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Automobile Insurance Premium Increasing, But Not By Much

This article was written by in Insurance. 14 comments.


Earlier this week, I received my updated policy information from Liberty Mutual, the company that provides the insurance for my Honda Civic. I was expecting a significant increase thanks to a minor car accident last October. Here are some details about my coverage, which I haven’t changed since purchasing this car.

* Liability, bodily injury: $50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
* Liability, property damage: $50,000 each accident
* Uninsured motorists, bodily injury: $50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
* Uninsured motorists, property damage: $50,000 each accident
* Personal injury protection (PIP), medical expense limit: $250,000
* Personal injury protection (PIP), medical expense deductible: $250
* Collision deductible: $500
* Other damage deductible: $500
* Transportation expenses: $30 each day or $900 per accident

The total annual premium for this coverage is $1,552. This is about $100 more than last year’s premium, less than I expected the increase to be. It’s still a lot of money, but as a New Jersey resident that is to be expected. The last time I shopped around, “discount” insurers like Geico quoted higher premiums for the same coverage.

I thought about shopping around again, but I don’t think it a slight discount would be worth the effort at this point. All my extra time right now is being spent on finding the right place to live.

Published or updated May 11, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Chris

First, Geico is not a “discount” insurer in my opinion (if they are, they sure do spend a lot of money on commercials). I have quoted them a few times and they are always expensive. You should try some established local insurance companies. What year is your Civic? Paying $1,550 for a compact sedan is outrageous.

My family insures for a 7 year old SUV and 3 year old sedan both with full coverage plus a motorcycle for around $1k a year with similar terms to yours (except we have a $1,000 deductible). I’m almost certain you can get a better rate. I can’t imagine just living in Jersey lands you with a rate 3 times what it is everywhere else.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,480 (Platinum)

Chris: I *used* to pay $3,000 to $4,000 a year on my previous car, a 1997 Honda Civic. I had insurance points back then.

My current Civic is a 2004. When I purchased the car, I shopped around a bit, and the results I got were all around the same price.

According to this site (probably not the best source, but I found it quickly), in 2003 the average cost for car insurance in New Jersey was $1,365 compared to the national average of $914.

That being said, it might be a good idea to shop around again, but not until I can devote attention to it, ie., after I find a new place to live.

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avatar Brad

Wow! Those rates are shocking. I have a 2005 SUV, 1000/1000 deductibles, and coverage otherwise similar to yours. My rate is about $750 per year. I can’t believe how high yours is. What is it about New Jersey that puts insurance costs through the roof?

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avatar JP

I would look into NJ Manufacturers. They are THE cheapest in NJ and you’ll also receive a dividend check each year. You said that you were recently in an accident so they’ll probably place you in the NJM Re-insurance policy but that’ll probably still beat any of the other insurance companies around. We work for the same company so let me know if you’re interested and I’ll hook you up with the NJBIA (NJ Business Industry Association) number which you’ll need to begin the process.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,480 (Platinum)

Thanks, JP. I had NJM back when I had points and was in the “state pool” — the group of drivers insurance companies wouldn’t normally touch but were forced to on a rotating basis by the state. When the points disappeared and I was shopping around, Liberty Mutual beat them in price — NJM was my first quote — but that could always change.

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avatar Jerry

I think some of those limits are low, but then again I live in a no fault state. I have my limits set at 100k/300k/100k and have considered moving it up to the next level even.

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avatar Insurance Pro

With the price of cars and healthcare increasing, 50/100/50 limits are probably low. Increasing the limits to 100/300/100 would not cost much.

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avatar dimes

Dayum. Two of us, with two vehicles, and one of us under 25, only spend $1050/year with GEICO. And I think it’s exorbitant, so we’re going to switch to USAA, probably.
Move away!

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avatar Jon

I pay 186 every six months for my car insurance. I keep enough cash on hand to fix any damage I do to my car or to buy another one. Makes sense to me.

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avatar MossySF

Look into getting multi-line coverage for insurance. At this time, I have auto, renter and umbrella from Farmers. The discount has me down to $1170/yr for 250K/500K auto coverage. I have another 1M umbrella on top of that for $180/yr.

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avatar Livingalmostlarge

I pay more than that, down with state run insurance. Only 6 cmopanies offer insurance here and they are all the same price. I think I pay for liability only $2400 with discounts. Bah.

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avatar Sun

I used to use Liberty mutual as well. Here’s what I used to pay:

* Bodily Injury: $50K each person, and $100K each accident;
* Property Damage: $50K each accident
* Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists: Same as above
* Medical Expense Limit: $250K
* Medical Expense Deductible: $1K
* Collision Deductible: $1K; other damage deductible: $1K

I had two cars insured with Liberty Mutual, both have comprehensive coverage. And the annual premium was $1516. Then I switched to Ameriprise from Costco and with the exactly same coverage, the premium I paid was $1252. If you are a Costco member, Ameriprise is worth a look.

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avatar KMull

I pay $1,482/year for Geico covering 2 cars with pretty much the save coverage as you (but $250 comprehensive deductible).

I would strongly urge you to drop the rental car “transportation cost” from your policy. At least find out how much you would save. It probably isn’t much, but you will only use it if YOU are at fault in an accident. If someone else hits you (assuming they are covered), their insurance pays your rental costs.

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avatar Brandon

Just thought I would throw in my two cents as an insurance agent…

If you are comfortable selecting your own levels of coverage, there are many online insurance carriers that may offer a great deal. That said, there are many nationally known captive-agent carriers that offer a great deal. That said, there are many independent-agent carriers that offer a great deal. You’ll never know until you look around. However, you will find that the big-brand, captive carriers likely train their agents better (though I work for a small-brand, niche market, captive carrier). At any given time, you are likely to find that most companies’ rates vary by a factor of 2 or 3.

The most important consideration to keep in mind is the coverage that you carry for (bodily injury and property damage) liability. If you are at-fault for a wreck, your assets are at risk. That means sum up the value of your home, vehicles, checking/savings, income (yes, wages can be garnished), even personal qualified retirement plans (though the Supreme Court ruled that these accounts cannot be touched, their total value can be attached to a lawsuit). Run the numbers, and 99% of drivers do not have enough liability coverage. Take the value of your income for the next 30 years, for instance…Think $1, $2, or even $3 million dollars of umbrella liability coverage.

A new car might cost you $25,000. What would a new spine cost?

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