Best Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey for 2017

Auto Insurance, Insurance

If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in New Jersey, having patience can pay off. Rates change significantly from one company to the next, so it’s wise to compare several quotes and not settle for the first price you get.

To help you save time and hassle, NerdWallet’s staff sorted through 200 rates from the largest car insurance insurance companies in New Jersey. For each driver profile below we identified the cheapest insurers in the state. (Here’s our full research methodology.)

Good drivers

Young drivers

Drivers with one at-fault crash

Drivers with poor credit

Retired drivers

Low-mileage drivers

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

» FIND YOUR MATCH: Who’s the cheapest carrier for you?

Cheapest for good drivers

For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.


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price

  • $1,258/year

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Price

  • $1,396/year

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Price

  • $1,896/year

The average for good drivers among the three cheapest companies is $1,517 per year. Travelers Insurance led the field with rates well below that mark, at $1,258 a year.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance was the next cheapest option. Note, however, that NJM serves only people (and their families) employed by the state of New Jersey or one of its counties, municipalities or townships, the federal government, a New Jersey public school, or an organization in the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, or who have some other eligibility factor.

It’s a good idea to compare safe-driving perks among insurers before making your final decision.

Cheapest for young drivers

For drivers in their early 20s.


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Price

  • $845/year

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Price

  • $960/year

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Price

  • $1,188/year

Since drivers in their early 20s often don’t have pricey assets or families to protect, they can typically get by with less coverage than older drivers. We factored this into our analysis by gathering rates for young drivers who carry the New Jersey minimum state-required coverage.

NJM fetched the lowest average quote for this group, $845 per year, which comes to roughly $70 a month. Travelers and Allstate were the next cheapest options, respectively.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash


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Price

  • $1,396/year

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Price

  • $1,944/year

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Price

  • $3,715/year

Even drivers with an at-fault crash on their records can potentially save a lot of money by shopping around. NJM (which has specific eligibility requirements) offered the best deal in our results at $1,396 per year. This was $138 higher than the cheapest quote for drivers of the same age with clean records.

For drivers who don’t qualify for NJM, Travelers was by far the most cost-effective option with an average price tag of $162 a month; every other company we sampled had rates over $300 a month.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For drivers placed in the “Poor Credit” tier.


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Price

  • $1,960/year

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Price

  • $2,966/year

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Price

  • $3,237/year

Car insurance companies in most states use applicants’ credit history to help predict the likelihood of future claims. New Jersey drivers who have poor credit are particularly susceptible to sky-high rates, based on our analysis.

For example, the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey for this group — $1,960 from NJM — was $702 higher than the most affordable rate for good drivers with no credit problems. And rates spiked more than $1,000 going from NJM to the next cheapest company, Travelers.

Cheapest for retired drivers

For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.


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Price

  • $939/year

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Price

  • $1,255/year

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Price

  • $1,311/year

Retirees can often score relatively cheap quotes thanks to their reduced time behind the wheel.

We researched rates for drivers in their 60s who travel half as many miles as most other groups. NJM notched the lowest average rate for cheap car insurance in New Jersey for retirees, at $939 per year. This was more than $300 less than the cheapest quote for good drivers half that age.

Motorists age 55 or older may also be able to earn a discount for completing a driver improvement course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Find a list of approved courses from the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

For drivers who travel under 5,000 miles or less per year.


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Price

  • $854/month

If you’re spending less time in the car than you used to — whether you work from home, commute in a carpool or mostly use public transit — consider shopping around for auto insurance.

The cheapest average price for low-mileage drivers — those logging no more than 5,000 miles per year — was $854 per year from Metromile, a San Francisco-based company offering pay-per-mile coverage. That’s more than $400 per year cheaper than the best rate for good drivers with regular commutes.

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey requires drivers to carry liability insurance and personal injury protection, or PIP, in the following amounts:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $15,000 PIP.

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
Young driversNJM Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault crashNJM Insurance
Drivers with poor creditNJM Insurance
Retired driversNJM Insurance
Low-mileage driversMetromile

Alex Glenn is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aglenn@nerdwallet.com.

Updated Jan. 11, 2017.


METHODOLOGY

For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used a 2013 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups, as did our low-mileage driver. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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