How to Shop and Save Money on Car Insurance in New Jersey

Find the best and cheapest car insurance in New Jersey

byJen Phillips| UPDATED Sep 30, 2022 10:49 AM
Share

This article may include references to products or services where The Drive has an affiliate relationship with the providing company. The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

Garden State drivers can’t avoid paying car insurance. Without carrying a minimum amount of car insurance, it’s illegal to drive. With that said, New Jersey drivers must factor in this unavoidable expense into their car ownership budget. 

Many companies offer auto insurance policies to meet state requirements, but insurance companies are not all created equal. You want to find a company that offers a balance between an affordable policy and high customer satisfaction ratings. 

It pays to weigh the options for your situation before you sign up for a policy. But finding the time to do so can be a challenge. The good news is that we’ve already tackled the research on auto insurers for New Jersey drivers. Below, you’ll find a full list of the top car insurance providers in the state. 

Featured Products/Vendors

  1. USAA
  2. Travelers
  3. State Farm
  4. NUM Insurance Co. 
  5. GEICO
  6. Allstate
  7. AAA

Key Features

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Coverage options
  • Ease of use

Car Insurance Companies We Recommend for New Jersey

Drivers in New Jersey cannot skip car insurance costs. But you can take action to ensure you select a company that offers a fair price point and a helping hand when you need it. 

USAA

Pros

  • Highest customer satisfaction ratings
  • A++ financial rating from AM Best
  • Plentiful discounts

Cons

  • Must be a USAA member
  • Higher-than-average costs

Takeaway

  • USAA members will receive a high-quality customer service experience. 

Blurb 

According to USAA, the average New Jersey policy issued by the company costs $183 per month. That’s higher than the monthly average of $158 per month. 

Even though customers are paying a bit more to work with USAA, they are generally satisfied with the arrangement. The J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study found that USAA offered the highest overall customer satisfaction ratings.

The catch? You’ll need to be a USAA member to snag this insurance. Only a member of the U.S. military, a veteran, or a family member of someone in the armed forces can join this organization. If you don’t have a connection to the military, then you’ll need to find another car insurance company. 

Travelers

Pros

  • Above-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • A+ AM Best rating
  • Extensive agent network

Cons

  • Mediocre reviews of Android app
  • It may not be the cheapest option

Takeaway

  • Travelers is a major insurance company that earned above-average customer satisfaction ratings in the mid-Atlantic states. 

Blurb 

Travelers' relatively high customer satisfaction ratings set it apart from the crowd as a New Jersey driver. Travelers scored an above-average customer satisfaction ranking on the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study

It’s easy to apply for Travelers insurance online, but you also have the choice of working with a local agent to customize your coverage. 

State Farm

Pros

  • Above-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • A++ financial rating from AM Best
  • Many discounts available

Cons

  • Not always the cheapest option
  • You may need to speak to an agent for specialized coverage options

Takeaway

  • Above-average customer satisfaction ratings and generous discounts make State Farm a worthwhile option for New Jersey drivers. 

Blurb 

State Farm offers New Jersey drivers an abundance of discount options. You can tap into discounts for anything from being a good student to having safety features installed in your vehicle. 

You can tackle the State Farm quote process online, but you’ll also find a network of local agents to assist if you have any questions. If you have specialized insurance needs, you’ll likely need to finalize your policy with an agent. 

NJM Insurance Co. 

Pros

  • Above-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • A+ financial rating from AM Best
  • Dividend payments are a possibility 

Cons

  • No mobile app for policy management
  • SafeDrive app has bad reviews on Apple App Store

Takeaway

  • If you aren’t worried about a mobile experience, you’ll find lots to like about NJM Insurance Co. 

Blurb 

Although the company doesn’t come with a catchy jingle, it does offer extensive car insurance coverage options to New Jersey drivers. You can choose to add limited pet coverage, transportation expenses, new car replacement, and more to your insurance policy. 

But what makes the company truly unique is the potential to receive dividends on your policy. Essentially, that means that if NJM Insurance Co has a profitable year, they may send you a dividend check. Who doesn’t love receiving a check in the mail?

GEICO

Pros

  • Painless quote experience
  • Relatively low rates
  • A++ financial rating from AM Best

Cons

  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • No new car replacement coverage option

Takeaway

  • An easy-to-use website makes working with GEICO a breeze. And it’s possible to lock in a relatively low rate. 

Blurb 

You may know GEICO best for its green gecko. As a New Jersey driver seeking a painless online option to manage all of your car insurance needs, you might determine that GEICO is the best option. 

The low rates and a streamlined quote experience may help you overlook the slightly below-average customer satisfaction ratings. 

Allstate

Pros

  • A+ rating from AM Best
  • Many discount options
  • Below-average annual premiums

Cons

  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • Mixed reviews about the experience

Takeaway

  • New Jersey drivers may find below-average rates with Allstate, but the customer experience leaves something to be desired. 

Blurb 

Taken together, Allstate’s customer satisfaction ratings are only slightly below average. But there are extremely mixed reviews about the customer service experience. 

Depending on your situation, you might have a pleasant or downright bad experience. The good news is that you can tap into a trusted local agent as a resource for a smoother ride. 

You’ll find plenty of discounts available through Allstate to snag a lower rate. 

AAA

Pros

  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • A rating from AM Best
  • Easy to become a AAA member

Cons

  • Must be a AAA member
  • Membership requires fees

Takeaway

  • AAA has more to offer than roadside assistance services. You’ll find a reasonably good car insurance option through the company. 

