New Jersey Auto Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]
New Jersey requires a minimum of 15/30/5 of bodily injury and property damage coverage. Newark has the highest average rates at $709.38/mo.
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UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020
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|New Jersey Statistics Summary||Details|
|Road Miles||Miles Driven: 75,393 millions
Miles of Roadway: 39,065
|Most Popular Vehicle in New Jersey||Honda CR-V|
|Uninsured Percentage / Underinsured Percentage||14.90%|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding-Related Fatalities: 120
DUI Fatalities: 125
|Full Coverage Average Premiums (Annual)||Liability: $869.57
Full Coverage: $1,382.79
As per a report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, motorists in New Jersey paid the highest auto insurance premiums in America. While the national average annual premium was $866 in 2014, the premium rate in New Jersey was $1,263 for each car.
We aren’t trying to scare you by giving out that piece of information. But, the truth is auto premium in New Jersey is expensive.
And, to get a cheap quote, you would need to do car insurance company research of New Jersey well so that you can get discounts as well as the right coverage. Keeping the best of your interest in our mind, we are writing this in-depth guide for Auto insurance in New Jersey so that you don’t have to check multiple sources for information.
We would not only cover details on how to find the best auto insurance companies but also talk about the laws in your state, rules of the road, causes of accidents, premium rates by city and ZIP code, types of insurance coverage, and much more.
If you don’t have time to go through the whole guide right now, just bookmark this page so that you can come back to it at a leisurely time.
There’s more in store for you – You can compare rates from different insurance companies now. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE comparison tool above.
New Jersey Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates
It is mandatory to buy the minimum coverage for auto insurance in New Jersey. Now that we have established this basic fact, we would enlighten you about the minimum coverage requirements, average premiums for full coverage, and the rates in different cities.
Knowing about the rates in your state, specifically in your ZIP code, would give you an idea about how much you need to shell out every month. On that note, we would also look at the percentage of premiums to income in New Jersey.
Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage in New Jersey
Since it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance in New Jersey, motorists must maintain minimum coverage as mandated by the state.
In New Jersey, motorists are offered two types of policy – basic and standard – with the option to choose between these two. The basic policy tends to be significantly cheaper and helps people meet the minimum statutory requirement for coverage but it offers limited coverage.
|Requirement||Standard Policy||Basic Policy|
|Personal Injury Liability||$15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident||Optional coverage of $10,000/accident|
|Property Damage Liability||$5,000 per accident||$5,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||$15,000 per accident|
Up to $250,000 for specific injuries
|$15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
Up to $250,000 for specific injuries
Motorists in New Jersey are required to carry minimum liability coverage of $15,000/person and $30,000 per accident for personal injury. For property damage, the minimum coverage requirement is $5,000 per accident.
As New Jersey is a no-fault state, motorists must also buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident.
What is liability coverage for personal injury and property damage?
Liability coverage pays for the damages sustained by the third party in an accident caused by you. If you are responsible for an accident, your insurer would pay the medical expenses and car repair/replacement expenses for the third party who was injured in the accident, including pedestrians.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
New Jersey follows the no-fault law which means insurance companies settle first-party claims in an accident without determining fault. PIP enables motorists to get back to their feet in no time by way of a faster claims settlement process.
Do note that someone’s at fault in every accident, however, PIP allows insurers to settle first-party damages immediately, while those outside your vehicle are covered by liability insurance.
In at-fault states, insurance companies first determine fault and then settle third-party damages using liability coverage (PIP isn’t mandatory). Motorists also have the freedom to sue the third party for damages in an accident.
In no-fault states, motorists can only sue the third-party when the accident is severe and the case meets conditions as stipulated in the law. These conditions, also known as tort liability threshold, can be either verbal terms depending on the severity of physical injury (such as death or organ failure) or a monetary threshold.
New Jersey is amongst the three states that allow motorists the choice to reject the legal threshold and sue third-parties in the event of an accident.
