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Best Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey for 2019

March 20, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in New Jersey, having patience can pay off. Rates vary significantly from one company to the next, so it’s wise to compare several quotes rather than settle for the first price you see.

To help you save time and hassle, NerdWallet’s staff analyzed rates from the largest car insurance insurance companies in New Jersey. For each driver profile below we identified the cheapest insurers in the state.

Cheapest for good drivers

Travelers had the best average price for New Jersey drivers with a clean driving record and good credit, at $106 per month. New Jersey Manufacturers and Geico were second and third, respectively.

InsurerAverage price
Travelers$1,275/year ($106/month)
NJM$1,418/year ($118/month)
Geico$1,721/year ($143/month)
For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. With the exception of age, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including state-required coverage.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For garden state drivers with blemished credit, NJM was $178 per month, on average, the only carrier under $200 in New Jersey. Travelers and Geico round out the cheapest three, with significantly higher average quotes.

InsurerAverage price
NJM$2,136/year ($178/month)
Travelers$2,890/year ($241/month)
Geico$3,613/year ($301/month)
Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent accident. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record, poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

NJM was the cheapest insurer we found for New Jersey drivers with a recent at-fault accident. The price is identical to its average rate for good drivers — $118 per month — signalling it may not penalize drivers for minor accidents. Travelers and Geico round out the top three, and the only three we found under $250 per month.

InsurerAverage price
NJM$1,418/year ($118/month)
Travelers$2,183/year ($182/month)
Geico$2,230/year ($186/month)
To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with one recent at-fault crash and the typical "full coverage" insurance. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

Driving little has a small effect on car insurance rates in New Jersey, if any. Travelers had the same average price for low-mileage drivers as for those who drive over double the miles, but it was still the cheapest at $106 per month. NJM and Geico each gave a little break for lower mileage, and round out the cheapest three.

InsurerAverage price
Travelers$1,275/year ($106/month)
NJM$1,320/year ($110/month)
Geico$1,629/year ($136/month)
Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Honorable mentions: Low-mileage drivers

Metromile and Milewise may be of interest to drivers who put relatively few miles on their cars. We can’t get rate estimates because these companies price policies differently from others: You’re charged a daily or monthly base rate, plus a per-mile rate each month. The less you drive, the less you pay, and a road trip here or there won’t break the bank — neither company will charge you for more than 150 miles per day.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in New Jersey

If you just want the minimum required insurance, you might be able to get one of New Jersey’s basic policies for under $100 per month. New Jersey Manufacturers was the cheapest we saw, at an average of $54 per month. Travelers narrowly makes second place, beating out Geico by a mere $2 per year.

InsurerAverage price
NJM$645/year ($54/month)
Travelers$770/year ($64/month)
Geico$772/year ($64/month)
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more.

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey is a no-fault state, requiring drivers to carry personal injury protection, or PIP, in addition to liability insurance. New Jersey is unique in that it has two sets of requirements for minimum insurance coverage, in the form of a Basic Policy and a Standard Policy. The state says most drivers opt for Standard, but the Basic Policy is cheaper and has lower coverage limits, in the following amounts:

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

The Standard Policy has the following coverage limits:

  • $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.

Even though these minimums will allow you to drive legally, you may want to buy more liability coverage to better guard your savings and assets against lawsuits. For example, if you total another person’s car, the damage could easily exceed a $5,000 property damage liability limit on your policy. The difference would have to come out of your pocket.

It’s also wise to consider common optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive, which keep you from paying out of pocket if, say, you skid on ice and hit a tree, or your vehicle is stolen.

Learn more about your required and optional New Jersey coverages with our guide to state car insurance requirements.

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

If DUIs, poor credit or other factors are preventing you from getting car insurance on the voluntary market, you can seek coverage through the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help finding competitive car insurance quotes in New Jersey, try NerdWallet’s comparison tool.

Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversTravelers
Drivers with poor creditNJM Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault crashNJM Insurance
Low-mileage driversTravelers
Minimum coverageNJM Insurance
For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect New Jersey’s Basic Auto Insurance Policy, the minimum required coverage in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.