Yes. Auto insurance companies in New Jersey use consumer credit scores as part of their formula for determining risk and premium offers. There are plenty of other variables, but generally speaking, a higher score helps you get lower rates.
Most carriers in the state are happy to reward and incentivize responsible, cautious driving. Ask yours if they offer a good-driver discount and what you need to qualify. Usually, it’s a period of 3 or more years without an accident and/or a moving violation. Other discounts you can inquire about include:
- Full Pay
- Multiple Car
- Multiple Policy
- Good Student
- Resident Student
- Vehicle Safety
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Home Ownership
- New Car
- Passive Restraint
- Utility Discount
New Jersey joined the digital age in mid-2015 when it enacted a law allowing state drivers to show a carrier-issued digital insurance card on their smartphone, tablet, or other electronic mobile devices.
New Jersey has some of the harshest penalties in the country for driving without insurance. These may include at least several hundred dollars in fines, plus a few hundred dollars in associated fees, as well as up to a 1-year license suspension, community service, and possible vehicle impounding. And that’s just for a first-time offense. Aggravating factors like causing an accident or injuries without coverage make things worse.
It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
New Jersey bumps up DUI penalties at 0.10% BAC. This is a little more aggressive than many other states, where it’s common to increase penalties at a reading of 0.15%.
New Jersey’s implied consent law means that refusing a breath, urine, or blood test comes with automatic consequences. For a first-time refusal, these include up to several hundred dollars in fines and fees, mandatory completion of an alcohol education course, and installation of an ignition interlock device for 6 months to 1 year.
Many aggravating factors can up the consequences of a DUI conviction in New Jersey. These include—but aren’t limited to—having a BAC reading of 0.10% or greater, having prior DUI arrests, causing an accident or injury, and driving in possession of an open container or drugs.
Penalties for a first-time offender without aggravating circumstances may include around $1,800 in fines, fees, and surcharges, as well as up to 30 days in jail, community service, and compulsory completion of a drunk driving course.
Find more details about DUI convictions and penalties on the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website’s DUI page.
Many carriers in New Jersey will extend a discount to you if you voluntarily complete a state-approved defensive driving course.
We’ve already discussed a number of discounts on this page, and keeping your credit score up and your driving record free of accidents and moving violations helps keep your rates down, too. Also, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. But the single most effective way to reduce what you pay each month is to comparison shop for the lowest quotes on coverage that meets the needs of your vehicle and driver’s lifestyle.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage offers you financial protection should you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance, or who don’t have enough coverage to pay for all the damage and injuries they cause. It also covers you in the event of a hit-and-run accident. If you opt for only the Basic Policy in New Jersey, you don’t get uninsured motorist coverage. However, if you buy the Standard Policy, you’re required to get liability coverage of at least $15,000 bodily injury per person and $30,000 bodily injury per accident.