view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the NYC skyline
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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, with the national auto insurance premium averaging at $1,569, and New York state‘s average annual expenditure being $1,300, New York City insurance premium averages nearly double the national average at $2,814. 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.

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

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 scores that include 5 circles, or “Among the best,” 4 circles, or “Better than most,” 3 circles, or “About average,” and 2 circles, or “The rest.” Read on to see how NYC’s top auto insurers stack up when it comes to consumer feedback.

MetLife

J.D. Power consumers in New York gave MetLife enough praise to earn to the company a “Better than most” rating, as it racks up 836 points out of 1,000. Annual premiums average around $2,400 for drivers covered by MetLife in New York City.

State Farm

At the top of the list of preferred New York City insurance carriers are State Farm and Travelers. State Farm accounts for 845 points out of the possible 1,000. New York City drivers covered by State Farm can expect to pay around $2,800 on average for an annual premium with typical coverages.

Travelers

Tied with State Farm among JD Power’s consumer ratings, Travelers scores 845 points out of 1,000, placing the New York City insurance provider with a “Better than most” Power Circle Rating. Annual premiums for this carrier average around $2,200.

New York Central Mutual

The number one New York City insurance carrier is New York Central Mutual, which J.D. Power gives a full 5 Power Circle Rating and 869 points. 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 of about $2,300.

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 cost of car insurance 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.

Brooklyn drivers face the highest premiums, with annual premium averages reaching 15% higher than the rest of the city at around $3,500. When you examine the borough further, you’ll find that specific neighborhoods face even higher car insurance costs. For instance, Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant Heights, zip code 11233, averages just over $4,000 annually for auto insurance premiums.

Though other boroughs throughout the city deal with insurance costs higher than the state and national averages, Brooklyn’s rates may be highest due to it being the most populous area in the city with more than 2.5 million residents, roughly a third of which commute to work each day.

The most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in New York City include 11208, 11203, 11236, 11233, and 11212, while the least expensive include 10004, 10280, 10001, 10003, and 10007.

Your credit score can also impact the cost of your New York City insurance premium. For example, drivers with excellent credit can expect premiums to average around $2,433, while those with very poor credit could face premiums of $6,244.

Of all the factors, you may face the highest insurance premiums because of your age, especially if you’re a teenage driver. New York City teenage drivers see auto insurance costs that average over $9,000 per year, while those drivers in their 70s average costs of $2,386 per year.

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.

  • Point Insurance Reduction Program
  • Anti-Theft Devices
    • If you install anti-theft devices to your vehicle, including alarms, active disabling devices, passive disabling devices, electronic tracking devices and window glass etchings, New York City insurance carriers are required to offer you a discount.
  • Multi-car Discounts
    • Most New York City car insurers provide drivers with a small monthly discount if they insure more than one vehicle on their policy.
  • Good Driver Discounts
    • One of the quickest ways to see your auto insurance premium skyrocket is by being involved in an accident. If you keep your driving record clean, you can qualify for Good Driver Discounts that can help keep your premiums lower.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in New York City?

Though New York City insurance rates are remarkably higher than state and national averages, the most affordable auto insurance carriers include Travelers and New York Central Mutual, which average between $2,200-$2,300 per year, depending on other factors.

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)