Throughout 2020, there were 327,390 crashes and 565,548 speeding tickets issued in the state of New York, which accounts for 24.9% of all traffic tickets issued. If you have a history of traffic violations or accidents, you may be considered a high risk driver in New York. Bankrate defines a high-risk driver as someone with at least one speeding ticket conviction, at-fault accident or DUI conviction on their motor vehicle record. The primary reason why drivers with accidents on their records can be considered high risk is because statistics show that people with poor driving records are more likely to get into an accident again.

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Having a record of speeding, reckless driving or other infractions doesn’t just make you a high risk driver, either. It can also easily raise your car insurance rates in New York. In addition to other factors, the type of incident and severity will determine how much you might pay for car insurance as a high-risk driver in New York. To help you understand what car insurance for high-risk drivers in New York may look like, Bankrate studied quoted annual premium data from Quadrant Information Services.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in New York

The rates you pay for high-risk car insurance in New York will vary by each insurance company, as well as the type of violation(s) associated with your driving record and the frequency or severity of those violations. For instance, most companies would not consider a speeding ticket as serious of a violation as a DUI conviction, so rate increases for a speeding ticket may be marginal in comparison. However, if you already have one speeding ticket and receive another, it could cause your rates to increase to a greater degree than for someone with a DUI conviction or at-fault accident.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Rates typically increase after a speeding ticket conviction, so if you are not convicted after receiving a speeding ticket, your rate may not be adjusted. Not only could you face higher insurance rates, you may also have to pay a fine or have your license revoked with subsequent convictions in an 18 month period. How fast you were driving over the speed limit and having multiple speeding ticket convictions can also cause steeper insurance premium increases.

The table below shows examples of increases from three insurance companies, with Progressive showing the smallest increase of just 1.3% on average.

New York average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before a speeding ticket conviction Rate after a speeding ticket conviction % increase
Progressive $1,775 $1,798 1.3%
Geico $2,273 $2,387 5%
Erie $2,456 $2,723 10.9%

Notice how the increase is not standardized across insurance agencies. If you are unhappy with your rates following a speeding ticket, shopping around may help you discover if lower rates are available from another insurer.

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 with no resulting injuries or significant damages, or an accident that results in multiple damaged vehicles and severe medical injuries. In any case, being found at-fault for a collision can have a substantial impact on your rates.

The rates in the table below indicate potential increases to insurance rates for a New Yorker with an at-fault collision on their motor vehicle record, with Progressive showing the smallest average increase of 1.7%. Your rate could also be affected if you are convicted of a moving violation as part of the at-fault accident.

New York average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before an at-fault accident Rate after an at-fault accident % increase
Progressive $1,775 $1,806 1.7%
Geico $2,273 $2,387 5%
Erie $2,456 $3,165 28.9%

Teens who are found at-fault for a collision may see an even greater increase in premiums, as they are already riskier to insurers due to lack of driving experience.

Rates after a DUI

It is not uncommon for New York drivers convicted of a DUI to be required to submit an SR-22 to the DMV. SR-22s are not a special type of insurance, as is commonly misunderstood. Instead, they are simply proof to the state that you have New York’s legally required minimum coverage. In New York, a DUI conviction is not only a moving violation, it is also considered a criminal offense, which can cause your license to be suspended. You may not be able to renew or keep your car insurance if convicted of a DUI in New York.

Data in the table below show that Progressive offers the smallest increase after a DUI of 3.2% on average, while Geico has the highest at 124.9%.

New York average annual full coverage premium

Car insurance company Rate before a DUI conviction Rate after a DUI conviction % increase
Progressive $1,775 $1,831 3.2%
Erie $2,456 $4,577 86.4%
Geico $2,273 $5,111 124.9%

These amounts are just representative of the varied amounts a driver may pay with a single DUI conviction. Exact rates will be greatly affected by the severity of the driver’s DUI conviction and whether or not any other violations are present on their driving record.

Rate for teen drivers

As mentioned, teens are considered high-risk drivers because they have less experience on the road and a higher accident frequency.

Although the New York DMV has not released any new data since 2014, it offers some statistical information about teen drivers. In 2014, teen drivers accounted for about 8% of all car accidents in the state, and about 7% of all driving fatalities. Risk of filing a claim means that teen drivers (or their parents who hold the policy) will pay some of the highest high-risk driving rates.

Among quoted annual premiums from three large insurers, Geico has the smallest increase for a 16-year-old teen driver (on the parents’ policy), with a 47% increase on average.

Average annual full coverage premiums for policyholders:

Car insurance company Rate without a 16-year-old insured Rate with a 16-year-old insured
Geico $2,273 $3,213
Progressive $1,775 $3,776
Erie $2,456 $4,917

*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 16-year-old driver added to a married parent’s policy

The table above illustrates the total premium associated with a 16-year-old added to a parent’s policy, regardless of any infractions or incidents on the teen’s record. While rate shopping, you may save by looking for an insurance company that offers multiple discounts for teen drivers, such as good student, student away at school and defensive driving discounts.

Who is a high-risk driver?

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

  • Speeding ticket convictions
  • At-fault accidents
  • Living in area with a high rate of theft and vandalism
  • Being a teen driver
  • Low credit score
  • DUI conviction
  • Lapses in coverage

For rate comparison purposes, Bankrate defines high-risk drivers as those with one at-fault accident, speeding ticket conviction, DUI conviction or lapse of coverage on their driving record.

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

High-risk auto insurance in New York certainly costs more, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any strategies that can help lower your premium. It helps to:

  • Shop around: Each car insurance company has its own underwriting method. Because of this, you will likely get different quotes from each company.
  • Drive an older car: New cars typically cost more to replace, which means they can also cost more to insure. For high-risk drivers in New York who need to save, opting for an older vehicle may help you save on rates (especially if it comes with safety features that qualify you for additional discounts).
  • Increase your credit score: In New York, car insurance companies may use credit scores when determining the level of risk a driver represents, with low insurance-based credit ratings resulting in higher rates. Improving your credit score may decrease your premium when your policy is up for renewal.

The most effective way to get or keep lower car insurance rates is to drive safely. Discounts tied to safe driving habits may help you lower rates, depending on the insurer, and using telematics or driving-based apps can also encourage you to drive more cautiously for the additional savings potential.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 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 2020 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 conviction and single DUI conviction.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating ages ranging from 18-60 years old. Rates for 16- and 17-year old drivers were calculated based on married male and female drivers insured together with a 16- or 17-year-old driver added to their policy. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.