Car Insurance in New Jersey - NJ

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New Jersey uses a full-tort insurance system – whoever is found to be at fault in an accident has to reimburse the other party for the damages. The state is famous for the NJ Turnpike, a road that is among the most trafficked highways in the United States, and this is probably why New Jersey is one of the most expensive states to get insured in.

Minimum insurance requirements

All drivers have to hold at least a Liability policy. Limits are surprisingly low:

  • Personal Injury Liability of only $15,000 per passenger, but not more than $30,000 for the whole accident
  • Property Damage Liability of only $5,000

Most states have a minimum limit in the range of 25/50/25. However, if you are going to lease a car, the lender will most likely ask you to get a Full coverage and at least 100/300/100 Liability insurance.

Average costs and trends

The state's average Liability policy costs $1,981.97 as of February 2012, much higher than the national average of $1,671.16. Newark and Camden are the most expensive cities to get insured in, with average premiums of $3,126.96 and $2,992.54.

The good news is that prices seem to have a downwards trend – insurance prices in NJ have been constantly dropping for the last twelve months, from an average of $2,383 in March 2011 to nowadays' $1,982.

New Jersey DUI laws

The state laws say that it is a crime for any driver to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers aren't allowed to drive with 0.04% BAC or more, and there is no tolerance for drivers under 21 – it's a crime to drive with 0.01% or more. It is a crime to refuse to submit to an alcohol test in New Jersey.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated are as follows:

  • First conviction: a fine of $250 to $400 (up to $500 if BAC is of 0.10% or higher), up to 30 days of jail time, at least three months of license suspension, SR22 insurance requirement and ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for 6 to 12 months upon the reinstatement of your driving privileges.
  • Second conviction: a fine of $500 to $1,000, up to 90 days of jail time, two years of license suspension, IID requirement of 1-3 years, SR22 requirement and 30 days of community service.
  • Third (and subsequent) conviction: a $1,000 fine, up to 180 days of jail time, IID requirement of 1-3 years upon the reinstatement of the driver's license, SR22 requirement and up to ten years of driver's license suspension.

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