Best car insurance in New York for 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. And with vehicle ownership comes auto insurance requirements. New Yorkers pay, on average, $2,321 per year for full coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

With the high cost of living in New York State, new drivers on the road and the number of insurance companies offering auto coverage, finding the best car insurance in New York may be more important now than ever. Whether you are shopping for your first policy or looking for a better price, Bankrate’s insurance editors have done the research to help make your search easier.

Best cheap car insurance companies in New York

To kick off our research, we first analyzed average premiums obtained from Quadrant Information Services. And while price is certainly important, it is not the only factor to consider when choosing an insurer. When shopping for car insurance, New York drivers may also want to think about the coverages, discounts and policy features they want, as well as review a company’s financial strength rating and customer satisfaction scores.

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team compiled this information into a Bankrate Score. Each score is on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0, where the higher the score, the more highly a company ranked in each rating category. If you are looking for the best auto insurance in New York, the following companies could be a good place to start:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
Progressive 4.1 $1,139 856 / 1,000
Geico 4.6 $1,969 871 / 1,000
USAA 4.8 $2,137 *890 / 1,000
State Farm 4.4 $2,333 881 / 1,000
Allstate 3.6 $2,433 876 / 1,000

*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.

Progressive

Progressive provides the cheapest full coverage car insurance in New York out of the carriers on this list. Progressive also ranked highly in the 2021 J.D. Power Digital Experience Study, taking second place in the service category and receiving an above-industry-average rank in the shopping category. And in addition to the company’s low rates, you may be able to save more with discounts like online quoting, sign online, paperless policy and continuous insurance.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance Review 2021

Geico

Geico offers low average rates in addition to one of the most comprehensive auto insurance discount programs in the industry. You might be able to save money if you are a federal employee, a member of the military, have certain safety features on your vehicle and if you have been accident-free for five years. Geico also offers an exceptional mobile app, earning the top spot in the J.D. Power Digital Experience Study in the service category.

Learn more: Geico Insurance Review 2021

USAA

USAA does not qualify for an official J.D. Power ranking from J.D. Power because it only sells insurance to current and former military members and their families. However, the company consistently receives high scores, meaning its customers are typically very satisfied with its service. If you qualify for USAA coverage, you may discover lower-than-average premiums paired with exceptional customer service.

Learn more: USAA Insurance Review 2021

State Farm

State Farm offers personal auto insurance as well as homeowners, renters and life insurance. If you like consolidating your policies with one company, State Farm might be a good choice. Although the company’s average full coverage premium is slightly higher compared to some other auto insurers, State Farm offers several discounts that might help you save.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance Review 2021

Allstate

Allstate has higher-than-average premiums, but the company might make up for its average premium by offering numerous optional coverages. You could add sound system insurance, rental reimbursement coverage or roadside assistance to build a policy that works for you. You might also be able to lower your premium by taking advantage of the company’s discounts, including savings for new cars, smart students and safe drivers.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance Review 2021

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Average car insurance cost in New York

The average cost of car insurance in New York is $2,321 annually for full coverage and $1,062 annually for minimum coverage. These averages are significantly higher than the national annual averages of $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage.

The high population density in the state may be partly to blame for the high premiums. More vehicles on the road means a greater chance of getting into an accident. To compensate for higher risk, auto insurers charge a higher premium.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in New York Average annual premium for full coverage in New York
$1,062 $2,321

State minimum insurance requirements in New York

Auto insurance is required in New York, as it is in most states. You cannot register your vehicle at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (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:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 for death per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability for two or more people per accident and $100,000 for the death of two or more people per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident
  • $50,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident

New York has two options for uninsured motorist coverage: statutory and supplemental. The statutory coverage provides coverage only for accidents that happen within New York State. You could also purchase supplemental coverage, which is available in the same minimum limits or higher limits, that will provide coverage outside of the state. Supplemental uninsured motorist coverage also provides coverage for underinsured motorists.

Although having the minimum coverage might seem like a good way to save money, it could mean you will have to pay extensive out-of-pocket expenses if you cause an accident. Having higher liability limits provides more financial protection, which is why most insurance professionals recommend higher limits if you can afford them.

Minimum coverage limits also do not include optional comprehensive or collision coverages, which provide coverage for damage to your vehicle. To get those, you will need to buy a full coverage policy. If you have a loan or lease, your lender probably requires you to have full coverage.

How to get the best car insurance in New York

Getting the best car insurance in New York will depend heavily on your individual needs and the location-specific factors in your area. If you are shopping for insurance, you may want to:

  • Evaluate your individual needs: To evaluate your car insurance needs, consider a few factors such as whether you have a teen who is about to start driving, your vehicle make and model, credit history and driving record. Each of these factors 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 auto insurers offer a new vehicle discount or 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, windstorms and heavy snowfalls, you may want to consider higher liability limits, as well as comprehensive and collision coverages.

Car insurance discounts in New York

One great way to save money on your auto insurance premiums is by taking advantage of available discounts. Everything from safety incentives to good student discounts to safe driving options exists for you to explore. Some common auto insurance discounts in New York include:

  • Multi-policy discount: Getting your auto insurance and home, renters or condo insurance from the same insurance company can save you quite a bit of money on both policies. This is often one of the biggest discounts that companies offer.
  • Safe driver discounts: If you have not filed any claims, had any tickets or been convicted of any violations like DUIs in several years, you may qualify for a discount.
  • Defensive driving discounts: New York drivers who take eligible defensive driving courses may be able to save on auto insurance with some insurers. Just be sure to talk to your agent before you sign up for a course to make sure it is eligible.
  • Student discounts: If you have a teen driver on your policy, you should know that full-time students often qualify for several discounts. You may be able to save money with good student discounts, driver training discounts or distant student discounts.
  • Telematics discounts: Many auto insurers offer usage-based programs that track your driving habits via a mobile app or a plug-in device. The safer you drive, the higher a discount you might earn.

Insurance companies often list their auto discounts online. Still, because discounts vary by state, it may be better to call and talk to an insurance professional to identify ways you can save and learn the details of the discounts available in New York.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in New York?

Because everyone has different needs when it comes to auto insurance, the best company will be different for everyone. You can start by determining what factors matter most to you. Are you looking for the lowest rate, specialized coverages, high customer service, digital tools, strong financial strength, discounts or anything else? Getting several quotes from different auto insurers before buying a car insurance policy might help you find the coverage you want at a lower price.

Can bad credit affect the cost of my car insurance?

Your credit-based insurance score can impact your insurance premiums in New York. Statistically, drivers with a poor credit history tend to file more claims than drivers with better credit, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). To make up for this increased risk, car insurance companies typically charge more for drivers with lower credit ratings. Working to improve your credit history could lower your premium.

Why do car insurance rates vary by company?

Every auto insurer has its own set of rates which have to be approved by your state’s department of insurance every year. According to the Triple-I, most auto insurance companies use more than a dozen rating factors — like your age, the type of vehicle you have, your driving record, marital status and your credit-based insurance score — but may weigh each rating factor differently. For example, one company may penalize you heavily for having an accident, whereas another company weighs your age more heavily than your driving record. Because every insurer has different rates and every driver has a different situation, car insurance rates can vary significantly.

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.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.