Is the state minimum coverage enough for your needs?
Although the state mandates 15/30/5 as the minimum coverage for a standard policy, the actual damages in an accident can cost a lot more. Especially if you get involved in a severe accident wherein the third-party has exhausted their PIP coverage, you might have to pay expenses out-of-pocket.
The basic policy doesn’t even require personal injury coverage but if you are involved in an accident, you would have to settle all the medical expenses yourself.
Here’s a quick video explaining the different types of auto insurance coverage.
Premiums as Percentage of Income in New Jersey
An auto insurance premium is a fixed monthly or annual premium for which we must budget in advance so that we don’t default on payments. Naturally, you would want to know what percentage of income New Jerseyans are spending on premiums.
|Full Coverage Premiums (Annual)||$1,334.59||$1,369.70||$1,379.20|
|Personal Disposable Income (Annual)||$48,569||$47,972||$49,983|
|Percentage of Income||2.75%||2.86%||2.76%|
The full coverage annual premium in New Jersey was $1,379.20 while the personal disposable income was $49,983 in 2014. The premium amounted to around 2.76 percent of the average income.
Note: Personal disposable income is the amount left for spending after you have paid your income tax for the year.
From 2012, there hasn’t been much increase in the percentage being spent by motorists in New Jersey. You can also calculate the premium percentage in the calculator above.
Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates in NJ (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)
For liability coverage, the premiums are $869.57 while the premiums for collision and comprehensive coverage are much lower at $381.86 and $131.35 respectively as per data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Liability coverage is mandatory because you’re responsible for third-party damages in an accident (if you’re at fault), and that’s why the premiums are high as the probability of a significant expenditure is also high.
Collision and comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, are required rarely and for specific circumstances. Collision coverage pays your damages if you hit an object while driving, and comprehensive coverage pays the repair cost when your car gets damaged by fire, vandalism, thunderstorms, and other acts of nature.
Though it’s not mandatory to buy collision and comprehensive coverage in New Jersey, it’s recommended to include these in your coverage as you can then drive around stress-free anywhere.
How to get cheap auto insurance quotes in New Jersey?
If you feel that your premiums are high, you can control a few factors that increase your rates. One of the easiest ways to reduce premium rates is by taking the New Jersey Defensive Driving Course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. If you pass the test, you are eligible for a mandatory rate reduction.
Before buying auto insurance coverage, do check the following for better rates:
- Choosing higher deductibles on your coverage can help you reduce the premium rates
- If you withhold your right to sue in accidents, you can save money on premiums
- Make and model of your car also impacts the rates – luxurious vehicles tend to have high auto premiums
- Some insurers offer discounts if you have safety features in your car
- Taking one policy for multiple cars can also get you a cheap quote
- For teenagers, good grades can mean better rates
Additional Liability Coverage in New Jersey
|Personal Injury Protection||75.78%||70.93%||72.98%|
PIP is a mandatory coverage in New Jersey because it’s a no-fault state. Insurance companies offer certain other types of optional coverage which you can buy depending on your personal situation.
Medical Pay: Medical pay covers medical and funeral expenses sustained by you or passengers in your car in an accident. This coverage has one unique characteristic – it is effective for the policyholder even if he/she is riding in a bus, driving a friend’s car, or walking on the road.
Since PIP is mandatory and it covers medical expenses, should you still buy Medical Pay?
Technically, Medical Pay covers only the medical expenses while PIP covers medical expenses as well as lost wages and rehabilitative care. But, if your medical expenses in an accident exceed the PIP limits, you would have to pay out-of-pocket.
If that’s a possible scenario, you have two choices: Either increase the PIP limit or buy Medical Pay. The premium rates for both these options would vary and you may choose one that is cheaper.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: We all know that there are people who try to save a few bucks by breaking the law. When it comes to auto insurance, you would find many motorists who drive without any insurance coverage.
