REPOST: N.J. once again has costliest auto insurance in U.S., report says

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that New Jersey has the costliest auto insurance rates in the nation.

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New Jersey often ranks as the most expensive state to buy auto insurance. | Image Source:

New Jersey drivers once again shelled out the most in the nation for auto insurance, according to an annual industry report.

Drivers in the Garden State paid an average of $1,220 on car insurance policies in 2012, the last year the figures were available, according to the report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

It marks the third straight year that New Jersey has topped the list, which covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Washington D.C. was second at $1,155, followed by New York with $1,152. Idaho drivers paid the least for auto insurance: $535.

New Jersey’s average is about 49 percent higher than the national mark of $815, according to the report.

The data includes the average amount drivers paid for liability coverage, which is mandatory, as well as collision and comprehensive policies, which are optional. The average mandatory liability premium in New Jersey was $861 in 2012 — also the most in the country.

Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the state Department of Banking insurance, said New Jersey has always ranked high on the list for a number of reasons.

“We are one of the most densely populated states in the nation,” McKnight said. “So there are more cars and more accidents.”

He added that New Jersey drivers also tend to opt for more coverage than is legally required. About 70 percent carry the maximum personal injury protection benefit of $250,000, McKnight said.

“Only New York and Michigan have a higher number,” he said.

The NAIC stresses that insurance premiums can vary across the nation because of population density, laws, geography, and different requirements for coverage, limits, and benefits.

The organization specifically notes that New Jersey’s numbers are difficult to compare to other states because a large portion of residents live in what the industry considers urban areas.

It adds that the report does not include dividends, which hurts the state’s figures because New Jersey has paid two to four times the national average in dividends to policyholders. Dividends are essentially refunds that auto insurers send policyholders for any excess charges in a premium.

The Washington-based NAIC is a volunteer organization for state insurance regulators. While its data lags by several years, the group’s reports are regarded as the most authoritative on the issue.

High auto insurance premiums was once one of the hottest issues in Trenton, prompting angry Statehouse rallies, lengthy legislative battles, and high-profile court fights as insurers squared off against trial attorneys. But it’s barely been a blip on the political radar in the dozen years since Gov. James E. McGreevey signed reforms into law that eased regulations to make way for lower costs.

In 2006, New Jersey drivers paid an average of $1,152, and the figures fell to 1,104 in 2007 and 1,081 in 2008.

McKnight said people began shopping around for lower coverage, causing the numbers to drop.

But the figures have slowly ticked up since then. The average rose 2.9 percent in 2012, up from 1,185 in 2011. The average in the U.S. jumped 2.2 percent over the same period.

In all, New Jersey has seen a 2.2 percent increase from 2002 to 2012 — the 15th highest increase in the nation.

McKnight said New Jersey may drop out of the No. 1 slot from time to time, depending on what happens in other states.

“But we’re never going to be one of the lowest because of all those factors,” he said.

Louis Campisano is an insurance professional from New Jersey. For more articles on auto insurance issues, like this Facebook page.


Proactive Measures for Unforeseen Events in Life

We are an unpredictable whirlwind of activity throughout our ongoing personal and professional lives. No one can make any kinds of predictions whatsoever when and where our lives will take us next, which is why so many people stress how important it is to have the necessary safety nets in place in the event life throws us out of the loop and into unfamiliar territory.

To make sure we are prepared when the unforeseen comes out of leftfield and rips the rug out from under us, insurance policies are made available in the event our everyday lives take a turn for the unexpected. The best way to make sure we have policies that reflect our lifestyle is to turn to experts who know the ins and outs of the insurance industry to get us covered in areas that could affect our overall well-being. This is where a knowledgeable and practiced agent like Louis Campisano enters the picture. Mr. Campisano can get you all of the peace of mind you need as a representative of Farmers Insurance, an insurance group that offers automobile, home, life, business, motorcycle, recreational, and renters insurance policies to its clients.

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The history of Farmers Insurance dates all the way back to 1922, when two associates with strong links to local farmers and ranchers recognized the necessity to help rural citizens with coverage on equipment they used far more frequently than their urbanite neighbors. By 1928, the two co-founders landed their first client. Today, the company is one of the most respected in the insurance industry, with more than 50,000 exclusive and independent agents, and approximately 22,000 employees.

Louis Campisano is a Farmers Insurance agent based out of Florham Park, NJ, and continually helps individuals, families, and businesses discover the different kinds of policies that are available to help guide them towards coverage that will prove most beneficial when the least of expected scenarios comes uninvited into your life.

To learn more about Louis Campisano and/or Farmers insurance policies, visit his website for detailed information and insight on how to get an upper hand on life.

Totaled or stolen car: When does insurance come in?

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A person who survives a car accident, or one who has had a vehicle stolen but is unharmed, has much to be thankful for. However, there’s no denying the ensuing stress caused by dealing with a totaled or stolen car.

What is total auto loss?

When, after an accident, a car is deemed “non-repairable” by the insurance provider, it is referred to as a total auto loss.

A vehicle is considered “non-repairable” when one of the following conditions exist:
• The vehicle is so damaged that repairs cannot be performed
• The vehicle is so damaged that the cost to repair it exceeds its actual cash value

Most insurance providers consider a stolen car that cannot be recovered as a total auto loss.

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Does car insurance cover total auto loss?

Vehicle owners should identify the type of coverage they carry and whether it pays for total auto loss or not. Most states require vehicle owners to have only liability insurance, which pays for damages and injuries in an accident that the vehicle owner caused but does not cover damages incurred to the insurance holder’s vehicle. Liability insurance does not cover total auto loss.

Collision insurance covers physical damage to a vehicle as a result of colliding against another vehicle, a tree, or other objects. This type of insurance typically covers total auto loss resulting from damage. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, covers total auto loss resulting from theft. In most cases, insurance providers will cover the actual cash value of the stolen vehicle minus the deductible.

Collision insurance cannot be added to a vehicle insurance policy on its own: it is bundled with comprehensive insurance and packaged as “physical damage coverage.”

In the event of a total auto loss, an insurance claims adjuster will conduct an inspection of the vehicle and coordinate with its owner to determine its actual cash value at the time of loss. Damages incurred prior to the accident, such as rust, repairs, and replacements, will be factored in to arrive at the value.

It’s important for vehicle owners not to wait until a collision or theft occurs before purchasing vehicle insurance. Choosing the right coverage can be confusing, so it’s best to seek out a licensed insurance agent from a reputable provider for suggestions and professional advice.

Like this Louis Campisano Facebook page for discussions on car insurance.