Best Car Insurance In NJ: Top 10 Revealed

what's the best car insurance in nj?

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You might know that New Jersey’s auto insurance premiums are higher than the national average. You still need to get auto insurance; but don’t worry. In this article, we break down the companies that offer the best car insurance in NJ. We will go over who gives the best discounts, the most coverage options, the best mobile apps, and more.

Best Car Insurance in NJ FAQ

Car insurance is protection against the legal and financial ramifications of an accident. Accidents can result in many costs, including damage to property, medical bills, loss of work compensation, legal bills, and more. Although most states require liability insurance, the minimum legal requirement is often not enough to cover the full expense of an accident. If you are involved in an accident and don’t have adequate coverage, your personal assets could be at risk. It is important for everyone to consider insurance in the context of an overall financial strategy to protect themselves and everything they own.

Do I Need Car Insurance in NJ?

Yes, all drivers must be insured in the state of New Jersey. Drivers caught driving without active insurance face serious penalties, and it is is never worth it to be caught without insurance!

How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means drivers must carry personal injury protection, or PIP, besides liability insurance. Drivers in New Jersey can choose from two types of policies, Basic or Standard. The best car insurance in NJ offers this coverage and more.

Basic

  • Bodily injury liability isn’t included, but $10,000 in coverage is included for personal injury
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection

Standard

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability total per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection

Drivers might want to purchase more coverage than these policies give, although either will allow drivers to drive legally.Drivers who choose a Basic Policy should be aware they will not have unlimited right to sue if they are involved in an accident. They can sue for medical bills and lost income but will only be able to sue for pain and suffering with particular and severe injuries.

How Can I Pick the Right Amount of Coverage?

Once drivers in New Jersey meet the legal limits, they may want to purchase additional coverage. Here are a couple tips for picking the best car insurance in NJ for you:

  1. Higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage mean lower monthly payments.
  2. Remember to pick a deductible amount you can afford to pay if an accident happens.
  3. Make sure the level of coverage you choose is justified by the value of your car. For example, comprehensive and collision coverage makes sense for brand new vehicles, but people with older vehicles can probably get away with liability coverage only.

How Is My Premium Calculated?

Six main factors affect how much you pay for the best car insurance in NJ:

  • Bundling
  • Discounts
  • Coverage amount
  • Neighborhood
  • Your insurer
  • Driving record

Other factors include your credit score, make and model of your car, marital status, age, and more.

Why Did My Car Premium Go Up?

There are various factors that affect the price of the best car insurance in NJ. Accidents, traffic tickets and moving violations are ways your rates can go up. Claims remain on your record for three years. Therefore some people pay for minor accidents out of pocket.Major traffic tickets and moving violations also affect your rate. You’ll receive a higher penalty for a DUI than for a speeding ticket, and a DUI might drop you to the “non-preferred driver” category.Extreme weather also affects your rates. States with wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods have higher rates. Rate hikes affect everyone statewide no matter how good of a driver they are. General trends such as distracted driving and the rising costs of healthcare also mean higher car insurance premiums.

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Coverage Options, Discounts, Apps/Websites, Ease of Filing a Claim, Pros & Cons, and Price.

Overall Price Range

Based on data from QuoteWizard, the average car insurance policy in New Jersey costs just over $1,250 annually. Premiums depend on factors such as age, level of coverage, neighborhood, credit score, driving record, make of your car, and more.

What We Reviewed

  • Travelers
  • NJM
  • GEICO
  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • State Farm
  • USAA
  • The Hartford
  • Esurance
  • Hanover

Travelers

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Features

Travelers has been in business since 1853. It has the best average price for drivers with a good credit score and a clean driving history.

Coverage Options

Travelers offers rarer supplemental coverage like accident forgiveness, new car replacement, gap coverage, roadside assistance, and rental car coverage.

Discounts

Travelers has the most discounts of any provider on our list. There are discounts for bundled policies, hybrid vehicles, students with good grades or who are away at school, early policy signing, new vehicles, multiple vehicles, and safe driving.Setting up automatic bill pay will net customers another 2-3 percent in savings.

Apps/Website

Customers can log into the website or Travelers mobile app to view their policies, file claims, manage their policies, and more.

Ease of Filing Claims

Travelers received a score of 866 out of 1,000 in the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which is well below the industry average.

Pros

  • Good for older drivers and those with a clean record
  • New car replacement within 5 years
  • Accident forgiveness available as supplemental coverage

Cons

  • No safety feature discounts
  • Low claim satisfaction scores

NJM

NJM

Features

NJM, or New Jersey Manufacturer, was founded in 1937 and is based in Trenton, NJ. It started out offering worker’s compensation and later expanded to insurance. Key features of this provider include free roadside assistance with all policies and dividends paid out yearly to all policyholders.While NJM used to be restricted to certain NJ residents, it is now available to all New Jersey residents.

