Certain driving-related incidents, like drunk driving, speeding or causing a serious accident, could cause insurance companies to label some drivers as “high-risk.” If this happens, drivers could find themselves paying significantly higher auto insurance premiums or ineligible for a standard auto insurance policy with some carriers. But if you’re looking for high-risk car insurance in New Jersey, some of the companies below might provide an alternative solution.

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Rates for high-risk car insurance in New Jersey

Rates for high-risk auto insurance in New Jersey can vary by insurer, but also based on driver-specific factors. While age is often a factor, driving record and claims history also affect rates. Auto insurance companies will factor in driving infractions like speeding ticket convictions, at-fault accidents and DUI convictions when calculating insurance premiums. Teen drivers are also typically considered high-risk drivers due to their lack of road experience. Below, Bankrate showcases how different incidents impact auto insurance rates across companies, based on premium data from Quadrant Information Services.

Rates after a speeding ticket

A high-risk driver in New Jersey can expect their insurance rates to increase, although the amount will vary by company. Drivers can also face fines between $85 to $260 depending on how much in excess of the speed limit the driver was traveling. Repeat offenders could also be jailed, have their vehicle impounded and have their license suspended or revoked. Though not everyone will need high-risk auto insurance after one speeding ticket on their MVR, repeat offenders may find limited insurance options and need to resort to high-risk insurance coverage.

The table below shows the average yearly rate for full coverage before and after a speeding ticket conviction in New Jersey, including the percentage increase, by company. Amica, Travelers and Progressive are some of the cheapest auto insurance providers in New Jersey for high-risk drivers, on average.

New Jersey average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before a speeding ticket conviction Rate after a speeding ticket conviction % increase
Amica $1,707 $2,070 21%
Travelers $1,403 $1,750 25%
Progressive $2,073 $2,513 21%

Rates after an at-fault accident

An at-fault collision is when a driver is responsible for causing personal injury or property damage to another party’s property, or one that results in injuries or damages to their own passengers and vehicle. After an at-fault collision, a high-risk driver label is possible, which can increase insurance premiums. It may also lead to the loss of any safe driver discounts currently on a policy. Subsequent at-fault collisions may result in drivers needing to purchase high-risk car insurance if their current insurer or other companies deem them too risky to insure with a standard policy.

Compare the rates below for average annual premiums before and after an at-fault collision.

New Jersey average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before an at-fault accident Rate after an at-fault accident % increase
Geico $1,374 $1,837 34%
Selective $1,159 $1,249 8%
Progressive $2,073 $3,140 51%

Rates after a DUI

A DUI is one of the most serious offenses that can lead to the high-risk driver label. The table below shows before and after average annual rates, with a minimum increase of 14% from Progressive after a DUI conviction is factored in. If a driver’s license is suspended under New Jersey law after a DUI, they may only be eligible for high-risk auto insurance.

New Jersey average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before a DUI conviction Rate after a DUI conviction % increase
Geico $1,374 $2,410 75%
Selective $1,159 $1,809 56%
Progressive $2,073 $2,353 14%

High-risk drivers may also have to file an SR-22 to prove they have adequate New Jersey car insurance, as their existing carrier may decide not to renew their policy after a DUI conviction. Subsequent convictions could further limit the chances of qualifying for standard auto insurance, resulting in the need for high-risk insurance.

Rates for teen drivers

Even with a clean driving record, most insurance companies consider teen drivers as high risk until they gain enough years of experience behind the wheel. As teens get older and continue to practice safe driving habits, rates usually decrease, although there is no guarantee of lower rates. The table below shows the average annual cost of car insurance with and without a 16-year-old driver included on the policy.

Average annual full coverage premiums for policyholders:

Car insurance company Rate without a 16-year-old insured Rate with a 16-year-old insured
Geico $1,374 $3,039
Selective $1,159 $3,226
Progressive $2,073 $2,313

*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 16-year-old driver added to their married parents’ policy.

Teens are usually listed as drivers on their parents’ policy. However, that could change if they become a high-risk driver with a speeding ticket, at-fault accident or DUI on their record. If that happens, they may not be renewed and have to pursue high-risk car insurance elsewhere.

Who is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone that a car insurance company may designate as more likely to file costly claims. Some behaviors that may flag you as high risk include speeding, drinking and driving or driving distracted, such as texting while driving.

Bankrate’s high-risk driver profile accounts for policyholders who had a lapse in coverage in the past, teen drivers and those who have had one speeding ticket conviction, at-fault accident or DUI conviction on their record.

How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver

Insurance rates may remain high as long as the points still show on your driving record. In the case of a DUI, expect to pay higher rates for at least 10 years. To offset some of the costs associated with high-risk driving, consider the following tactics:

  • Attend traffic school after receiving a ticket to wipe out points before they are added to your motor vehicle record.
  • Shop around and switch car insurance providers if another insurer is able to offer you a better rate.
  • Look for a carrier that offers accident forgiveness. While this will not lower rates following a recent incident, you may save yourself from increased rates in the future should one new at-fault accident occur. Limitations may apply. Some providers that offer accident forgiveness are:
    • Geico
    • Nationwide
    • Progressive
    • State Farm
    • USAA
  • Ask for discounts based on your unique profile, such as those for students, military or corporate affiliation, or for having purchased a newer car.
  • Adjust your deductible; assuming a greater degree of financial responsibility for future claims can reduce your premiums.
  • Compare car insurance quotes each year before your coverage ends to ensure you are still getting the best price.

Frequently asked questions

    • New Jersey requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance coverage. However, starting in 2023, this minimum amount has been increased. New Jersey drivers are now required to carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. Personal injury protection will remain the same as before at $15,000, but uninsured and underinsured coverage will need to match the liability limits listed above.
    • A DUI conviction may remain on your record for 10 years or more in New Jersey. If your car insurance rates increase sharply, you may want to shop around to find a cheaper carrier for coverage over the next few years.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2020 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, and single DUI conviction.

Age: Rates for 16-year old drivers were calculated based on married male and female drivers insured together with a 16-year-old driver added to their full coverage policy. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.