Best car insurance in New York 2020

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New Yorkers love their cars. Even in New York City, where car ownership has been historically low, recent developments are causing a spike in people ditching public transportation to get behind the wheel. With so many new drivers on the road, finding the best car insurance in New York has never been more important.

Whether you’re shopping for your first policy or looking for a better price, our guide has all the information you need to get coverage.

The top car insurance in New York

Each year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys the car insurance market to find the industry’s best providers. J.D. Power analysts rate each company using a five-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. Because 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
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New York Central Mutual

New York Central Mutual is J.D. Power’s pick for best auto insurance in New York, and the numbers prove it. The insurer gets a perfect five-star rating in all areas of the study, from policy pricing to the claims process. In addition to car insurance, New York Central Mutual also offers home and business insurance to New York residents.

USAA

USAA is a an exception in the J.D. Power study as USAA only sells insurance policies to current and former military members. If this describes you or someone in your family, though, you may be in luck. In the state of New York and across the country, USAA is well-known as a top insurance provider.

State Farm

State Farm offer car insurance as well as personal and commercial policies, financial accounts and even credit cards. The company gets a five-star rating for its claims process in the state of New York, although you may have to pay more than you’d like. State Farm only gets three stars in the study for its pricing.

Travelers

Travelers is another highly rated national insurer that comes out towards the top of the list in J.D. Power’s study. Customers were fairly impressed by most aspects of the company’s service, although policy offerings and claims fell a bit short with only three stars each.

MetLife

MetLife was started and his headquartered in New York City, so it’s only appropriate that this company rounds out the list of the state’s top auto insurers. Customers rated MetLife average or better in most categories, with the highest scores given to overall satisfaction and price at five stars each.

Average car insurance cost in New York

According to the Insurance Information Institute, New York is the fifth most expensive state for car insurance in the U.S. Drivers pay an average of $1,349.72 per year, which comes out to $112.47 each month.

The price of insurance depends on many factors such as age, gender and driving history. However, it is also affected by the types of coverage a driver chooses to purchase. Some types of coverage are far more expensive than others, and not all are legally mandatory, although they’re generally a good idea to have. For example, comprehensive coverage isn’t required by law in New York, but over 92 percent of drivers in the state carry it.

See the table below for the average cost of auto insurance in New York by coverage type.

Type of coverage Average annual expenditure
Liability $869
Collision $437
Comprehensive $179

Car insurance in New York

New York State has over 11.3 million registered vehicles, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In 2018, almost 435,000 traffic accidents occurred in New York State, with around 122,000 injuries and nearly 900 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.

State minimum insurance requirements in New York

Auto insurance is 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.

Finding the right cheap car insurance in New York for you

New York has one of the highest car insurance rates in the nation. 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.

The best way to keep car insurance rates low is by maintaining a good driving history. The New York Department of Financial Services warns that drivers who get DUIs or have frequent accidents may find themselves unable to get a policy through a private insurer due to their high risk. If this happens, you’ll have to pay for an assigned-risk plan through the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP).

While the NYAIP is a nonprofit and doesn’t make money from its policies, premiums are still extremely high, as much as twice the state average by some estimates.

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.

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 percent. 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 percent more for car insurance than people with good credit do.