cars driving on new york street
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The car dealer just called and said your new car has arrived. You cannot wait to dash down to the lot and speed off in your new ride. Not so fast! Before you get behind the wheel, you must buy car insurance. New York state requires you to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. Finding the best New York car insurance in 2019 might require a little shopping, but once you purchase a policy, you can cruise around town in style.

Car insurance in New York

New York State has nearly 11.3 million registered vehicles, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In 2017, more than 309,000 traffic accidents occurred in New York State, with more than 122,000 injuries and nearly 1,000 fatalities, according to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. You can see why finding the best New York car insurance and staying insured is so important.

When shopping for insurance, follow a few simple tips established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in its auto insurance consumer’s guide.

  • Ask family and friends for insurance company recommendations.
  • Get several quotes to find the best premium rate.
  • Ask questions about coverage and exclusions, deductibles and discounts.
  • Research the company you want to go with to make sure it is financial stable, using the resources of Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and AM Best.
  • Before signing a contract, contact the New York Department of Financial Services to make sure the insurance company holds a valid license.
  • Always pay your premium on time and retain coverage as long as you own the vehicle.

Best New York car insurance 2019

Each year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys the car insurance market to find the industry’s best companies. J.D. Power analysts rate each company using a 5-star grading system, based on how they perform in five categories: overall customer satisfaction, policy offerings, policy pricing, billing process and policy information, interaction with customers and claims handling. Since companies’ performances can vary by location, J.D. Power produces separate reports for 11 U.S. regions. J.D. Power’s top five 2019 picks for the New York region include:

  • #1 – New York Central Mutual
  • #2 – USAA
  • #3 – State Farm
  • #4 – Travelers
  • #5 – MetLife
New York Central Mutual USAA State Farm Travelers MetLife
Company Rank #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Overall Satisfaction 5 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Policy Offerings 5 stars 5 stars 4 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Price 5 stars 5 stars 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Interaction 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Claims 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Billing Process and Policy Information 5 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars

Finding the right cheap car insurance in New York for you

The Insurance Information Institute reports that New York has the third highest car insurance rates in the nation, with an average annual expenditure of more than $1,300. If you are a young driver, have a history of traffic accidents, or have poor credit, you can expect to pay even more for an auto policy. It pays to shop around to find a company that offers the best price for you.

According to The Zebra, an independent organization that conducts research on insurance topics, New York drivers with a history of at-fault accidents pay 25.59% more for their premiums than people with no accidents do. A DUI conviction can raise your insurance rates by 35.20% and a bad credit score can cost you nearly 50% more for car insurance. For drivers with bad credit, traffic violations or a history of at-fault accidents, The Zebra recommends shopping with State Farm, Liberty Mutual or National to get the lowest rate.

Insuring a 16-year-old New York driver on a standalone policy can cost more than $5,300 per year. Teen insurance rates do not drop substantially until a driver reaches her 19th birthday. Based on The Zebra’s research, Liberty Mutual, Geico and Progressive are among the cheapest New York car insurance providers for teenage drivers.

New York drivers with no traffic accidents on their records pay more than 25% less than people with a history of crashes do. Drivers who avoid speeding tickets can enjoy insurance rates nearly 13% lower than speed demons do. For good drivers, The Zebra recommends Nationwide for cheap car insurance.

Average car insurance cost in New York

Based on The Zebra’s research, male drivers in New York pay an average annual insurance premium of $1,444 and women pay $1,467. Insurance companies base rates on factors such as driver age, gender, marital status, driving violations, credit scores and coverage level. A close look at the average cost of car insurance for different types of drivers reveals dramatic differences in pricing.

Driver Average Annual Rate
17 years old $5,542
75 years old $1,541
Single adult $1,443
Married adult $1,399
Driver with very poor credit score (300-579 FICO) $2,875
Driver with exceptional credit score (800-850 FICO) $1,303
Driver with DUI record $2,228
Driver with reckless driving record $2,524
Driver with speeding violation $1,581

Auto insurance discounts in New York

Most New York car insurance providers offer ways to lower your rates, everything from vehicle safety equipment discounts to defensive driving insurance reductions. Take advantage of every discount available to reduce your annual premium.

USAA, which offers insurance exclusively to military members and their families, offers many discounts, including:

  • Defensive driving, driver training and safe driver discounts.
  • Multi-vehicle, stored vehicle and new vehicle discounts.
  • Good student, family and length of membership discounts.

Erie Insurance offers its policyholders loads of ways to decrease their premiums, including:

  • Diminishing deductible discount program, which reduces deductibles each year you do not file a claim.
  • Payment perks discounts for paying your annual premium in one payment.
  • College credit discount for parents whose kids go off to college and no longer drive the family car.

Taking a DMV-approved Point and Insurance Reduction Program course can remove points from your diving record from speeding tickets and reduce your insurance premium by 10%. The 320-minute course is available online or in a classroom.

State minimum insurance requirements in New York

Auto insurance is not just required in New York, you cannot register your vehicle at the DMV until you purchase a policy. At the DMV, you must provide proof of insurance to register your automobile, and the DMV only accepts auto insurance issued in New York State.

All New York drivers must have liability insurance that covers at least:

  • $10,000 in property damage in one accident.
  • $25,000 for medical expenses and $50,000 for the death of one person in one accident.
  • $50,000 for medical expenses and $100,000 for the death of two or more people in one accident.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in New York?

Several New York car insurance providers offer good premium prices, including New York Central Mutual and USAA. Always get several quotes from different companies before buying a car insurance policy.

How can I get a defensive driving insurance reduction in New York?

If you take a DMV-approved Point and Insurance Reduction Program course, you can reduce your auto insurance rate by 10%. The course is available in classrooms and online.

Does New York State require car owners to purchase auto insurance?

New York State requires all vehicles to have liability insurance, including bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Can bad credit affect the cost of my car insurance?

Low credit scores can substantially increase the cost of car insurance. In New York, car owners with bad credit pay as much as 50% more for car insurance than people with good credit do.