NJM Auto Insurance Review 2022

Jan 5, 2022

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

NJM is among our best car insurance companies for 2022, but it is available in only five states.

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NJM Auto Insurance
NJM
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

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 by phone and online rather than through agents.

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 among NerdWallet’s Best Car Insurance Companies.

NJM auto insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's a combination of coverage types, like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair costs from events outside of your control, including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.

A car loan or lease may require it.

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 you’re the original owner of a new car with fewer than 15,000 miles on it at the time of the claim, and it’s 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. You can elect coverage up to $100 a day and $4,000 total.

  • 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. Rideshare coverage bridges the gap.

Auto insurance discounts

Car insurance discounts from NJM vary by state but may include:

  • Multipolicy discount.

  • Multi-vehicle discount.

  • Discount for paying your premium in full, upfront.

  • Discount for receiving documents electronically.

  • Discount for enrolling in an automatic payment plan.

  • Discount for buying both collision and comprehensive coverage.

  • Discount for vehicle safety features like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.

  • Discount for driving a car no more than two model years old.

  • Student discount 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).

  • Mature driver discount for policyholders over a certain age who take an approved accident prevention course.

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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.

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

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

NJM was the highest-rated Mid-Atlantic insurer for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

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 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’.

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.

NJM sells these policy types through a 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 2018-2020. 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.

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.

Frequently asked questions