Coverage Options

NJM offers standard auto insurance coverage and some great add-ons.

Discounts

NJM has great discounts, which help make this one of the best car insurance in NJ. These include discounts for bundled homeowners’ insurance, anti-theft devices, and defensive driving courses. Bundling auto and home can save 15 percent.

Apps/Website

NJM’s Snapit app makes it easy to snap photos of your vehicle’s damage and get a repair estimate. NJM SafeDrive app monitors your driving behavior and offers discounts for safe driving.

Ease of Filing Claims

NJM was certified in 2018 by J.D. Power for providing “An Outstanding Auto Claims Experience”.

Pros

  • High satisfaction with handling of claims
  • Free roadside assistance with all policies
  • Competitive rates
  • Returns profits to policyholders in the form of dividends
  • Good for young and single male drivers

Cons

  • Only available to employees of certain organizations
  • Only available in NJ and PA

GEICO

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Features

Key features of this provider include high claims satisfaction, rental car reimbursement, accident forgiveness, and rental car coverage. The mobile app and discounts come highly regarded.

Coverage Options

As one of our picks for best car insurance in NJ, Geico has standard coverage plus supplemental accident forgiveness.

Discounts

Geico offers standard and advanced safety feature discounts, multi-policy and car discounts, and safe driver, good student, paperless, and military discounts.Cars with driver-side airbags can save up to 25 percent, and cars with front air bags can save up to 40 percent. Drivers over the age of 50 who complete a defensive driving course can save up to 10 percent.With this provider, the discounts can add up to some real cost savings.

Apps/Website

Geico had the number-one ranked mobile app in Forrester’s 2017 U.S. Mobile Auto Insurance Benchmark.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers can file claims right from the Geico app.

Pros

  • Accident forgiveness and ride share coverage in 40 states
  • Multiple discounts
  • Financially strong company
  • Military discount

Cons

  • Not for people who want multiple policies with the same company
  • No gap insurance

Progressive

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Features

Progressive has been in business since 1937. Customers love it because they can purchase policies online without going through an agent! Key features of this provider include Snapshot and a usage-based app and telematics device that monitors driving and offers discounts for good habits.

Coverage Options

Progressive has fewer options than some. For instance, it doesn’t have accident forgiveness, personal injury, property protection, or new car replacement coverage. Some of its coverage options are pet injury protection, gap protection and coverage for custom parts and equipment.

Discounts

While Progressive has fewer discounts than others, it has appealing ones. It is one of the few providers to offer discounts to drivers under 18. There are also discounts for signing your policy early and for paperless billing.

Apps/Website

The Progressive app and website make it easy for customers to track and report claims, pay bills, and view policies.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers can log in to start their claim or call Progressive at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE.

Pros

  • Good for high-risk and low-mileage drivers
  • Snapshot can offer savings
  • Bundle options with home insurance

Cons

  • Fewer discounts than others
  • Fewer coverage options

Allstate

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Features

Allstate has offices in 43 states and 2 provinces in Canada. They offer a wide range of digital tools for customers to manage their policies and monitor driving behavior.Key features of this provider include Drivewise, an app that monitors a driver’s speed and braking; Cellcontrol, an app that controls cell phone usage; and a Safe Driving Bonus program.

Coverage Options

Allstate has coverage for ride share drivers for Uber and Lyft. It also covers classic cars, boats, motor homes, motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

Discounts

Allstate offers typical discounts like multiple policy and vehicle discounts. It offers unique ones such as a new car discount of up to 15 percent. Students can get discounts for good grades and driver education programs.

Apps/Website

There’s a suite of mobile apps. These are Allstate Mobile, Digital Locker, DriveWise Mobile, Motor Club, and GoodRide.

Ease of Filing Claims

According to the US News & World Report, fewer than half of Allstate customers are satisfied with the claims filing process.This is despite being able to start the claims filing process from the Allstate Mobile app. Customers can begin their claim using the Quick Foto Claim right from the scene.

Pros

  • Financially sound company
  • Can bundle multiple policies
  • Customer service gets good reviews

Cons

  • Higher rates across the board
  • Claims filing process gets poor reviews

State Farm

statefarm

Features

State Farm has been around since 1922. As you might expect from the name, it has special insurance options for farmers and ranchers. You can call in to get a quote or visit one of their 18, 000 State Farm agents nationwide.

Coverage Options

State Farm offers basic, collision, and comprehensive coverage. It also has liability insurance, car rental and travel expenses, uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle coverage, emergency road service, and ride share driver coverage, plus coverage for medical payments.

