies will offer you more affordable prices if you commute rarely. Travelers insurance is among the best choices for this kind of customer.

On top of providing excellent prices, it also has multiple discounts and a vast network of local agents. Furthermore, you should give Travelers a chance if you recently bought a new vehicle. That’s because the company offers Premier New Car Replacement. This coverage replaces the insured vehicle in case of an accident within the first five years after the purchase date—the longest period offered among the competition.

The Cheapest for Minimum Coverage in New Jersey: NJM

If you’re searching for great ways to save, getting the state minimum coverage from the cheaper car insurance companies in New Jersey is a viable option. And you cannot go wrong with NJM. The company offers the most affordable basic coverage, plus it has the top-rated customer service in New Jersey. It also provides a number of discounts. Our favorite is Good Student discount, aimed at younger drivers with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Many customers will also like Anti-Theft Devices discount. It reduces your premium if your vehicle has an alarm, a steering wheel lock system, or similar technology.

The Best Car Insurance Rates in New Jersey’s Biggest Cities

The price you have to pay for car insurance in New Jersey varies significantly based on your hometown and the location of your work or university. The reason for this is that insurance companies have the statistics of the areas where accidents happen the most often. In these places they charge extra to protect their profits. The good news is, no matter what your daily route is, there are always cheap car insurance options in New Jersey.

Newark, NJ      

In the largest city in New Jersey, car insurance prices tend to be a little high. Nevertheless, there are a couple of options that are still quote affordable—Geico, Progressive, and NJM all offer reasonable premiums in Newark. The good news is that you also won’t be sacrificing anything by choosing these companies, since they all have their unique advantages. NJM offers the best customer service among all of the car insurance companies in New Jersey, Geico has excellent online tools, while Progressive offers many discounts.

car insurance quotes in nj - Newark

Jersey City, NJ

The prices of auto insurance in “Chilltown” are also higher than the state average. However, the three cheapest companies, Geico, NJM, and Progressive, offer rates that are 50% cheaper than the median value for this location. If you choose one of these insurers, you can save a lot on your car insurance premium.

It is quite interesting that car insurance quotes in New Jersey can vary significantly. In this particular city, the priciest option is over than eight times more expensive than the cheapest one. We always stress how essential it is to shop around and get quotes from a couple of companies. That’s because the final premium varies based on individual factors, and that could not be more important in Jersey City.

car insurance quotes in nj - Jersey City

Paterson, NJ 

Paterson is also an expensive city for car insurance, but you can rely again on Geico and Progressive to deliver the most affordable prices. Allstate gets in the mix here, moving NJM to the fourth position when it comes to affordable car insurance in New Jersey.

car insurance quotes in nj - Paterson

Trenton, NJ

If you are shopping for auto insurance in Trenton, you’re in luck. Rates in this town are significantly lower than typical New Jersey insurance prices. Once again, the good old trio of Geico, Progressive, and NJM are the go to options for budget car insurance. They all offer rates that are more than 40% lower than the more expensive companies.

car insurance quotes in nj - Trenton

Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey

Car insurance quotes in New Jersey tend to be pricier than in the rest of the US due to the state’s high population density and laws. The average cost on a yearly basis is $2,500, which is similar to other more expensive states like California.

The cities with a higher concentration of people tend to have higher rates. That’s because the risk of a theft or an accident is way higher there. Some of the most expensive cities are Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, North Bergen, Paterson, Union City, and West New York. Some of the least expensive cities are Flemington, Hackettstown, Hillsborough, Morristown, Parsippany, Randolph, and Middletown. The high-tier prices revolve around $3,200, while the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey is near $1,900.

New Jersey’s Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements

As in all US states, some sort of car insurance is required by law in New Jersey. Fortunately, you have a choice in this state, between Basic and Standard policies.

The Basic Policy

The Basic policy is the more affordable option. It offers the following:

  • $5,000 in property damage liability per accident (which covers the property of others damaged in an accident).
  • $15,000 in personal injury protection per accident (covers your medical expenses in case of an injury).
  • up to $250,000 for severe injuries.

Bodily injury liability, which covers the medical expenses of people you’ve injured in an accident, is not included by default in the Basic coverage, and it can be purchased up to $10,000.

The Standard Policy

If you are shopping for auto insurance in New Jersey, the Standard policy has a slightly higher price but offers significantly better limits:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury liability limits for a single person per accident.
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability for multiple people in a single accident.

The other same limits as the Basic policy. Given the high costs of medical treatment in the US, these higher limits can be quite handy.

