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Car Insurance

Hey guys.

I've never bought my own car insurance.  I'm going to do so in the near future.

For those of you living in New Jersey (or those who used to live in New Jersey) -- what car insurance do you have?  What do you pay a year?  I just got a quote from Geico (Geico works in New Jersey now, how exciting!) for $1,725 for six months.  Does that sound about right?  Man that's a lot of money.

For those of you out-of-state, I thank you, but specific advice or comments will most likely be useless -- New Jersey has some whacky car insurance laws, and a lot of companies don't even work in the state, and when they do, prices are through the roof.  But thank you anyway.

Oh and also, I don't know if anyone will be able to help me with this, but -- technically I live in Gloucester County, but my mailing address (and therefore the address they're using to come up with a quote) is in Camden County, which (I've heard) has slightly higher insurance rates.  Does anyone know what I might be able to do about that?  I suppose I can compare quotes, and then when I actually purchase a policy, try to talk to a real live human being who can help me out with that.

EDIT: I just re-did the quote without fessing up to my traffic violations, and I got a quote of $600 for six months. I like that one MUCH better.

I've had three speeding tickets in the past five years. The first two were dropped down to non-point violations (I go to court for the third one sometime this month). Does that mean I don't have to tell the insurance people about them? Or what? I always thought that you wanted point violations gone, because point violations meant your insurance went up. So if I have no points, then am I under no obligation to let the insurance company know about other violations? Or what?


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)
I use allstate, but I am still under my parents.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I hear NJM is the best ever, but impossible to get. Try!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't live in NJ
Man, you totally didn't believe me! But honest, New Jersey has ridiculous auto insurance rates. Seriously. I'm not making that up.

Allstate works in New Jersey, but neither Progressive nor Nationwide do. See? Crazy insurance laws. It sucks, but it's the way it is.

I just dug up an email wherein my mom was getting some quotes for me, and she found stuff from $2400 - $3000 a year. So I guess the quote I got is pretty accurate, too. Man, bummer.

Thanks for your suggestions, though, and I hope that your week gets better . . .
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
No wait, you were right! I was admitting to three traffic violations, but now I think that I don't need to admit to ANY of them, as they weren't point violations. (Well, they were, but I plea-bargained them down). So you were right the first time, those numbers ARE crazy! Oh thank goodness.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
holy christ, that sounds REALLY expensive, but is that because your car is new or leased or something? I've only driven old cars that I owned outright. I think insurance works differently when you're still making payments on a car.

I had huge problems with the county/zip code thing when I lived in Westmont. See, because there really is no Westmont, as far as the zip codes were concerned I lived in Collingswood (in camden county). You're right, rates are a bit higher in Camden County. But whatever, Collingswood is a decent area, right? Well, something got screwy and the insurance people had me living in CAMDEN itself. According to their demographic map or whatever, that's where I lived. That made the rate shoot WAY WAY up, and then I had to deal with months of crap where I finally proved I lived in blue-collar suburbia and shouldn't pay camden insurance rates. it was the biggest pain in the ass. My advice to you is to talk it all out with a real person before purchasing anything. And make sure you get everything in writing. I had a very thick file with all my car insurance crap that I used to have to consult way, way too often.

anyway, to make what could be a very very long story short (i'm leaving a ton of other issues out), I was paying an average of $1,000 per year to have insurance while living in Camden County. I say "average" because I think it varied from $700-$1200 during the whole thing. When I was living in Glassboro (Glouster County), I was paying um... man, I can't remember. I think I started at like, $1300 and it dropped way down at some point to like, $800, then went up again. I do remember I always paid more than my friends since my car was under my own name and not my parents.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
also: I always had the most basic coverage. Just liability.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
I also need to get coverage from NJ soon.

Geico's a bit more expensive than Progressive, who gave me $1650 for 6 months in Brooklyn, where Geico gave me $2100 for 6 months. Too bad Progressive doesn't cover in NJ.

Maybe try High Point? they gave me pretty cheap coverage while under my parents'.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC)
God damn, how many accidents have you been in recently?? Are you sure that's the rate for 6 months, and not the whole year? For someone 25 and older with a relatively clean record and a relatively inexpensive car, that sounds excessive. Of course, if this is your first time getting insurance in your name I guess that drives it up.

Kevin and I both have coverage through AAA. I pay a little under $1000 a year with liability only. Adding comp/collision would probably bring me up to around $1500. I think Kevin's is around 2.5K, 'cause he was under 25 when the policy was written, has a more expensive car, and (not surprisingly) has some tickets.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
No accidents, but I did fess up to three violations in the past five years. I'll have to call my lawyer and find out what those violations actually ARE. I can never remember the actual charge that I pled guilty to.