New Jersey ranks at number 14th in the country for the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists with around 14.9% of the population driving without any coverage as per the Insurance Information Institute.
The driver who hits you might not have any coverage or carry just the basic policy without any personal injury coverage. What would you do in such a situation?
Uninsured motorist coverage enables you to file a claim for personal injury and property damage expenses if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Since PIP is subject to claim limits and expenses from an accident might exceed that, you can consider buying uninsured motorist coverage.
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders in New Jersey
We talked about different types of coverage in the previous section, now we can look at the add-ons and riders as well.
Here’s a list of useful coverage you can explore with your auto insurance policy:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Auto Insurance
- Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
- Classic Auto Insurance
Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in NJ
|Insurance Company||Married 35-year old female annual rate||Married 35-year old male annual rate||Married 60-year old female annual rate||Married 60-year old male annual rate||Single 17-year old female annual rate||Single 17-year old male annual rate||Single 25-year old female annual rate||Single 25-year old male annual rate|
|Allstate NJ P&C||$3,436.75||$3,420.45||$3,335.46||$3,335.46||$10,796.36||$13,185.02||$4,043.02||$4,156.11|
|Foremost Ins Grand Rapids||$4,830.46||$4,873.04||$4,699.01||$4,594.07||$14,124.39||$16,232.62||$5,737.03||$5,845.35|
|Geico Govt Employees||$2,243.42||$2,201.66||$2,188.45||$2,188.45||$4,064.28||$4,063.96||$2,576.09||$2,513.20|
|Liberty Mutual Fire||$4,480.25||$4,480.25||$4,919.44||$4,919.44||$11,601.57||$13,165.70||$4,919.44||$5,646.81|
|Prog Garden State Ins Co||$2,040.52||$1,885.91||$1,841.28||$1,894.85||$9,241.04||$10,160.06||$2,412.68||$2,305.40|
|State Farm Ind||$4,392.28||$4,392.28||$3,976.24||$3,976.24||$14,395.61||$18,483.25||$5,007.86||$5,593.47|
|St Paul Protective Ins Co||$3,221.64||$3,123.67||$2,982.74||$3,008.62||$7,272.20||$8,195.88||$3,130.99||$3,100.17|
The premium rates for males and females are almost the same across different age groups, except for the 17-year-old category. As teens learn to drive, insurance companies determine rates mainly based on the risks associated with age and gender at that time.
The difference in rates amongst men and women tends to taper off as they age when other factors take precedence over gender. However, males under 25 are considered riskier drivers than their female counterparts which are quite evident from the higher rates they have to pay.
Premium Rates by ZIP Code and Insurance Carrier in New Jersey
The table below shows which ZIP codes have the cheapest rates in New Jersey.
|Cheapest ZIP Codes in New Jersey||City||Average Annual Rate by ZIP Codes|
ZIP code 07926 in Brookside has the cheapest rate. Next, take a look at where the most expensive ZIP codes in New Jersey are.
|Most Expensive ZIP Codes in New Jersey||City||Average Annual Rate by ZIP Code|
Most Expensive/Least Expensive Cities by Premium Rates in New Jersey
To see where your home city ranks in terms of auto insurance rates, take a look at the tables below.
|New Jersey Cheapest Cities||Average Annual Rate by City|
Brookside has the cheapest auto insurance rates overall, as well as the cheapest ZIP code.
|New Jersey Most Expensive Cities||Average Annual Rate by City|
Irvington and Newark have the most expensive insurance rates in New Jersey.
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.
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Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.
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Best Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
When you’re in the process of finalizing an auto insurance provider, what factors should you look at?
Most of the people buy insurance from a provider who offers the cheapest quote in their area. Though that might save you some money now, it can be really stressful when you file a claim and your insurer delays the payment.
That’s why you must look at the overall image of an insurance company before buying coverage – factors like customer reviews, financial ratings, and complaint data matter a lot in the long run.
Financial Ratings of the Leading Insurance Companies in New Jersey
Would you deposit your money in any bank without checking it’s financial strength?
