Based on Bankrate’s research, regional carrier Main Street America, which is an operating company of the American Family Insurance group, is the cheapest car insurance company in New York for both minimum and full coverage. The carrier has an average annual cost of $304 for minimum coverage. You don’t have to skimp on coverage to find cheap car insurance, though. We also found that Main Street America offers the cheapest full coverage in the Empire State, with an average premium of $761 per year.
On average, New York State drivers pay $1,062 per year for minimum coverage and $2,321 per year for full coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. Like most states, New York requires its residents to maintain at least certain minimum car insurance coverage levels. Car insurance is a required expense if you are a vehicle owner, but you can still find ways to ensure your budget stays on track. If you are looking for cheap car insurance in New York, Bankrate’s research may help you find a policy that fits your budget.
The cheapest car insurance companies in New York
To find the cheapest auto insurance in New York, Bankrate partnered with Quadrant Information Services to obtain up-to-date premium information for the largest auto insurance providers by market share. Additionally, we reviewed each company’s J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and AM Best financial strength ratings to showcase carriers with more to offer than simply low prices.
The cheapest companies for minimum coverage in New York
“Minimum coverage” refers to purchasing only the state-required coverage types and limits. While buying just minimum coverage could help keep your insurance costs low, most insurance professionals advise that you purchase higher limits for greater financial protection.
If you are looking for minimum coverage car insurance in New York, these five national and regional carriers are some of the cheapest companies, based on our research:
|Car insurance company||Average annual minimum coverage premium||Average monthly minimum coverage premium|
|Main Street America||$304||$25|
The cheapest companies for full coverage in New York
Full coverage generally comes with a higher average cost than minimum coverage because it adds more financial protection to your policy. Full coverage includes both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, which cover damage to your vehicle from both collision and non-collision incidents.
When it comes to full coverage, these five national and regional carriers are among the cheapest in New York:
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium||Average monthly full coverage premium|
|Main Street America||$761||$63|
Events that can impact your cheap rates in New York
Because car insurance premiums are based on your individual rating factors, your premium and coverage needs could change when your life changes. You might consider selecting a new provider for your auto insurance policy or updating your existing coverage if you have recently:
- Added a teen driver: Teen drivers are inexperienced and insurance companies tend to charge relatively high premiums to compensate for their higher-than-average accident rates. However, you can take steps to lower your premium. Getting quotes from several carriers and taking advantage of student discounts could help you find a cheaper rate.
- Received a speeding ticket: Speeding tickets are relatively common, but insurance companies still view convictions as an indication of high-risk driving behavior. If you are convicted for a speeding violation, your premium will likely increase via a surcharge after the ticket is added to your motor vehicle record, with the higher rate staying in effect for three to five years, depending on the company. How fast you are driving over the posted limit could also impact your premium increase.
- Been involved in an at-fault accident: Similar to tickets, at-fault accidents can also increase your premium via a surcharge for an average of three to five years. If your premium has been impacted by an at-fault accident, you might consider getting quotes from other insurance companies or re-evaluating your discounts to ensure you are taking advantage of all your savings opportunities. You may also want to seek out carriers that offer “accident forgiveness” programs for a first-time at-fault accident, where no surcharge is applied to your policy.
- Been deemed a high-risk driver: Each insurance company has its own metric for what constitutes a high-risk driver. Most providers view drivers with multiple at-fault accidents, excessive speeding citations, a DUI conviction or a poor credit rating as high-risk drivers and will usually charge higher premiums. Although your options could be more limited — you may not be eligible for insurance coverage with some companies — you might benefit from getting quotes.
Cheapest cities in New York for minimum coverage
The average cost of New York car insurance may vary based on your city and even your ZIP code. Densely populated areas like New York City and boroughs like Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx tend to have more cars on the road, meaning the risk of accidents is naturally higher. Because of this, drivers in urban areas tend to pay higher average rates than more sparsely-populated areas of the Empire State.
If you live in one of the following five cities, you may pay some of the cheapest rates for minimum coverage in the state:
|City||Average annual minimum coverage premium||Average monthly minimum coverage premium|
Cheapest cities in New York for full coverage
Full coverage auto insurance tends to cost more than minimum coverage because it adds more financial protection. In addition to this, urban areas like Buffalo and Rochester tend to have higher costs of living, which can affect car insurance premiums. The higher cost for vehicle repairs and labor, in addition to higher medical bills, can increase the cost of car insurance in these areas.
