From Newark to Hoboken, Camden to Paterson, and Elizabeth to Atlantic City, New Jersey has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from downtown Trenton to the Gateway Region, the Pine Barrens, Delaware Valley and Skylands.They’re used by nearly 6 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 8,200 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Garden State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to New Jersey’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
New Jersey state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. New Jersey is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Under a no-fault system, you lose some of your rights to sue for damages.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for New Jersey drivers is:
$15,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$30,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$5,000 property damage liability
$15,000/$30,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
$5,000 per accident with $500 deductible uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage
New Jersey does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry State Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of New Jersey car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties. You can be fined $300 or $1,000 for a first offense and loss of your driver’s license for 1 year. You will also have to pay surcharges of $250 per year for three years. Second offense carry fines of up to $5,000, a mandatory 14 days in jail, an additional 30 days of community service and a 2-year suspension of your driver’s license.
New Jersey Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
New Jersey also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest New Jersey Car Insurance Policy
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New New Jersey Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in New Jersey. The following laws have recently been enacted in New Jersey and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
New Jersey bans all forms of text-based communication while driving. There is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers and a ban on handheld phones for all drivers.
Motorist who fail to keep to the right on New Jersey highways can be fined between $100 to $300. Left and center lanes are to be used for passing other vehicles.