You would definitely research a bank’s credibility and financial strength before trusting them to safeguard your money. Similarly, auto insurance companies play an important part in your life by making sure that the damages from any future accidents would be covered by them.
Nobody should buy insurance from a carrier who doesn’t have the ability to meet their future claim settlement obligations. That’s why you must look at the A.M. Best Ratings of insurers before buying from one.
A.M. Best, a leading name in the credit rating industry, assesses the ability of insurance companies to meet their contractual obligations in the future by carefully analyzing the financial statements and future prospects.
For the leading auto insurance companies in New Jersey, we have listed down the financial ratings for your convenience.
|Insurance Company||A.M.Best Rating|
|New Jersey Manufacturers Group||A+|
|Allstate Insurance Group||A+|
|State Farm Group||A++|
|Liberty Mutual Group||A|
|Farmers Insurance Group||A|
Customer Reviews of Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
How fast an insurance company responds during the first notice of loss after an accident determines how soon your claim would be settled. Though that’s not the case always, an insurance carrier should have a highly proactive team in place to respond to distress calls faster.
Customer reviews or satisfaction surveys touch on these minute details such as the response time, ease of claim settlement, mode of billing, the possibility of digital interactions, etc.
For the purpose of your research, we are using the results of a customer satisfaction survey conducted by a reputed name in car reviews and ratings, J.D. Power.
As per the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Erie Insurance and Geico are the most-favored insurance carriers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
|Companies||Ranking||J.D. Power Circle Rating™|
|Plymouth Rock Assurance||835||3|
The auto insurance customer survey examined the satisfaction of customers on five factors:
- Policy offerings
- Billing process and policy information
The survey also found out, surprisingly, that cost is not the only factor determining customer satisfaction. Cheaper quotes might lure customers in the beginning, but if you want to retain them, customers expect better services from their insurer.
Complaint Numbers of Leading Insurance Companies in New Jersey
|Insurance Company||Number of Complaints|
|New Jersey Manufacturers Group||3|
|Allstate Insurance Group||163|
|State Farm Group||1482|
|Liberty Mutual Group||222|
|Farmers Insurance Group||0|
Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
Now that you have some background information about auto insurers in New Jersey, let’s look at the companies offering the cheapest rates.
|Insurance Company||Average Annual Premiums||Compared to State Average (+/-)||Percentage Change (+/-)|
|Allstate NJ P&C||$5,713.58||$198.37||3.47%|
|Foremost Ins Grand Rapids||$7,617.00||$2,101.79||27.59%|
|Geico Govt Employees||$2,754.94||-$2,760.28||-100.19%|
|Liberty Mutual Fire||$6,766.61||$1,251.40||18.49%|
|Prog Garden State Ins Co||$3,972.72||-$1,542.50||-38.83%|
|State Farm Ind||$7,527.15||$2,011.94||26.73%|
|St Paul Protective Ins Co||$4,254.49||-$1,260.72||-29.63%|
Premium Rates by Annual Commute in New Jersey
|Companies||10-mile commute - 6,000 annual mileage||25-mile commute - 12,000 annual mileage|
If you drive less than 25 miles a day, you might be eligible for some low mileage discounts. In New Jersey, the rates for different commute levels do not vary significantly, as evident from the data in the table, you can still ask for any possible auto insurance discounts for pleasure and work mileage.
Premium Rates by Coverage Level in New Jersey
Premium Rates by Credit History in New Jersey
Your credit score makes a significant impact on your auto insurance premium rates, with most of the insurance companies charging high rates from those with a poor credit score.
State Farm, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual charge extremely high premiums if you have a poor credit score, while Progressive and Geico are comparatively reasonable.
As per the 2017 State of Credit Survey conducted by Experian, the average vantage score of residents in New Jersey was 686 compared to the national average of 675.
What exactly are vantage scores?
