NJM Auto Insurance Review 2023

Kayda Norman
By Kayda Norman 

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

NJM is among our best car insurance companies for 2023, but it is available in only five states.

NJM Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
Far fewer than expected
Ease of use
Average
Discounts
Great set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customer satisfaction is high.
  • Complaints are low.
  • Possible dividend payments for New Jersey policyholders.

Cons

  • Not available in many states.
  • No mobile app for managing policy.

Full Review

NJM earned 5.0 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

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, condo, renters and umbrella insurance to anyone in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. NJM sells personal policies directly to customers rather than through agents. You can purchase one online or by phone.

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 is rated No. 1 on NerdWallet’s 2023 list of Best Car Insurance Companies.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance policy that works best for you. These carrier ratings are specific to auto insurance — a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B. 

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at both the kind of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

NJM auto insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

NJM offers all the usual coverage, including liability, other state-required coverage types, comprehensive and collision, and roadside assistance. If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, NJM’s policies also include a few extras:

  • New car replacement. If your car 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. To qualify, you must be the vehicle’s original owner and it must have had fewer than 1,000 miles on it at the time of purchase and 15,000 miles on it at the time of the claim.

  • 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. The insurer will reimburse you  up to $100 a day, $4,000 in total, depending on your selected coverage.

  • Pet coverage. NJM will pay up to $1,000 toward treatment for your dog or cat if it’s injured in a covered car accident. 

If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, you can add gap insurance for an additional cost, which helps pay off your loan or lease balance if your vehicle is totaled or stolen.

Rideshare insurance. This add-on 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. Rideshare coverage bridges the gap.

Accident forgiveness. If you are a Pennsylvania driver, NJM offers free accident forgiveness when you meet certain conditions, including having an auto policy (with any insurer) for at least five years and having no traffic violations for three years or more. 

Auto insurance discounts

You may be able to earn a discount on your NJM auto policy by:

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.

  • Buying multiple insurance products from NJM.

  • Paying your premium in full, upfront.

  • Receiving documents electronically.

  • Enrolling in an automatic payment plan.

  • Buying both collision and comprehensive coverage.

  • Owning a vehicle with safety features like anti-lock brakes, passive restraints and anti-theft devices.

  • Driving a car no more than two model years old.

  • Maintaining good grades if you’re a student or have one on your policy.

  • Leaving your car at home while attending a school more than 100 miles away.

  • Taking a driver training or young driver training course (not offered in Ohio).

  • Taking a defensive driving class (in New Jersey only).

  • Taking an approved accident prevention course if you’re over a certain age (mature driver).

  • Meeting NJM’s standards for being a safe driver.

  • Buying both comprehensive and collision coverage.

🤓Nerdy Tip

First time shopping for auto insurance? Unsure of where to start? Check out our guide on how to shop for car insurance.

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

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. Plus, your rates won’t go up based on your participation in SafeDrive.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

NJM had far fewer than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

2022 J.D. Power study

Progressive ranking

Auto insurance shopping, Mid-Atlantic insurers

No. 4 out of 13 companies.

Auto insurance claims satisfaction

No. 2 out of 21 companies.

More about NJM auto 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’s only mobile app is for tracking driver behavior. It doesn’t offer the ability to manage policies, for instance.

Mobile app: The NJM SafeDrive app monitors your acceleration, speed, braking, cornering and distracted driving as part of an optional discount program. A “leaderboard” lets you see how your scores compare to others’.

Homeowners insurance from NJM

NJM policies for homeowners offer all the standard coverage, plus a number of add-ons. Learn more in our NJM home insurance review.

Other insurance from NJM

NJM also sells the following types of insurance:

  • Condo.

  • Renters.

  • Umbrella.

  • Business.

  • Landlord.

  • Commercial auto.

NJM sells these policy types through third party American Modern:

  • Classic car.

  • Motorcycle and ATV.

  • Boat and personal watercraft.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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 and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. 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 and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

Frequently asked questions