Discounts

State Farm offers accident-free discounts, good student discounts, and defensive driving discounts. It offers safe vehicle discounts and discounts for loyal customers with over one insured vehicle or policy through State Farm.

Apps/Website

Customers can log into the website or app to access their policy information.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers can file claims over the phone by calling 800-SF-CLAIM or by going online to https://www.statefarm.com/claims.

Pros

  • Apply in person or over the phone
  • Coverage for classic cars
  • Good for those with spotty driving records

Cons

  • Rates are slightly higher
  • Some agents better than others

USAA

USAA-Logo

Features

Customers must be affiliated with the military to be eligible for USAA insurance. USAA offers some of the best car insurance in NJ if you can get it.

Coverage Options

USAA offers full coverage car insurance, including comprehensive and collision coverage. New Jersey drivers will need liability coverage. There is also coverage for personal injury protection and coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, both bodily and property damage coverage. Members can also select extended benefits coverage.

Discounts

USAA’s discounts help make it one of the best car insurance in NJ. Its safe driver discount offers lots of savings. There is also a good student discount, driver training course discount, and discount for older drivers with a clean driving record. Other discounts include loyalty discounts and multiple-policy discounts of up to 10 percent. You can also save up to 10 percent if your parents are USAA members.

Apps/Website

Members can log into the USAA app or website.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers give the claims filing process high marks.

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • Both financial and insurance products
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Must be military affiliated
  • No other cons found

The Hartford

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Features

The Hartford is a well-respected insurance company in business since 1810. The Hartford is especially geared toward AARP members over 50, who get policy discounts.

Coverage Options

Besides the usual coverage, The Hartford offers policy features like first-accident forgiveness, disappearing deductible, waiver of deductible for no-fault accident, and discounts for choosing The Hartford-authorized repair shops.

Discounts

The Hartford offers discounts for vehicles with safety measures such as anti-theft devices and air bags, plus discounts for hybrid and electric vehicles, driver training, and policies paid in full.

Apps/Website

The Hartford has a well-rated app and website. Customers can chat with a representative if they need assistance.

Ease of Filing Claims

The Hartford gets good marks for the claims filing process. Customers can track claims on the mobile app.

Pros

  • Excellent benefits for AARP members
  • Excellent customer service
  • Multiple discounts

Cons

  • Not as good for non-AARP members or those under 50
  • Few online resources

Esurance

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Features

Esurance was bought by Allstate in 2011. Esurance focuses on the online experience rather than on agents, with 3,000 service representatives but only 17 physical locations. Customers can buy policies online or over the phone.

Coverage Options

Esurance offers the standard policy options like liability protection, medical bill coverage, and collision/comprehensive coverage. There’s also un/underinsured motorist coverage and rental car repair coverage.

Discounts

Esurance gets top marks for discounts. Customers earn a discount for purchasing their policy online. Drivers can also earn a 5 percent discount just for enrolling in the DriveSense program, no matter what driving habits it reports.

Apps/Website

It is easy to purchase policies and file claims right from the app and website.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers can digitally file a claim over the app. They can even video chat with an appraiser, which often leads to same-day payments.

Pros

  • Convenient online tools
  • Quick claims filing process
  • Can apply online or over the phone

Cons

  • Cannot pay by check or over the phone
  • No new car replacement
  • Fewer coverage options than other providers

The Hanover

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Features

The Hanover was founded in 1852 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It has a financial stability rating of A. It has over 2,000 agents nationwide, including many in New Jersey.

Coverage Options

Coverage options include comprehensive comprehensive and collision protection, roadside assistance, transportation expenses, medical payments coverage, and personal injury protection. In addition, The Hanover offers extra coverage options. These include trip interruption; pet injury protection; and towing, labor and rental cost coverage.

There is also Additional Customized Equipment protection for a car’s custom electronics and furnishings.

Discounts

The Hanover doesn’t offer many discounts.

Apps/Website

The Hanover has both an app and website.

Ease of Filing Claims

Customers can begin the claims process in different ways.

  • By phone: 1-800-628-0250
  • Online: www.hanover.com
  • Email: firstreport@hanover.com
  • Fax: 1-800-399-4734

Pros

  • Aims to contact customers within 1 business day of filing a claim
  • Top-notch customer service

Cons

  • Premium service – not great for those on a budget
  • Only sells insurance policies through agents

The Verdict

After reviewing all the options, it’s hard to choose just one insurance provider. However, there is one that stands out as having some of the best car insurance in NJ. Though NJM used to only be open to certain NJ residents, it is now open to everybody. We think it is a great choice for its top-rated customer service, robust coverage, and free roadside assistance. It’s a regional carrier that has its roots in NJ and understands what people need.

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