Vantage score, developed by Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, is a credit rating model that assesses the credit paying ability of individuals and assigns scores in the range of 300-850. A credit score of more than 700 is usually considered good.
Premium Rates by Driving Record in New Jersey
|Companies||Clean record||With one speeding violation||With one accident||With one DUI|
In New Jersey, any driving record with accidents or DUI is penalized heavily with high premiums.
Rates for State Farm and Farmers are quite high for driving records with accidents and DUI. Overall, Geico, Progressive, and Travelers would be comfortable for your pocket if you have accumulated any records while driving.
Leading Auto Insurance Companies in New Jersey
|Insurance Company||Direct Written Premiums||Loss Ratio||Market Share|
|New Jersey Manufacturers Group||$993,945||66.25%||12.94%|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$839,883||53.02%||10.93%|
|State Farm Group||$629,485||64.66%||8.19%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$544,321||64.14%||7.09%|
|Farmers Insurance Group||$233,314||79.86%||3.04%|
Number of Auto Insurers in New Jersey
|Type of Insurer||Number|
State Laws in New Jersey
New Jersey has a reputation for bad drivers with repetitive incidents of traffic violations contributing to the rise of premium rates year-on-year.
Your good driving behavior wouldn’t bring down the overall rates, but following the laws in your state may significantly reduce the probability of a violation. Also, your insurance company might reward you with discounts for safe driving under their usage-based driving program.
Let’s get to the details of laws in your state.
Auto Insurance Laws in New Jersey
If your state wouldn’t have mandatory insurance laws, chances are that many motorists would refrain from buying any coverage.
Lack of auto insurance laws would also give the insurance companies, healthcare companies, and attorneys an open field to charge any rate, perform dubious procedures after accidents, and sue at-fault parties without any regard for motorists.
That’s why the Department of Banking and Insurance for the State of New Jersey regulates the operations of the insurance sector.
Windshield Coverage Laws in New Jersey
As per the law in New Jersey, any windshield that has cracks or chips should be replaced. You could receive a citation while driving with a chipped windshield if a law enforcement officer believes that it hinders your view.
Deductible for repair: The standard deductible rate is $750 in New Jersey, which means that any repair cost over and above $750 would be settled by your insurance carrier.
High-Risk Insurance in New Jersey
Everyone doesn’t have a stellar driving record, and there are many motorists who have accumulated points by violating the traffic rules. In the eyes of insurance carriers, these drivers are high-risk since the probability of claim settlement requests is high amongst such motorists.
In the voluntary market, you could be refused insurance coverage if you have a questionable driving record because of multiple instances of accidents, speeding violations, DUI, or anything that makes you risky on the road.
Don’t worry, there’s hope for those who have been refused coverage by a minimum of two insurers in a period of 60 days. New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJ PAIP), established by the state, offers coverage to high-risk drivers in the Garden State.
What determines ineligibility for insurance coverage in the voluntary market?
According to the Eligible Person Qualifications regulation, motorists who have accumulated seven or more points in their driving record during the three years prior to the insurance application or the three-year period that ends 90 days before the policy renewal aren’t eligible for insurance coverage.
Please note that you might get refusals due to your ineligibility, however, there are some insurance carriers who offer coverage to high-risk drivers. Hence, it’s always a good idea to shop around for options.
What is the NJ PAIP?
The state mandates all insurance companies, licensed to do business in New Jersey, to offer coverage to a specific percentage of high-risk drivers. Motorists who apply to the program are placed in a pool of high-risk drivers from where they are assigned an insurance carrier who must provide coverage for three years.
Note: The premium rates under the NJ PAIP program are much higher hence, it’s recommended to improve your driving record in due time so that you’re able to get coverage in the voluntary market at a much cheaper rate.
If you want some advice on getting cheap auto insurance for high-risk drivers, here’s a short video.
Automobile Insurance Fraud in New Jersey
Auto insurance frauds are committed in many ways, from which some common ones include – inflating the claim amount, filing claims for accidents that never happened, staging accidents, and providing incorrect information on application to get cheap rates.
