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NJM Insurance Review 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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  • Places first in NerdWallet's rankings.
  • Has far fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto and home insurance.
  • Available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Until recently, 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 it 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.

NJM auto insurance

5.0 NerdWallet rating

NJM auto insurance earned 5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account a number of details including pricing, discounts and ease of filing a claim. Other factors analyzed include website transparency, financial strength and complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Basted on these star ratings, NJM is among NerdWallet’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2020.

» MORE: Car Insurance Quotes: What You Need to Know

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 you own a new car with fewer than 15,000 miles on it and it 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.
  • Transportation expense reimbursement. NJM gives you three temporary transportation options when your car is being repaired as a result of a covered loss: You can take a taxi, use a rideshare company or rent a car. In Pennsylvania, the policy includes coverage of $20 a day, to a maximum of $600.  In New Jersey, you get coverage of $30 a day, to a maximum of $1,200. In both states you can buy increased coverage, with a top limit of $100 a day and a $4,000 total payout.
  • 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.

NJM also offers rideshare insurance, which beefs up your coverage when you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft. The rideshare company’s insurance kicks in when you have a passenger, but it doesn’t fully cover you when you have the app on and haven’t accepted a ride request.

Auto insurance discounts from NJM include:

  • Multipolicy discount.
  • Multivehicle discount.
  • Discount for paying your premium in full, upfront.
  • 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 New Jersey).
  • Discount for drivers 55 and older taking a driver improvement course (in Pennsylvania).

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.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

NJM homeowners insurance

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.
  • Earthquake insurance, which pays for damage to your home or belongings from an earthquake.
  • Water backup coverage, which pays up to $5,000 if your sump pump overflows.
  • Coverage for fungi damage or issues such as wet or dry rot.
  • Supplemental loss assessment, which covers up to $5,000, depending on your policy, when your condo or homeowners association is liable for an injury or property damage and you must pay your share.

Homeowners insurance discounts from NJM include:

  • Multipolicy 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.
  • Paid-in full and electronic payment discount.
  • Paperless discount (Pennsylvania only).
  • Discount for having impact-resistant glass in all windows (New Jersey only).

NJM complaints and customer satisfaction

NJM had far fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for both home and auto insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from 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” in two of its 2019 studies — one for claims satisfaction and the other for overall customer satisfaction in the mid-Atlantic region.
  • 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’.

Other types of insurance from NJM include:
Condo insuranceUmbrella insurance
Renters insuranceSome 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 includes:
Classic and collector car insuranceBoat and personal watercraft insurance
Motorcycle and ATV insuranceFlood insurance

Recap: NJM pros and cons

ProsCons
Customer satisfaction is historically high.Not available in all states
Complaints are low.No mobile app for managing policy
Possible dividend payments for New Jersey policyholders

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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