Car insurance for high-risk drivers in New York

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If you have had a driving incident or more than one, you may wonder if you’re considered a high-risk driver in New York. A high-risk driver is anyone an insurance company feels is likely to file a claim in the future for any reason, including age and driving history.

Though car insurance can be expensive in New York, New York as a state is pretty safe when compared to others. Currently, it only has a death rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people (the U.S. average is 11). However, New York is also a dynamic state, so some areas are more dangerous than others. In 2014 (the last year data is available), the state had a total of 299,452 crashes.

New York is a big state, but that’s a lot of claims for insurance providers to process. Because of this, drivers pay more for high-risk auto insurance in New York. How much you’ll pay, however, depends on the severity of your violation.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in New York

Though all of the risk factors listed below will increase your car insurance, some will increase it more than others. For example, a small fender bender is not as bad as a DUI, nor is being a teen driver as bad as having a reckless driving ticket. However, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that your past driving history will influence just how detrimental the violation is to your premium.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents and deaths on America’s roadways, so your insurance bill will go up after a speeding ticket. However, the severity of your violation will determine by how much.

Car insurance company New York average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket New York average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
Kemper $3,150 $3,289 4%
Main Street America Group $761 $1,104 45%
Progressive $1,139 $1,946 70%

Notice how the increase is not uniform across insurance agencies. If you are unhappy with your rates following a speeding ticket, try shopping around.

Rates after an accident

There are many types of accidents that can happen on the road. You may be involved in a simple fender bender where no one was hurt, or an accident that resulted in the totaling of multiple cars and numerous medical injuries. Because of this, the amount you’ll pay after a car accident may be quite different from the numbers below.

Car insurance company New York average annual premium for full coverage before an accident New York average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
Erie $1,629 $2,876 76%
Main Street America $761 $1,089 43%
Progressive $1,139 $2,418 112%

Keep in mind that if you have an accident while you are a teen or drinking and driving, your premium rate will likely increase by even more.

Rates after a DUI

It is common for drivers convicted of a DUI to be required to submit an SR-22 or FR-44 to the DMV. Neither an SR-22 or FR-44 is a special type of insurance, as is commonly believed. Instead, they are simply proof to the state that you have New York’s required minimum coverage laws.

While looking at the average percentage increases below, keep in mind that many companies don’t allow drivers to renew after a DUI conviction.

Car insurance company New York average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI New York average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
Erie $1,629 $2,152 32%
Main Street America Group $761 $1,363 79%
Progressive $1,139 $2,067 81%

These amounts are just ideas of the amounts drivers can expect. What you pay will be greatly affected by the severity of your DUI and whether you have any other violations in your driving history.

Rate for teen drivers

Teens are considered high risk drivers because they have less experience on the road.

Though the New York DMV has not released any data since 2014, we can still get some information on statistics about teen drivers. In that year, teen drivers accounted for 8% of all car accidents in the state, and 6% of all deaths. All in all, insurance companies had to process 39,954 claims revolving around teenage drivers. That’s a lot of money revolving around a small demographic.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage
Erie $1,872
Geico $1,601
Progressive $1,542

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

The table above illustrates the price increase a 16-year-old adds to an existing policy. If rate shopping, look for an insurance company that offers multiple discounts teen drivers can use, such as good student, student away at school and defensive driving.

Who is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone who, to an insurance company, is likely to file a claim in the future. Characteristics and past history that contribute to the cost of your high-risk auto insurance in New York include:

  • Speeding tickets
  • At-fault accidents
  • Living in a high-risk area
  • Being a teen driver
  • Low credit score
  • DUI/ DWI
  • Lapse in coverage

This is a bit different from the industry definition of a high-risk driver, which defines it as anyone who is unable to get a policy from their preferred carrier. This may be true, but it may not be. In many cases, drivers simply have to pay higher rates.

How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver

New York high-risk auto insurance certainly costs more, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any strategies that may help lower your premium:

  • Shop around: Each car insurance company has its own pricing method. Because of this, you will likely get different rates with each company.
  • Drive an older car: New cars cost more to replace, which means they also generally cost more to insure. To have the best potential to save, drive an older car with a high safety rating (preferably one with plenty of safety features that you will be able to pair up with discounts).
  • Increase your credit score: In New York, it is legal for car insurance companies to increase your premium because of a low credit score. Increasing your credit score, therefore, will decrease your monthly premium.

Of course, another great strategy to lower your premium is to continue to drive safe. It will not lower your premium overnight, but it will over time.

Frequently asked questions

Which car insurance company is the best for New York drivers?

Each driver has different insurance needs, but we’ve narrowed down the options to the companies we believe deserve your attention based on average rates, policy options and customer satisfaction.

What is the average cost of car insurance?

The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum. In New York it’s $2,321 for full and $1,062 for minimum.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 coverages that meet 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.

High-risk drivers
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.