Fraudulent claims add millions of dollars to the losses of insurance carriers every year which is passed on to customers by way of higher auto premiums. If you come across anyone committing fraud, you can report it with the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
In New Jersey, committing insurance fraud is a crime and you can be penalized heavily if found guilty.
Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
The statute of limitations for auto accidents is two years in New Jersey. In plain terms, motorists involved in an accident can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of the accident and anything beyond that would be rejected by the legal system.
Vehicle Licensing Laws in New Jersey
You can’t drive without a license – that’s the most basic document you require before driving. Naturally, there are laws for appropriate licensing so that everyone can stay safe on the roads.
Let’s look at some of the licensing laws in your state.
Real ID Implementation in New Jersey
If you don’t know about Real ID, it’s time to read some details about this federal security measure.
The Real ID Act established a security standard for issuance of identification card and driver’s license by states that would be accepted for entry into federal buildings and travel by commercial aircraft.
Enforcement in New Jersey: Until October 10, 2019, federal agencies would accept identification cards and driver’s licenses from New Jersey for entry into the restricted sites or commercial aircraft.
After October 1, 2020, individuals with the standard license and identification card wouldn’t be allowed entry into specific federal facilities and travel by commercial airlines.
New Jersey is preparing to issue Real ID-compliant documents from this year and taking steps to minimize the massive wait that other states are experiencing in the whole process.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in New Jersey
Any motor vehicle that’s registered in the state of New Jersey should have the minimum insurance coverage in place even if the car is parked for long-term in a garage.
- The first violation of the minimum coverage law would lead to a fine of at least $300 along with a mandatory license suspension for one year.
- For subsequent violations, motorists can be charged fines of up to $5,000 with license suspension for two years.
Penalties also involve community service and DMV charges for license reinstatement.
Penalties aside, driving without insurance isn’t a good idea as you would have to settle damages out of pocket in the event of an accident.
Teen Driving Laws in New Jersey
The safety of your children is as important as the safety of others on the road. When your children first start driving, it becomes your responsibility to inculcate a good driving behavior in them.
Amongst all crashes in New Jersey, teen drivers are involved in 13 percent of the accidents and they constitute just 6 percent of the licensed drivers in the state.
Abiding by the state laws would not only keep your children safe but allow them to retain their driving privileges without any points and get cheaper quotes on insurance coverage.
New drivers need to complete the Graduated Driver License program to get driving rights in New Jersey that happens in phases:
- Student Learner’ Permit: If you’re 16, you can apply for a learner’s permit and get a license by passing the vision and knowledge test. Teens must practice supervised driving for at least six months to progress to the next phase after obtaining the first permit.
- Young Adult Examination Permit: If you’re 17 but under 18, you can get an examination permit that you must carry at all times during the supervised driving period of six months. This permit is valid for two years.
- Probationary License: Upon successful completion of the supervised driving period, teens can obtain a probationary license by passing the road test. With a probationary license, teens are allowed to drive unsupervised for a minimum of one year before getting an unrestricted license.
During the supervised driving period, teens must follow a few restrictions:
- No driving between the hours of 11 pm to 5 am
- Must be accompanied by a licensed New Jersey driver who ‘s above 21 and has at least three years of driving experience
- No use of a cellular device, handsfree or handheld, for calling or texting
- Must display a reflectorized decal on each number plate
License Renewal Procedure in New Jersey
Your license is valid for a period of four years in New Jersey after which you must renew it either in person or by mail. Online renewals aren’t allowed in New Jersey.
Note: Since Real ID implementation is taking place this year, please ensure that you apply for a Real ID-compliant license.
Rules of the Road in New Jersey
After you get your license, there are certain rules of the road that you need to follow to avoid any mayhem.
Speed limits, fault laws, car safety seat requirements, etc. bring harmony while driving anywhere.
