Best car insurance in New York 2021

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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 the high cost of living, so many new drivers on the road and the number of insurance companies offering its services, 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.

Best car insurance companies in New York

We’ve compiled a list of the best providers by credible third party ratings such as J.D. Power and AM Best. Because companies’ performances can vary by location, J.D. Power produces separate reports for 11 U.S. regions. The top 2020 picks for the New York region are organized in the table below:

Car Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage AM Best Financial Stability Ratings J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score
New York Central Mutual $2,598 A+ (Superior) 837/1,000
USAA $2,157 A++ (Superior) 884/1,000
State Farm $2,234 A++ (Superior) 851/1,000
Travelers $2,070 A++ (Superior) 835/1,000
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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 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 offers 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.

Average car insurance cost in New York

New York drivers pay an average of $2,205 per year for full coverage and $964 for minimum coverage. That’s $467 more than the national average of $1,738 for full coverage.

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.

Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage in New York Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage in New York
$974 $2,205

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.

Although having the minimum coverage might seem like a good way to save money, you could end up paying more in the long run. No one ever intends for an accident to happen, however, with all of the drivers and traffic in New York, it could be a risky place to drive. If you can afford to pay more than the minimum coverage, paying for full coverage would be in your best interest.

How to get the best 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:

  • 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.

Evaluate your individual needs

To evaluate your car insurance needs, consider a few factors such as whether you have a kid who is about to start driving, your vehicle make and model, credit history and driving record.

Each of these traits could affect your New York car insurance premium, so it is important to consider each carefully. For example, if you just purchased a brand new electric vehicle, many New York car insurance companies offer a new vehicle discount and an electrical vehicle discount. Knowing which insurance companies offer these discounts could help you save.

Consider state factors

When looking for the best car insurance in New York, consider your state factors. Because New York is known for traffic, colder climates, wind, and heavy snowfalls, consider which insurance companies offer add-ons to protect your vehicle from damage that can be caused by the environment.

Many New York insurance companies offer roadside assistance in the event you get stuck on the road due to heavy snow falls. Other add-ons to look into include anti-theft, especially if you’re living in the middle of the bustling city. According to the FBI, New York has a crime rate that is higher than 92% of the state’s cities and towns.

Car 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 and get the most out of your insurance at a reduced cost.

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 best car insurance in New York?

Several New York car insurance providers offer good car insurance premiums and discounts and have great third party ratings, 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.

Why would the best insurance provider for one person not be the best for someone else?

The price of insurance depends on many factors such as age, sex, ZIP code, marital status, and driving history. However, it is also affected by the types of coverage a driver chooses to purchase based on his/her needs. The best insurance provider for you may not be the best for someone else because of the different needs that need to be evaluated and taken into consideration, such as kids, marital status, driving history, vehicle make and model, etc. when applying for a car insurance quote.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 cleaning 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 sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.