NJ auto insurance is expensive: Here’s how to lower it
🚗 Are you paying too much for auto insurance in NJ? Here’s how to lower it
🚗 The first, most important thing you can do is shop around
🚗 The head of the Insurance Council of NJ also has advice on what to NOT do
A recent study but bankrate.com finds the average cost of an auto insurance policy in New Jersey is $1,891 a year, which is higher than the national average.
But it turns out there are ways to bring that total down significantly.
According to Christine O’Brien, the president of the Insurance Council of New Jersey, a number of factors come into play when determining how much your auto insurance policy will cost.
Look at several options
She said the number one thing you can do to save on car insurance is to shop around because the market is very competitive.
“There are plenty of options and once you land on a price point with a particular auto carrier you can then talk about ways you can save within your policy,” she said.
She noted auto insurance carriers “look at a myriad of factors when they price you, and the more factors they can consider, the more than can pinpoint for your specific needs.”
Bundle your insurance needs
She said the second thing you can do to lower your auto insurance policy is to bundle it with other insurance.
“Do you rent, do you own a home, do you need an umbrella policy, all these other insurance needs can be bundled, which ultimately will save you.”
Lower your deductible
O’Brien said when deciding what your auto insurance deductible will be set at you need to think about “what can you afford to put out of pocket at the time of an incident, and so if you if you raise your deductible that will automatically decrease your premium.”
How old is your vehicle?
She said another way to save on your auto insurance bill, if you drive an older car, is to no longer carry collision and comprehensive coverage.
“You can talk to your agent about what is the limit that way, and what is deemed an older car, and if it’s not worth the cost to repair you don’t need to insure for the cost to repair.”
She pointed out another way to save is brushing up on your driving skills, since “if you take a defensive driving class that can also lower your premium.”
Other ways to save
O’Brien said if you have a son or daughter who goes away to college and they’re covered under your policy, let your auto insurance company know and you may be able to lower your rate.
She noted if that young family member is living at home, it might actually be cheaper for them to get their own insurance instead of you carrying them on your policy.
She said it’s important to remember what drives up the cost of insurance for most drivers is speeding.
“going too fast is the single biggest contributor to crashes when driver error is cited as the cause, so slow down.”
She noted distracted driving is the second leading cause of crashes.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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