Fault vs No-Fault
New Jersey follows the no-fault system in which your insurance company pays for your damages irrespective of the fault in an accident. And, that’s why motorists in New Jersey have to compulsorily buy Personal Injury Protection so that their medical expenses can be covered.
Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in New Jersey
On average, almost 131 unrestrained motorists die in car accidents every year in New Jersey. If you think airbags can save you, then you’re mistaken as airbags work in tandem with seat belts.
New Jersey’s Car Seat Laws require all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt. The law also holds the driver responsible for the proper use of seat belts for any passengers below 18.
As per child safety seat laws in New Jersey, The New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law, any child below 8 and shorter than 57″ must be restrained in a car seat as per the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Under 2 years: Should be restrained in a rear-facing car seat with a 5-point harness
- Under 4 years: After the kids grow out of their rear-facing seats, they should be restricted in a forward-facing car seat
- Under 8 years: Once the kids can’t fit in their child safety seats, they should be restrained in booster seats
- Over 8 years: Irrespective of a kids position in the car, they must be restrained by a seat belt
Keep Right and Move Over Laws in New Jersey
New Jerseyans hate to see drivers who occupy the left lane without giving faster moving vehicles a chance to pass. Keeping right isn’t just about pleasing other motorists on the road, it’s also the law in New Jersey.
Because of the left-lane hogging behavior in New Jersey, a new law was passed and penalties were increased in the year 2013 for driving in the left lane. In 2017, cops issued around 50,658 tickets to curb this left-lane driving behavior.
Word of caution: When in New Jersey, keep right, unless you want to pass.
Move Over Law: While driving, if you notice an emergency stationary vehicle with flashing lights, either move to the adjacent lane (away from the stationary vehicle) or slow down if it’s unsafe to change lanes.
Speed Limits in New Jersey
|Type of Road||Speed Limit|
|School Zone, Business or Residential Districts||25 mph|
|Low Density business and Residential Districts||35 mph|
|All other Roadways||50 mph|
|Interstates and certain State Highways||55 mph|
|State Highways||65 mph|
Although these speed limits are for your basic knowledge, always look out for posted limits on the roads.
Ridesharing Laws in New Jersey
After a long battle of three years with Uber, New Jersey enacted the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act in 2017 that aims to regulate the ridesharing industry.
The law brought many changes to the way ridesharing companies hire drivers and protect riders, some of which are:
- The new law requires drivers to carry liability coverage of $1.5 million and uninsured/underinsured coverage at the same level, that is in force while the driver is on a ride
- Drivers who wish to enroll for driving with these companies must be vetted through a strict background and driving record check
- Drivers with a past record of DUI driving, homicide, sexual assault, etc. aren’t be allowed to drive for a ridesharing company
Automation on the Road
The laws in New Jersey authorize the study of autonomous vehicles on the roads.
At the beginning of 2019, the New Jersey General Assembly established a task force that would regulate autonomous vehicles for a safe integration across the state.
Safety Laws in New Jersey
If you cause an accident because of an error in judgment, it’s still understandable. But, if you’re distracted while driving or drunk and cause an accident, it’s another story.
Law enforcement officers and insurance carriers are pretty harsh on motorists involved in distracted driving accidents. Let’s look at the safety laws in your state.
DUI Laws in New Jersey
For underage drivers (below 21 years), laws in New Jersey are stringent. If you’re caught with any trace of alcohol in your system, you’re in violation of New Jersey’s zero tolerance law. Penalties may include fines of up to $500 and license suspension for around 90 days.
If you’re driving with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, you can be booked for DUI. Do remember that any consumption of alcohol can dull your senses and delay your reactions that may cause severe accidents.
