Fairview with worst and Woodcliff Lake with best Auto Insurance rates in Bergen County, NJ
As insurance agents, we, the staff of Insurox, are aware that a prospect’s zip code will affect their insurance rate. Insurox has two offices located in New Jersey; both in Bergen County. With so much business in Bergen County we began to wonder how the ratings varied between towns in Bergen County. Which towns have the lowest rates in Bergen County, New Jersey? Which have the highest rates? We decided to find out and did some research to determine the rating difference in Bergen County, New Jersey based on location alone.
Before getting into the research and our findings of the different auto insurance rates in Bergen County, NJ let’s review why insurance companies rate different locations differently.
Why does your zip code affect your auto insurance rate?
Did you know that where you live affects the auto rate you receive for insurance? There are many factors that affect insurance rates; the vehicle, the driving record of the drivers, age of the drivers, years licensed, claim history, and years insured, but one that people sometimes overlook is their address. Auto Insurance rates vary from city to city and town to town. Some people might find this fact odd, but when you consider the reasons insurance companies do this, it makes sense. Why would the insurance premium vary from zip code to zip code? There are four main reasons; population density, property crime rate, weather, and wildlife.
If a city is densely populated there are many people and the number of vehicles owned increases, as a result the number of vehicles on the roads increases too. More cars on the road means more potential for accidents. For example, if you think of New York City and the number of vehicles and traffic on the road and compare that city with a small town such as Elkton, Virginia, which is surrounded by farm land and the Blue Ridge Mountains, it would not be surprising to hear that the country town has a lower accident rate. This is why a densely populated location will have a higher rate.
So it might seem like moving to the country is the way to go, but don’t trade in your urban lifestyle for the woods and country just yet. Even rural areas can receive high insurance rates. Sure you no longer have all the vehicles and traffic on the roads, but you might collide with an animal. Wildlife is another factor that affects auto insurance rates. State Farm insurance estimated 1.22 million collisions involving deer occurred in the U.S between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Damage from deer collisions caused an average payout of $2,730 per comprehensive claim in the years 2004-2013, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. This is why even rural areas may have high auto insurance rates.
Weather becomes a factor when you compare a town with inclement weather to one were the weather is fine and clear majority of the year. A town that has dry sunny weather through the year is less likely to have weather- causing accidents than a town with icy and snowy conditions present for a few months out of the year. It would not be surprising for snowy & icy town to incur a higher accident rate. Logically then, it is reasonable that insurance companies would rate the town with inclement weather a higher rate.
Property Crime Rate
The last factor is the city or town’s property crime rate. Those zip codes were crime is high are more likely to have more incidents of stolen and vandalized vehicles. So towns with a high property crime rate also have a higher auto insurance rate than towns where property crime rates are low.
Ratings in Bergen County, NJ
Now that we reviewed the reasons why your location affects the auto insurance rate, let’s take a look how insurance rates vary in one specific area- Bergen County, NJ. Bergen County is the most populous county in the state of New Jersey and it is made up of 70 municipalities. The total area of the county is 246.071 square miles. Insurox decided to compare the 70 municipalities and see how the rates varied from the various cities, towns, boroughs, and villages in the county.
When you consider one specific area, the four factors listed above (population density, crime rate, weather, and wildlife) might be too similar among the neighboring cities, towns, and villages to make a big impact on the insurance rating. It’s safe to say that the weather among Bergen County is similar throughout the county. Incidents with animals might be similar are well, with small variations between municipalities. Perhaps the only variance is population density and crime rate in the county. So rather than comparing the four factors discussed earlier, we based our findings solely on quotes we ran using one case study. We chose one prospect; a single male with one vehicle, a clean driving record with ten years of insurance history, and average credit and we quoted him for auto insurance listing 100/300 coverage with six insurance companies; Foremost, Metlife, Mercury, Norflok and Dedham, Plymouth Rock, Progressive, and Travelers. The only factor we changed was the zip code. We ran a quote with all 70 municipalities in Bergen County, New Jersey. We then had a list of seven quotes for each zip code, one quote from each of the seven insurance carriers listed above. Since the only factor we changed when quoting the prospect was the zip code, we were able to pull together data to see how the auto insurance rates varied in Bergen County based on zip code alone.
