Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania: Costs, Laws and Resources

Since New Jersey and Pennsylvania have different car insurance laws and companies, their requirements and premiums vary. For example, GEICO is the most affordable insurance provider in both states for state minimum coverage, but its policies cost an average of $499 per year in New Jersey and $543 in Pennsylvania.

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Last Updated: 11/2/2022
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If you’re moving from New Jersey to Pennsylvania or vice versa, you need to consider new car insurance requirements. While both states have similar coverage requirements, they dictate different limits for personal injury protection (PIP). New Jersey requires $15,000 in coverage, whereas Pennsylvania requires $5,000.

In this guide, MoneyGeek analyzed the cost of car insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania to find the cheapest options in each state. We also broke down the differences between each state’s car insurance laws and requirements.

Car Insurance Laws in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania

New Jersey and Pennsylvania both require liability insurance with similar limits but differ in minimum coverage for PIP. New Jersey car insurance laws require at least 15/30/5 in liability limits and $15,000 for PIP. Meanwhile, car insurance laws in Pennsylvania require liability limits of 15/30/5 and $5,000 in PIP. As a result, the cost of car insurance varies in the two states.

Drivers in New Jersey pay roughly $1,018 per year for minimum coverage, whereas Pennsylvania drivers pay approximately $912 per year for the same policy. Car insurance rates in New Jersey may be more expensive due to its higher coverage limits.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA

New Jersey Requirements

  • $15,000 per person for injury or death
  • $30,000 per accident for all injuries
  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 per person for personal injury protection

Pennsylvania Requirements

  • $15,000 per person for injury or death
  • $30,000 per accident for all injuries
  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $5,000 per person for personal injury protection
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How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in New Jersey and Pennsylvania?

Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are no-fault states, which means drivers must have PIP coverage. This will help pay for any driver and passengers' medical bills, regardless of who was at fault in an accident.

That said, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also “choice no-fault” states, allowing drivers to choose whether they will be held to a no-fault system.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania

MoneyGeek found the most affordable company for state minimum coverage in New Jersey and Pennsylvania:

  • Cheapest in New Jersey: GEICO ($499 per year)
  • Cheapest in Pennsylvania: GEICO ($543 per year)

For those with a military background in Pennsylvania, the cheapest insurance provider for state minimum coverage is USAA, at an average of $374 per year.

While GEICO is the cheapest option in both states, its policies are more affordable in New Jersey than in Pennsylvania. This shows that rates can vary across state lines, even with the same insurer.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

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THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

The cheapest car insurance company in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is GEICO, with an average annual rate of $499 and $543, respectively. Note, however, that these quotes are for minimum coverage only. Your actual rates may vary depending on your location, age, coverage level, driving history and more. You can use MoneyGeek’s resources to find the cheapest options when shopping around for an insurer:

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Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania

The coverage level you select influences the cost of car insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania. The annual average cost ranges from $1,018 in New Jersey to $912 in Pennsylvania for minimum coverage. Meanwhile, full coverage costs an average of $1,674 per year in New Jersey and $1,818 per year in Pennsylvania.

In this case, New Jersey is cheaper for minimum coverage, while Pennsylvania is cheaper for full coverage. This shows how average car insurance rates can change depending on various factors.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania

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  • Driver
    New Jersey Annual Premium
    Indiana Annual Premium
  • Minimum Coverage
    $1,018
    $409
  • Full Coverage
    $1,674
    $725
  • Adding a Young Driver
    $4,172
    $1,816
  • Drivers With a Violation
    $2,259
    $930
  • Drivers With Poor Credit
    $3,413
    $1,220

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in NJ vs. PA?

Many factors affect the cost of car insurance, making it impossible to single out one reason why a state is more expensive than another. For instance, New Jersey has a higher highway density and urban population than Pennsylvania. These factors could be partly why New Jersey has more expensive rates for minimum coverage.

Car Insurance Costs by City in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania

Your car insurance rates may also be affected by where you live within a state. On average, Jersey City is the cheapest city for minimum coverage ($960 per year) in New Jersey, whereas Paterson is the most expensive ($1,089 per year). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is the cheapest city for the same policy ($497 per year) in Pennsylvania, whereas Philadelphia is the most expensive ($1,068 per year).

Note that car insurance requirements are the same in any given state, so it’s more likely that another factor, such as population density within the state, is influencing your car insurance rates.

Car Insurance Costs by City in New Jersey

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Car Insurance Costs by City in Pennsylvania

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Moving Between New Jersey and Pennsylvania? What to Know

After moving from New Jersey to Pennsylvania or vice versa, you’ll need to change your driver’s license and registration. You can stay with your current insurance provider if it’s available in the state you move to, but your rates may change to reflect any new risks and coverage requirements.

If you do need to shop for a new insurer, MoneyGeek’s resources can help you find the best option that fits your driving profile.

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    Use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculators for New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    It’s best to find out how much you’ll pay for car insurance before you move to your new state. You can use MoneyGeek’s New Jersey car insurance calculator or Pennsylvania car insurance calculator to get a quick estimate.

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    Learn about car insurance for high-risk drivers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    High-risk drivers usually face higher insurance rates or rejection by certain insurance providers. For that reason, you may wish to look into high-risk car insurance for potential savings.

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    Figure out your options for temporary car insurance in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    The shortest term for a policy is usually six months. However, there are ways to get temporary car insurance in New Jersey or temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania if you’re only staying in the state for a few months.

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    If you’re a low-income driver, see if New Jersey or Pennsylvania offer car insurance programs

    New Jersey is only one of three states nationwide that offers a low-income program to help with car insurance costs. That means low-income drivers in that state should look into applying for New Jersey’s car assistance program. For drivers in Pennsylvania, you can try searching for low-income car insurance in Pennsylvania to save some money.

FAQs About New Jersey and Pennsylvania Car Insurance

By reading the answers to the following frequently asked questions, you can better understand the differences between car insurance in New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania.

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company and across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both locations. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria like coverage level, age, driving offenses and credit score. Learn more about how costs are calculated in our MoneyGeek car insurance methodology.

Minimum car insurance requirements by state were sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the respective state.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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