If you’re caught by the police, you would face penalties in the form of fines and imprisonment.
|Offense||Fine||Imprisonment||License Suspension||Automobile Insurance Surcharge|
|First Offense||$250-$450||Up to 30 days||3-months||$1,000/year for 3 years|
|Second Offense||$500-$1,000||Up to 90 days||2-years||$1,000/year for 3 years|
|Third Offense||$1,000||180 days||10-years||$1,500/year for 3 years|
Distracted Driving Laws in New Jersey
In New Jersey, usage of a hand-held phone for texting and talking is banned for everyone. If you’re caught using a mobile phone, you would be charged a fine of $200-$400. For a second offense, motorists are charged between $400-$600.
If you’re caught subsequently, your license could be suspended for 90 days and you would be charged a fine somewhere in the range of $600-$800.
In addition, texting and driving cases that cause a fatality could result in a charge of vehicular homicide. In 2019, a New Jersey woman was charged with vehicular homicide after checking a text on her phone and rear-ending another car. To make sure you don’t end up in a similar situation, put your phone away when driving.
Driving in New Jersey
Driving anywhere involves risks that can lead to accidents and fatalities. Let’s look at the accident data trends and the major causes behind crashes in New Jersey.
Vehicle Theft in New Jersey
|Make & Model||Most Popular Model Year||Number of Vehicles Stolen|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2006||295|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||2000||286|
|Ford Econoline E350||2003||184|
The most stolen vehicle in New Jersey is the Honda Accord and Civic. You can also check the number of vehicles stolen in your city below, sourced from the FBI.
|City||Motor vehicle theft|
Road Fatalities in New Jersey
Accidents are caused by many factors, at times because of human error and sometimes by the forces of nature. We would now look at the fatality data in New Jersey.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
Fatalities by County for all Crashes in New Jersey
|Cape May County||5||12||12||12||16|
Traffic Fatalities in New Jersey
|Type of Road||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
Fatalities by Person Type in New Jersey
|Light Truck - Pickup||24||23||25||32||22|
|Light Truck - Utility||51||48||49||54||72|
|Light Truck - Van||34||21||14||16||24|
|Light Truck - Other||3||0||2||2||0|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||14||11||18||18||17|
Fatalities by Crash Type in New Jersey
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||542||556||561||602||624|
|Involving a Large Truck||60||74||50||57||54|
|Involving a Rollover||77||68||86||83||72|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||254||234||242||280||266|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||182||185||210||213||197|
Fatalities Trend for the Top Ten Counties in New Jersey
|Ranking||New Jersey Counties by 2017 Ranking||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
|Sub Total 1||Top Ten Counties||377||375||368||404||418|
|Sub Total 2||All Other Counties||165||181||193||198||206|
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County in New Jersey
|Cape May County||1||4||0||3||2|
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County in New Jersey
|Cape May County||2||5||1||5||3|
Teen Drinking and Driving
In 2017, a total of 76 teens were arrested for DUI as per the alcohol-impairment driving statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
The alcohol-impaired driving fatalities rate by per 100,000 people for drivers under 21 in New Jersey was 0.3 deaths in 2016, which was much lower than the national average of 1.2 deaths.
EMS Response Time in New Jersey
|Type of Road||Time of Crash to EMS|
|EMS Notification to|
|EMS Arrival at Scene|
to Hospital Arrival
|Time of Crash to Hospital|
|Total Fatal Crashes|
Transportation in New Jersey
Ever wonder why there’s always traffic congestion on the turnpikes and route 95 in New Jersey?
The more cars a household owns, the more would be the congestion on the roads. Heavy congestion also leads to longer commutes in the highly populated cities of the Garden State.
Let’s look at some transportation data for your state.
Car Ownership in New Jersey
The majority of the households in New Jersey own two cars just like the average car ownership in America.
Commute Time in New Jersey
The average commute time to work for employees in New Jersey is 30.6 minutes which is higher than the national average of 25.5 minutes as per Data USA.
Commuter Transportation in New Jersey
Around 71 percent of the population drove alone to work in 2017 which is the most preferred mode of commuting in America.
We hope that this guide would help you in making an informed choice for your auto insurance coverage.
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