Blurb 

When you think of CSAA Insurance Group (commonly known as AAA), your mind may jump to their roadside assistance services. But the company also offers car insurance policies to members in some states, including New Jersey. 

Although the company has a slightly below-average customer satisfaction rating, it offers several discount options. Before jumping into a policy, don’t forget you’ll need to be a AAA member, which costs at least $70 per year. 

Average Cost of Insurance for Car Insurance in New Jersey

The average cost of car insurance in New Jersey is $1,891 per year for full coverage. That works out to $158 per month. The national average for full coverage car insurance premiums is $1,771 per year for full coverage, so New Jersey drivers pay $120 more per year on average than the rest of the country.

How to Save on Insurance

Regarding car insurance, you can use many strategies to lower your insurance premiums. One of the most efficient ways to save money on car insurance is by comparing quotes from multiple companies to find the best possible deal. 

Additionally, you can keep an eye out for discounts that offer major car insurance savings.  Here’s a list of the most common discounts offered. 

  • Multi-car insurance discounts. Have more than one vehicle in your driveway? You can tap into savings if you insure both with the same provider. 
  • Good student discount. Depending on the insurance company, you might find a student discount for all students (high school and college), but other companies require good grades to receive a discount. 
  • Defensive driver training discount. Willing to become a student again? A defensive driver course can help you improve your driving skills, and approved courses often lead to an insurance discount. 
  • Pay upfront discount. It’s not always an option, but if you can pay upfront, that eliminates the risk of non-payment for the insurance company. With that risk out of the picture, some insurance companies offer a discount. 
  • Safe driver discount. Drivers with a clean driving record often receive significant savings. 
  • Safety feature discount: Safety features can reduce your risk of an accident, which might be rewarded as a discount. 
  • Anti-theft feature discount: If you opt for comprehensive coverage that includes vehicle theft, anti-theft features can lower your risk of an incident and your rate.

Don't hesitate to ask the insurance company if you think you qualify for an auto insurance discount. The worst they can say is no!

Essential Cost Variables for Insurance

A host of variables will affect the cost of your insurance as no two people are exactly alike. With that in mind, here are the variables that will change the cost of your insurance. 

Age

Drivers with less experience on the road tend to pay more for auto insurance. Typically, drivers under 25 will find relatively high insurance premiums due to their inexperience. 

As you age, you’ll likely enjoy lower rates if you stick to safe driving habits. When you turn 25, you might see a big drop in rates, which gives teens something to look forward to. 

Gender

Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that men tend to get in more car accidents than women. As a result, car insurance companies tend to charge men higher premiums than women. 

Credit Score

As with many financial products, credit scores impact your insurance premiums. 

Generally, drivers with better credit scores unlock lower insurance premiums, while drivers with lower credit scores or no credit history tend to pay more for car insurance. 

Location

Where you call home matters to car insurance companies because the location is tied to certain risk factors, including traffic and crime rates. In most cases, rural drivers will pay less than urban drivers. 

Vehicle/Model

The type of vehicle you drive has a big impact on insurance premiums. You’ll likely face higher insurance premiums when driving a more expensive vehicle because it’s more costly to repair or replace the vehicle after a crash. 

An additional concern tied to your vehicle is the risk of theft. Some vehicles are hotter theft targets than others. You should expect to pay more for car insurance while driving a commonly stolen vehicle. According to National Insurance Crime Bureau data, a few of the most commonly stolen vehicles include Ford pickup trucks, Honda Civics, and Chevrolet pickup trucks.

Type of Coverage

The type of car insurance coverage you purchase greatly impacts costs. As a New Jersey driver, you are required to purchase a minimum amount of insurance, which includes:

  • Bodily injury liability insurance:  New Jersey requires coverage of at least $10,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. If you cause an accident that injures others, this policy pays for those injuries up to the coverage limit. 
  • Property damage liability: You need at least $5,000 in coverage per accident.
  • Personal injury protection: You’ll need at least $15,000 in coverage per person, per accident. This can cover medical expenses for you and your passengers. 

A liability policy that meets these requirements is a bare-bones option that often comes with the most affordable rates for New Jersey drivers. But sticking to the minimum coverage requirements isn’t always the right move for your finances. 

In some cases, you may purchase more extensive auto insurance coverage. For example, you might opt for comprehensive or collision coverage. More coverage means increased premium costs. But if you face a problem, the insurance company will be on the hook for more. 

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers. 

Q. How can I lower my car insurance in New Jersey?

A. It’s possible to lower your car insurance premiums as a New Jersey driver. Consider shopping for a more affordable policy, asking for discounts, or increasing your deductible.

Q. Is New Jersey an expensive state in which to buy car insurance?

A. Sadly, yes. New Jersey drivers pay an average of $1,891 for full coverage each year. That’s significantly higher than the national average premium of $1,771. 

Q. What age group pays the most for car insurance?

A. Drivers with less experience, including teens and those under 25, usually pay the most for car insurance. 

Q. Is car insurance cheaper when you pay off the car?

A. Drivers with financed vehicles often face specific car insurance requirements from the lender. Most lenders require you to carry full coverage until the loan is repaid. After that point, you’ll have the choice to continue paying for full coverage or drop down to the state of New Jersey’s minimum coverage requirements. 

It’s usually cheaper to pay for the minimum coverage requirements. But it’s not always the right move for your financial situation. 

Our Methodology

To choose the best companies and products for this list, the team at The Drive looked at a large number of financial products from various providers. We focused on cost, product features and options, ease of use, customer service, and past customer ratings as the most important factors in our rankings.