- Places first out of 24 insurers for auto insurance in NerdWallet's rankings.
- Had far fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2018 relative to its size for auto and home insurance.
- Available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Until last year, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance was available only to members of certain groups. NJM dropped those restrictions in 2018 and now offers auto, homeowners, renters and umbrella insurance to anyone in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. NJM sells policies directly to customers by phone and online rather than through agents, and gets top marks for customer satisfaction.
While NJM is incorporated as a stock company, it operates more like a mutual insurance company. Its stock is held in trust, and it pays out dividends and premium credits to policyholders in New Jersey, though those payments aren’t guaranteed.
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NJM insurance review details
Auto insurance rating
NJM ranked first out of 24 insurers in NerdWallet’s ranking of the best car insurance companies, earning the top rating of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s rating is a score based on:
- J.D. Power ratings for customer service, claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction.
- Consumer Reports customer satisfaction ratings.
- Consumer complaints against the insurer, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
NJM auto insurance coverage options
NJM offers all the usual coverages, including liability, other state-required coverage types, comprehensive and collision, as well as roadside assistance. If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, NJM’s policies also include a few extras:
- New car replacement. If your new car has fewer than 15,000 miles on it and is totaled or stolen within 12 months after you buy it, NJM’s new-car replacement coverage will pay what it costs to replace it, less your deductible.
- Rental reimbursement. In New Jersey the policy includes coverage of $30 a day, to a maximum of $1,200, to rent a car while yours is out of commission after a covered accident. Pennsylvania drivers get coverage of $20 a day, up to $600. You can buy increased coverage in both states.
- Pet coverage. NJM will pay up to $1,000 for treating your dog or cat if it’s injured in a covered car accident. This is available with comprehensive or collision coverage; it isn’t necessary to buy both.
If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, you can also add gap insurance, which helps pay off your loan or lease balance if your vehicle is totaled or stolen.
Pennsylvania policies offer accident forgiveness, an option NJM doesn’t offer in New Jersey. With accident forgiveness, one at-fault accident won’t cause your rates to go up if you’ve previously been a safe driver and meet other qualifications.
Auto insurance discounts from NJM include:
- Multi-policy discount.
- Multi-vehicle discount.
- Discount for paying your premium in full, up front.
- Discount for paying your premium electronically.
- Discount for buying both collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Discount for vehicle safety features like anti-lock brakes and air bags.
- Discount for driving a car no more than two model years old.
- Student discounts for having good grades and for leaving the car at home while living at a school more than 100 miles away.
- Young driver training discount.
- Discount for taking a defensive driving class (in NJ).
- Discount for drivers 55 and older taking a driver improvement course (in PA).
NJM SafeDrive is a usage-based program that tracks your acceleration, braking, cornering, distracted driving and speed. It’s voluntary, and you get a discount for participating.
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NJM homeowners insurance coverage options
NJM policies for homeowners offer all the standard coverages, including liability coverage, personal property insurance and protection for your home and other structures like sheds. You can also buy add-ons such as:
- Extra coverage for valuable items like jewelry and heirlooms.
- Extra fraud protection in case you’re a victim of credit card fraud, a forged check or counterfeit money.
- Identity fraud coverage, which pays up to $15,000 for expenses you encounter if your identity is stolen.
Homeowners insurance discounts from NJM include:
- Multi-policy discount.
- Discount for features such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms and automatic sprinkler systems.
- Discount for insuring a new construction home.
- Nonsmoking discount.
- Discount for being 65 or older.
- Discount for having an automatic backup power supply or portable generator.
Other types of insurance from NJM
In addition to auto and homeowners insurance, you can get the following types of policies directly from NJM:
|NJM Insurance policy options|
|Condo insurance||Umbrella insurance|
|Renters insurance||Some types of business insurance in select states|
NJM offers other policies through third parties. Here are types of insurance you can get from NJM’s partners:
|Third-party insurance through NJM|
|Classic and collector car insurance||Boat and personal watercraft insurance|
|Motorcycle and ATV insurance||Flood insurance|
NJM at a glance
FINANCIAL STRENGTH: A+ (“SUPERIOR”)
NJM’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best. An insurer’s financial strength indicates how well it can pay claims.
NJM had far fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2018 relative to its size for both home and auto insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
NJM gets high marks for auto insurance customer satisfaction:
- It is the first company to earn J.D. Power’s Personal Auto Claims Certification, based on customer satisfaction with claims and J.D. Power’s audit of the company’s practices.
- J.D. Power rates NJM “among the best” for the mid-Atlantic region in its 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study of customer satisfaction.
- NJM ranks among the top three auto insurers nationwide in Consumer Reports’ most recent car insurance satisfaction survey.
More about NJM Insurance
Website: NJM’s website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Policyholders can log in to see policy information, make payments, report a claim and more. However, tech-savvy customers might be disappointed that NJM doesn’t offer a mobile app for managing its policies.
NJM SafeDrive mobile app: This app monitors your acceleration, speed, braking, cornering and distracted driving as part of the optional SafeDrive discount program. You get scores in each category, along with an overall score for each trip. A “leaderboard” lets you see how your scores compare to others’.
Recap: NJM pros and cons
|Customer satisfaction is high||Not available in all states|
|Complaints are low||No mobile app for managing policy|
|Possible dividend payments for New Jersey policyholders|
NerdWallet’s star ratings are based on the following three factors, each weighted equally to produce a 300-point maximum total score:
- 2018 consumer complaints data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for private passenger auto insurance. The median complaint ratio for the industry is 1. Lower ratios are better. Insurers whose median complaint ratios were more than 1 received fewer points; those lower than 1 received more points.
- 2017 company satisfaction data from Consumer Reports’ most recent car insurance survey. Higher satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports were given higher scores in our calculation.
- 2018 J.D. Power ratings from three studies encompassing regional customer service satisfaction, auto claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction. Ratings from each of the separate 2018 studies were averaged to form one overall score from J.D. Power. The higher the average, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.
Only larger insurers with data available in all three of these categories were included. Smaller insurers not listed here may also be good choices and are worth consideration.