Best car insurance in New York City for 2021

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When it comes to getting around, New York City is well-known for its extensive subway system and network of taxis and buses. However, the city is also home to millions of individual automobile drivers across all NYC boroughs.

Out of more than three million households in New York City, about 45%, or 1.4 million households, own a car. Ownership rates vary from borough to borough, with State Island claiming the highest percentage of households with automobiles at 83%, while Manhattan features the lowest rate of automobile ownership per household at 22%. Though nearly half of all households in New York City own at least one vehicle, only 27% of the city’s workers commute to their places of employment via personal automobile.

When compared to the rest of the United States, New York City’s auto insurance rates are above average. In fact, New York state‘s average annual expenditure is $2,205 for full coverage and $962 for minimum insurance, making it the second-most expensive state in the country for car insurance. There are a range of factors that play into how much New York City insurance will cost, including the geographic region in which you live, your age and your credit score.

When you’re shopping for a new auto insurance policy in New York City, be sure to consider whether you need additional coverage based on how often and far you drive, the degree of safety/security where you park your vehicle, the value of your car, as well as your current financial situation and amount of coverage you carry.

Best car insurance companies in New York City

Top car insurance providers offer the best coverage options at the most competitive prices. You’ll find countless insurance companies in New York City, from small-scale private insurers to globally-recognized industry giants.

J.D. Power is renowned for delivering feedback from consumers in an unbiased manner. Their Power Circle Ratings represent the testimonials of customer insight from around the world. J.D. Power awards companies with a maximum score of 1,000. Read on to see how NYC’s top auto insurers stack up when it comes to consumer feedback.

Provider Average annual minimum coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
Erie $1,644 $3,269 NR
MetLife $4,809 $9,273 832/1,000
NYCM $2,552 $8,022 837/1,000
Progressive $1,440 $2,146 825/1,000
State Farm $2,558 $3,992 851/1,000

Erie

Erie provides some of the cheapest car insurance in New York City, with average full coverage premiums of $3,269 per year. Although Erie isn’t rated by New York drivers as one of the top car insurance providers, it’s probably because it’s a smaller insurance carrier. Erie ranks consistently in the top three in a few other U.S. regions.

MetLife

J.D. Power consumers in New York gave MetLife enough praise to earn the company a “Better than most” rating, as it racks up 832 points out of 1,000. Annual full coverage premiums average at $9,273 for drivers covered by MetLife in New York City.

New York Central Mutual

New York Central Mutual, which J.D. Power gives 837 points, is one of the city’s favorite insurance companies. New York Central Mutual features a wide range of insurance agencies throughout the city. Its annual premiums average at similar rates to competitors with an average annual full coverage premium of about $8,022.

Progressive

Progressive provides the cheapest car insurance in New York City, with average annual rates of $1,440 for basic coverage. Progressive’s affordable premiums are the reason you should shop around for car insurance — coverage costs nearly half when compared to NYCM and State Farm.

State Farm

State Farm accounts for 851 points out of the possible 1,000 awarded by J.D. Power’s responders. New York City drivers covered by State Farm can expect to pay around $3,992 on average for an annual premium with full coverage.

New York City driving facts

New York City is the fourth most congested city when it comes to traffic in the United States. With so many drivers in such a congested area, it’s no surprise that the number of motor vehicle accidents per month is staggering. Traffic congestion in NYC costs commuters about $1,860 per driver.

In July 2019 alone, there were more than 18,000 accidents city-wide. These incidents involved 36,164 motorists, 1,816 passengers, 528 cyclists, and 663 pedestrians. These accidents resulted in 3,980 injuries and 18 fatalities. The majority of accidents in July 2019 occurred due to distracted drivers.

Aside from traffic congestion and collisions, another factor that affects vehicle safety in New York City is the rate of car break-ins. In 2017, there were more than 20,000 vehicle burglaries and break-ins across the city.

Because of this risk, it may be beneficial to invest in anti-theft security measures to protect your vehicle. These additions can also help reduce your car insurance premium. In fact, New York state law requires insurance carriers to provide a discount to drivers who do just that.

Anti-theft measures that can save on New York City insurance include alarms, active disabling devices, passive disabling devices, electronic tracking devices and window glass etchings.

Average car insurance cost in New York City

A variety of factors come into play when calculating your New York City insurance premium. For example, the geographic area in which New Yorkers live plays a significant role in determining their cost of car insurance.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in New York City Average annual premium for full coverage in New York City
$285 $1,264

State minimum insurance requirements in New York City

If you’re shopping for auto insurance companies in New York City, it’s important to consider the state minimum requirements. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you must maintain the following liability coverages:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury / $50,000 for an accident fatality
  • $50,000 for bodily injury / $100,000 for two or more accident fatalities

This coverage must:

  • Continue to be carried as long as the automobile is registered, even if it is not being operated
  • Be covered by in-state, New York State DMV approved insurance
  • Be issued under the name of the automobile registrant, in whose name it must remain at all times

How to get the best car insurance

You’ll need to do some research upfront to get the best car insurance in the Big Apple.

  • Evaluate your needs: Understand what type of coverage you need before you get started. The state’s minimum insurance may not be enough if you’re involved in a serious accident. You’d be personally responsible for losses above the limits. In addition, liability insurance does not pay for any damages to your car. You may find that full coverage, although not the cheapest, is what you need.
  • Consider state factors: Knowing what drivers in your state are like is also key to deciding what type of coverage you may need. A large number of uninsured drivers in your area may mean you should consider adding uninsured motorist insurance to pay for your losses if the at-fault driver is under- or uninsured.

Car insurance discounts in New York City

To help offset the cost of your car insurance, make sure to consider discounts you may be eligible for when you compare insurance companies in New York City.

Discount Erie Met Life NYCM Progressive State Farm
Anti-lock brakes x x x x x
Anti-theft devices x x x x x
Automatic payment/paperless billing x x
Defensive driving course x x x
Early signing
Full payment x x x
Good student x x x x x
Green vehicle
Loyalty x x
Low annual mileage x
Military
Multiple policies x x x x
Multiple vehicles x x x x
Occupational or organizations
Safe driver/accident free x x x x x
Safety features x x x x x

Frequently asked questions

How can I reduce my New York City insurance premium?

See your annual premium drop by investing in driver education courses, installing anti-theft devices and avoiding traffic incidents.

What types of optional coverages can I add to my New York City insurance policy?

Beyond the required auto insurance coverages mandated by the state of New York, you can also add the following coverages to bring you the most value:

  • Additional personal injury protection (APIP)
  • Medical payments
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (SUM)

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.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Besides Bankrate.com, her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and SimpleDollar.com. She owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility. Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.