This policy also lets you choose Limited or Unlimited rights to sue in case of an injury in an accident. Limited rights, which is the only option in the Basic policy, allow you to sue in case of a severe injury or death only. Neither option lets you sue for expenses covered by personal injury protection.

Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

Choose a cheap insurer

Choosing some of the cheapest auto insurance providers in New Jersey will have the highest impact on the final premium. Besides this, there are some choices that can lower your premium even further. You can always choose the higher deductible option. This way, you are trading a weaker coverage for a lower price, meaning you will have to pay more from your pocket in case of an accident.

Choose Minimum Coverage

Another way to get cheap auto insurance in New Jersey is to opt for the state minimum coverage, known as the Basic policy. If you decide to go with the Basic policy, you are giving up your unlimited rights to sue, meaning you will be able to sue for lost wages or medical expenses but only in case of a severe injury. Furthermore, the Basic coverage doesn’t have a bodily injury liability limit, and only $10,000 can be added for an extra price.

This is the reason why getting this coverage is not a smart way to save. It is way better to choose the Standard policy from an affordable New Jersey car insurance company, like Geico or Progressive, than to opt for the basic coverage. The standard policy is only fractionally more expensive (around $300 on an annual basis for the cheapest carriers), and it provides significantly more protection in case of a severe injury, meaning you will not have to pay large sums out of your pocket.

Improve Driving and Drive Less

Some other ways to get Automobile insurance in New Jersey are driving less or passing a certified driving course. If you reduce your mileage or belong to a safer category, you will lower your chances of being involved in an accident, meaning all carriers will offer you a more affordable premium.

You can also get more affordable car insurance quotes if you choose your health insurance over personal injury protection as the primary source of payments for medical expenses. In that case, your medical insurance will pay for health expenses up to the limits of your policy, while personal injury protection will cover the rest.

Conclusion

The car insurance quotes New Jersey residents often get may be expensive, but fortunately, you can find affordable options without sacrificing quality. Geico and NJM are some of the best choices on the market that also offer reasonable prices. Progressive is among the cheapest options, especially for risky drivers. It also scores respectably in other metrics.

Because there are many affordable choices, it is smarter to choose the Standard policy than the Basic, since it includes higher bodily injury liability limits, and it offers more extensive rights to sue.

Whether you are looking for cheap New Jersey car insurance or just want the best coverage at a fair price, it is always smart to explore the market and get quotes from multiple insurers. Many different factors influence your final premium, meaning no two customers are alike.

Additionally, many insurance companies use something called “price optimization.” They estimate how likely it is for you to leave them for a competitor, and if that’s not very probable, they increase your premium a little bit. This is banned by law in some states but not in New Jersey. That’s why you should demonstrate that you are willing to leave them for a better offer.

new jersey image for car insurance
This seal does not imply an endorsement by the State of New Jersey
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does New Jersey auto insurance cost per month?

The price varies significantly based on your driver profile, your location, and the insurance company. That being said, the average price for an experienced driver with a clean record in this state is around $210 per month, which is above the national average.

Why is car insurance so expensive in the state of New Jersey?

There are many factors influencing why the prices of auto insurance quotes in New Jersey are higher than the average. The two main reasons are the state’s high population density and its no-fault system, which requires that claims are handled by your insurance, no matter who is at fault. Another reason is that the prices of car repairs in New Jersey are among the highest in the US. This means that New Jersey automobile insurance companies will have to pay more for claims settlements, which is reflected in higher premiums.

What happens when you have car insurance for another car but it’s not insured in New Jersey?

If you have car insurance in another state, you are automatically insured wherever you go in the United States. However, if you are based in another state and you are traveling to New Jersey often, you should let your car insurance company know.

How much is car insurance in New Jersey for a teen driver?

New Jersey car insurance quotes for teen drivers are the second most expensive in the US, after Louisiana. The average rate is around $6,200 per year, and adding a teen to an existing policy will cost around $2,170. There are ways to save on teen driver insurance, like qualifying for a good student discount or getting a safer car.

What is the minimum car insurance New Jersey residents are required to have?

Many insurance companies, like Geico, NJM, and Progressive, offer very affordable Standard policies, which provide more coverage. If you can stretch your budget a little bit, we strongly recommend this route. However, you may want to opt for the minimum coverage or the Basic policy if you are looking for the cheap car insurance quotes New Jersey drivers covet. It offers $5,000 in property damage liability per accident, $15,000 in personal injury protection per accident, and up to $250,000 for severe injuries. Bodily injury liability is not automatically included with this policy, but it can be purchased at up to $10,000.

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