NJ drivers pay more for car insurance, but why?
It is something New Jersey drivers would rather not lead the nation in: spending more on car insurance than any other state.
The figures released from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which examined car insurance rates in 2013, show that New Jersey motorists topped the list by spending an average of $1,254 in coverage.
New Jersey was trailed by DC drivers at $1,187 and New Yorkers, who paid $1,182. The amount Garden State drivers spend is well above the national average of $841.
Christine O'Brien, Insurance Council NJ president, said there are many factors contributing to New Jersey's sky-high rates, including our population density and thus higher accident rates, the wealth of our state, which often means more expensive cars to insure.
"We also live in a state where the cost to repair the cars, in general, do exceed the national average," O'Brien said.
New Jersey also has one benefit that can work against the prices. The Garden State has stringent personal injury protection guidelines to protect liability in the event of injuries.
"To make sure that no victim of an auto crash goes uncared for in the health care system," O'Brien said.
While New Jersey will always pay among the highest rates in the nation, O'Brien urges drivers to shop around. She said New Jersey has a wide variety of carriers and options to try and lower their premium rates.
"Look at higher deductibles to off-set lower premiums," she said. "Perhaps look at different PIP limits to off-set lower premiums."
She said being a high-commuter state and densely populated will usually work against drivers when it comes to the insurance rates.
"And that combination is always going to mean that we have to afford the luxury to travel," she said.