No one likes to pay more for insurance, but New Jersey residents got somewhat of a break in recent years. Auto insurance premiums increased by 20% between 2011 and 2017, a rate hike that's significantly lower than expected. If you've had to deal with higher car insurance bills recently, here's how you can save money on your premiums.
Auto insurance rate hikes in New Jersey by company
Car insurance rates in New Jersey increased by 20% between 2011 and 2017, which is 5% below the national average. We found Farmers and Allstate to be the biggest culprits, both raising rates by more than 30%. Geico, the largest insurer in the state, only imposed a modest 11% hike over the six years from 2011 to 2017.
Total increase since 2011
|Palisades/ Plymouth Rock||4%||4%||4%||2%||5%||2%||22%|
|Average rate increases||4%||4%||1%||4%||5%||2%||20%|
*Until May 2017
To see how each major insurance company fared in the Garden State, take a look at the graph below:
Auto insurance rate increases in New Jersey compared to other states
New Jersey had slightly below-average rate increases compared to other states. For example, the average increase in neighboring New York was 28%.
New Jersey basically hovers around the nationwide increase year after year. Between 2011 and 2017, rate hikes exceeded the national average only in 2013 — likely due to Superstorm Sandy losses.
New Jersey increase per year
National increase per year
Difference from national increase
*Until May 2017
What can New Jerseyans do if their car insurance rates are raised?
If it's been hard keeping up with your increasing premiums, there are several things you can do to save money. Here are three major cost-cutting methods:
Change your auto insurance company
Sticking with the same insurer year after year is not always rewarding. Some companies raise rates more than others, and some are better at pricing certain risk groups. Unless you shop around, you won't know when you could get a better deal. We recommend getting quotes from at least three insurers once a year. Geico, Plymouth Rock and USAA often offer affordable auto insurance in New Jersey.
Consider adjusting your coverage
Deciding whether to cut coverage is another way to save money. For example, we generally recommend having collision and comprehensive insurance. But if your car is worth less than $3,000 or the car is older than 10 years old, you likely won't need either type of coverage.
Here's why: Collision and comprehensive insurance typically costs $300 to $2,000 per year, depending on the car. When you calculate the cost over five years, it's likely greater than the value of your car, making the insurance not worth the cost. Websites such as Edmunds.com and KBB.com can help you determine the value of your car — but remember, cars depreciate over time. If it was worth $5,000 in 2017, for example, it might not be worth as much now.
Look for auto insurance discounts
Asking about car insurance discounts is another great way to save money. Depending on your situation and the car insurance company, you might be able to take a defensive-driving course, install an anti-theft device or show affiliation with certain groups to earn discounts worth 5% to 10% off your premium.
- Nielsen iClout data