Drivers in these five cities pay some of the lowest average rates for full coverage in New York State:
|City||Average annual full coverage premium||Average monthly full coverage premium|
Minimum coverage requirements for New York drivers
New York State requires its drivers to carry at least certain minimum coverage limits to drive legally. In New York, your car insurance policy must have at least the following coverage types and limits:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 death per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 death per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
- $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per accident
According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), New York has the third-lowest estimated percentage of uninsured drivers in the U.S at 4.1%. Drivers in New York have two options for uninsured motorist coverage: statutory and supplemental. Statutory coverage only applies to accidents that happen within state limits. Supplemental coverage is available at minimum limits or higher limits and provides coverage outside of the state. Supplemental uninsured motorist coverage also includes underinsured motorist coverage.
Most insurance experts recommend that you purchase higher liability limits than the state minimum. If you cause an accident and the damages and injuries exceed your insurance limit, you are responsible for the overage out of pocket, which could leave you with hefty bills and be financially devastating to you and your family. Additionally, if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender or lessor will likely require you to carry full coverage.
Here is how to find (and keep) cheap car insurance in New York
New York has a higher average cost for car insurance than many other states, but you can still find cheap car insurance that fits your needs. There are several ways you can benefit from affordable rates in the Empire State:
- Shop around: Insurance providers use proprietary algorithms to rate policies, which means that prices will vary even for the same coverage. Shopping around could help you find affordable rates. If you can find a carrier with several car insurance discounts that you qualify for, you might be able to save even more. Bundling your auto and home policies with one carrier and applying multi-policy discounts are often some of the biggest savings opportunities.
- Avoid driving incidents: Policyholders with clean driving records and safe driving habits typically pay lower rates than drivers with incidents on their driving records. If you go three to five years or longer without an at-fault accident or moving violation, you might be rewarded with a claims-free discount and a safe-driver discount.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance in New York?
The best car insurance company in New York is different for every driver. Each consumer has a unique set of circumstances when searching for car insurance. These may include the driver’s wants and needs, the type of car they drive, their motor vehicle history and the ages of the drivers on their policy. Understanding your own situation and getting quotes from a few different companies will enable you to compare rates, coverage offerings, discounts and policy features so that you can find the right fit for you.
How much does car insurance in New York cost?
The 2021 average rates for car insurance in New York State are $2,321 per year for full coverage and $1,062 per year for minimum coverage. However, the actual rate you will pay depends on more than a dozen individual rating factors including the make and model of your vehicle, the coverage types and levels you choose, your auto claim history and the discounts for which you qualify. Your premium will likely differ from the stage and national average based on your individual rating metrics.
Is car insurance required in New York?
Yes, insurance for drivers is required by the state of New York. You must carry at least the state minimum levels and types of car insurance coverage to drive legally. If you choose to drive without insurance in New York, you could face significant consequences, which include having your license suspended, your vehicle impounded and incurring financial penalties up to $1,500 per violation. If you cause an accident without insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying for the damages and injuries you cause out of pocket, which could have a serious impact on your finances.
What happens if I file an auto insurance claim?
If you file a claim, you may want to brace yourself for a premium increase at your renewal. After an at-fault accident, the average premium increase on a full coverage policy is 38%. However, even not-at-fault accidents could increase your premium a bit, especially if you lose a claim-free discount. Remember, though, that you carry insurance to protect you from financial hardship. If you don’t have the funds available to take care of the damages after an accident, filing a claim could be the best financial move, even if it results in higher premiums. Talking with an agent about your situation could help you decide if filing a claim or paying out of pocket is the right move.
What is the NYAIP?
The NYAIP (New York Automobile Insurance Plan) is a way for high-risk drivers in New York to purchase auto insurance coverage when private carriers decline their coverage. You may purchase NYAIP coverage through a local agent or you can buy directly from the Automobile Insurance Plan online or via phone. While the NYAIP is a useful tool, it is generally viewed as a last resort for very high-risk policyholders.
Bankrate utilizes 2021 Quadrant Information Services to analyze current rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.