The Best Auto Insurance Rates in Bergen County, NJ
Based on our research, the average premium in Bergen County ranged from $1,184 to $2,103 for a one year auto insurance policy. That’s a $1,000 difference on the average, based on zip code alone. The lowest quote was $904 for a one year auto policy, based on our prospect’s criteria, for the following towns; Franklin Lakes, Hillsdale, Midland Park, Montvale, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Waldwick, Washington Township, Westwood, Woodcliff Lake, and Wyckoff. All thirteen of the towns listed above had the top rates in the county, but the best rate in the Bergen County was for Woodcliff Lake. The borough had the lowest average annual premium of $1184. This was the lowest average premium when we tallied all seven insurance carrier quotes for the 07677 zip code.
Bottom of the List
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Fairview, Fort Lee, Palisades Park, and Ridgefield were the municipalities with highest average annual quoted rates. The rates averaged $1,907 to $2,087 for a one year auto insurance policy in those towns. The highest quote and the town with the worst rating in Bergen County will be revealed later in this article.
It is obvious then that all the other municipalities in Bergen County, not on the top or bottom of the ratings, fell somewhere in between the best and worst in the county. Auto Insurance rate in Hasbrouck Heights, had an average annual rate of $1,495 and the lowest quote for zip 07604 was $1,122 from Norfolk and Dedham. N&D was also the best carrier when we quoted zip 07026. The annual premium quoted was $1,254 for our case study when we listed the address in Garfield, NJ. Although the best Auto Insurance Rate in Garfield, NJ was $1,254, the average annual rate was higher at $1,897. Our research revealed Norfolk and Dedham had the best rate, compared to Foremost, Mercury, Metlife, Plymouth Rock, Progressive and Travelers, in majority of the Bergen County municipalities for our quoted prospect. However there were a handful of zip codes where Norfolk and Dedham did not offer a quote.
Overall Plymouth Rock also had great rates in Bergen County and the carrier offered the lowest quote for the following towns; Emerson, Fort Lee, Ho-ho-kus, Lyndhurst, Ridgefield Park, Rochelle Park, Rutherford, Saddle River, and Upper Saddle River. Both Norfolk & Dedham and Plymouth Rock, Palisades specifically, write one year auto policies, so if you prefer a 6 month auto policy, you’ll want to check out Mercury. Mercury Insurance had the lowest rates for a six month auto policy throughout Bergen County, NJ. Of the carriers quoted, $572 was the lowest quote for a six month auto policy in Allendale and Glen Rock, NJ. Compared to the competition, Travelers and Foremost had higher quoted rates; however our case study had average credit. Had we used a prospect with better credit we believe the numbers would be different.
The Worst Rate in Bergen County, NJ
So, what was the highest auto quote in Bergen County? $1,345 for a six month auto policy was the highest quote, from Foremost. If we assume the next renewal rate would remain the same, that’s $2,690 for one year of insurance on one car! What zip code was that in? 07022- Fairview, NJ is the unfortunate one to top the list with the worst/ highest rate for auto insurance in Bergen County. The township had an average annual premium of $2,087 in our study. Seems not fair for the residents of Fairview, but the silver lining is that although the town topped the list for the highest rating in the county, the best quote in Fairview was $1,342 for a year policy. Yes, you read that correctly. We used six insurance carriers when we did our research, so for each zip code we had six quotes, one from each insurance carrier. The best quote we received listing Fairview was $1,342 for a year policy and the worst quote for the same prospect listing the same location was $1,345 for a six month policy. How is this possible? Insurance carriers look at a lot of criteria when rating prospects for auto insurance.
Your zip code is just one factor in a list of many that insurance companies look at when they offer a quote. Every insurance company has an ideal “insured,” and if you fit their ideal you will find the best price for you. This is why for the same prospect in Fairview, the worst quote offered was double the price of the best quote offered. Obviously, our prospect was an ideal prospect for auto insurance with Norfolk & Dedham and not a good fit for Foremost. So even though Travelers might have the cheapest price for your neighbor, it might not be the best for you. The key is to shop around, or use an agency such as Insurox Group Inc. that can offer multiple quotes to compare and find the best fit for you.