Yeah, this will be the first time it's in my name, and I'm assuming that this will be for a new car, which also means I'll want comp/collision. So now does it sound more reasonable?

Jesus, I had no idea it was going to be THIS expensive. This sort of changes everything . . .
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC)
You only have to admit to moving violations w/ points. So if you've bargained tickets down to something with no points, you're ok. I'd say leave out the most recent violation unless it was something so bad you don't think you'll be able to plead it down, like doing 85 in a 25 and running over a nun. Your new price of $600/6 months sounds pretty reasonable.

Also, check out this site, especially the "Survey Examples" and "Worksheet" sections. Usually has some useful info.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)
God Damn! That's painfully expensive. The only possibility is that it's because it's the first time you're going to have your own insurance. Geico gave me a quote of $980/6 months for their "Premium" coverage on the Maxima. I could get full coverage for about $890, and liability for about $500. I'd call around and see if somebody can do better. Different companies have different policies for "new" drivers, especially since you're over 25.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)
Okay -- I took off the traffic violations and it's now $600 for six months. SO MUCH BETTER.

So what do I have to admit to when I get insurance? I never got any points on my license, doesn't that mean I don't have to fess up to anything? I'm afraid to ask my lawyer about this, will she charge me money for asking something that's unrelated to my current speeding ticket crap? Help!
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:43 pm (UTC)
i wouldn't admit to anything. they'll try to dig stuff up in public records when you apply, but if you plea bargained them down from moving violatiosn, then they shouldn't show up and your price should be less.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
All right, I like the sound of that! Thanks!
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:44 pm (UTC)
Fessin' Up
You only have to fess up to what is in record. For tickets, this will be what points you have and for wrecks this is usually via an insurance claim. Since you have no points, I would start with not listing it. The insurance company is going to run a check on you anyway, and if they find those violations, they will add them later (not in your quote, mind you). So you can be conservative with the reporting, but know that it may change if the violations have been reported somehow. Again, generally, only the points matter.

Do some online quote shopping. Many companies will give the quotes of other companies at the same time (accurately too, go figure). I know in other states GEICO is higher than others, so it will be worth it to shop around. Many times if you buy your insurance through the internet, rather than an agent, you can also get a discount.

Too bad Progressive isn't in your state. :( Good luck.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
You can request your driving record online at http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/d_driver_history.html. I wouldn't really worry about any of it. Geico will pull your driving history and credit report. If it's on there they'll charge you for it, but I don't think there's a way around that. The only thing that counts against you are points. So if you pled things down you shouldn't have any. So I'd put that you have a clean record, unless you know you have something with points.
Nov. 29th, 2004 12:51 pm (UTC)
My abstract, that's what my lawyer said she would be requesting! I'll have to make sure she gives me a copy. Good, good, this is sounding a lot better (phew). I am sure that I don't have points. Thanks, Kev.
Nov. 29th, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC)
If you have no points, then you don't have to worry about it. Really! Don't admit to anything.
Nov. 29th, 2004 01:51 pm (UTC)
i have NJM, but you have to work for a member company or be a member of certain credit unions to get a policy. you could also get a policy if you were ever a NJM policy holder - car or home. anyone can apply for a NJM RE-INSURANCE policy, but you'll be paying similar jacked-up premiums as you do with any stockholder owned insurance company in nj. i pay around $1200/year for full coverage on my truck. some companies get membership when they are part of other associations. maybe your company is part of an affilated engineering association. it's worth checking.
Nov. 29th, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)
saw this on my friendsfriends list, and i'm totally going through something similar.

Now that I'm married, my husbands insurance is with me, and I tried to get a quote... he has a DUI, which makes him uninsurable by anything I've ever used, and HORRIBLY expensive for anything we can. I think I'm just going to keep my maiden name for insurance sake.

uhm... AIG is bad. Thats what I'm hearing from almost everyone. And you said that Allstate doesn't fly in jersey? shit...

oh, and there are so many things you can get discounts for... did you end up getting a new (not previously titled) car? An economy car? AntiTheft Device, Airbags (which are standard anyway), AntiLock Brakes..
I'm sure you've seen this, but if you hadn't, it could possibly help?

oh, and my dad has dealings with car insurance companies a lot... next time i catch a call, let me ask, and see what I can find out.

hope this helps :)
Dec. 10th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, DUI's cost tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, because of insurance costs.

I didn't say that Allstate didn't operate in New Jersey; they do, actually. Progressive and Nationwide (which were mentioned above) do.

I'm going with Geico, they gave me a decent quote. Good luck!
Nov. 30th, 2004 03:09 pm (UTC)
My advice is that you get car insurance, it's a really good idea.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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