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New York Car Insurance

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New York car insurance

Many different types of car insurance are required to drive in New York. Here we explain minimum New York car insurance requirements, how to buy the best coverage for your needs and how NY car insurance laws work. You can also find out what the cheap car insurance in New York will cost compared to full coverage, what the average rates are for your area and how to get car insurance discounts.

Jump ahead:
Requirements
Cheapest rates
No-fault insurance
Laws
Discounts

Use our average car insurance rates tool to compare NY car insurance quotes. That way you’ll know what you can expect to pay and be confident you are getting the cheapest car insurance in NY. Enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for your residential area. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed.

New York auto insurance minimum requirements

New York car insurance laws require the following minimum car insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability: Pays medical expenses for others’ injuries when you cause an accident. You must have 25/50 limits. This means your insurer pays up to $25,000 per person, and a total of $50,000 for the injuries of two or more people in a crash. In New York, your policy will also pay up to $50,000 for one person who dies in an accident. It will additionally pay up to a maximum of $100,000 for two or more deaths in an accident you cause.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers you, your passengers and other authorized drivers of your car who are injured while in your car. PIP also covers you and your family members if you are injured while riding in someone else's car or if struck by another vehicle while on foot. PIP is sometimes called “no-fault insurance” because it kicks in regardless of who is at fault. You must have $50,000 in coverage.
  • Property damage liability: Covers damage you cause to other cars or property. You must have a minimum of $10,000 property damage liability coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Covers medical expenses for you and your passengers if injured when hit by a driver with no insurance. You must have 25/50 coverage. This means your insurer pays up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 in total if there are two or more people injured.

Cheap car insurance in New York

If you opt to buy the cheapest car insurance policy possible, buy the least amount of coverage you need to drive. Here is what it will cost you, on average, broken down by age and gender:

Cheapest car insurance in NY

Age

Rate for women

Rate for men

18

$1,462

$1,891

19

$1,233

$1,560

20

$1,186

$1,505

21

$845

$1,015

22

$828

$965

23

$795

$919

24

$775

$885

25

$653

$703

35

$642

$616

45

$636

$610

55

$612

$596

65

$621

$604

75

$666

$650

85

$742

$725

Average rate for all ages

$835

$946

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers.  Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

NY car insurance coverage recommendations

Why full coverage offers the most protection

Drivers who buy the cheapest car insurance in New York may be taking a big gamble. If you get into an accident, your assets are at risk if you have basic car insurance. Even a minor incident can cost much more than what your minimal insurance will pay out. For instance, say you have New York’s minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and $10,000 in property damage. Then you cause a crash that totals the other driver’s car, valued at $25,000. It also results in $45,000 of medical expenses for his injuries. You’re responsible for damages not covered by insurance. That means you have to pay $20,000 out-of-pocket for medical bills and $15,000 for the damaged car – a total of $35,000.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends liability coverage levels of 100/300/100 to make sure you don’t wind up paying a lot of money out-of-pocket after an accident.

In addition to higher liability limits, here are other common optional coverages:

  • Collision coverage: Pays for damage to your car from an accident. The average yearly cost for collision coverage in New York is $346, according to the III.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays to replace stolen cars and for damages to your car from fire, flooding, hail, animal strikes, falling objects and vandalism. The average annual cost for comprehensive coverage in New York is $147, according to the III.

Collision and comprehensive coverages come with a deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance benefits kick in. For example, if you pick a $1,000 deductible and your vehicle repair bill is $2,500, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $1,500. You can typically choose a deductible of $250, $500 or $1,000. Your rates will be lower if you select a high deductible. If you opt for that strategy, be sure you have money on hand to pay the deductible if you have to file a claim to get your car fixed.

Is full coverage NY auto insurance expensive?

Buying a policy with higher liability limits, comprehensive and collision coverage will cost more than a minimal policy. After all, you’re getting more protection. But you’ll see that full coverage usually isn’t that much more expensive. Here is how minimum and full coverage rates (100/300/100) compare:

Average New York car insurance rates for minimum coverage and full coverage

 

Minimum liability

Full coverage with $1,000 deductible

Annual extra cost for full coverage

Monthly extra cost for full coverage

Women

$835

$1,599

$764

$64

Men

$946

$1,852

$906

$76

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers.  Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Car insurance quotes: NY 

It’s always wise to shop around for car insurance regardless of what level of coverage you want. Rates differ by hundreds of dollars among insurers because car insurance companies use different formulas when deciding how much you pay. That means the price for the same policy vary significantly. Here is the difference between the highest and lowest quote among six carriers for the same driver. These ZIP codes are among the most expensive for their respective areas. The rate difference is how much you can overpay if you don’t compare quotes:

 

ZIP code

Highest rate

Lowest rate

Amount you may overpay

Brooklyn

11226

$9,054

$2,031

$7,023

Bronx

           10457

$6,255

$1,752

           $4,503

Buffalo

14204

$3,954

  $860

$3,094

Manhattan

11031

$6,426

$1,407

$5,019

Queens

11412

$7,564

$1,834

$5,730

Rochester

14619

$2,672

  $543

$2,129

Staten Island

10303

$5,465

$1,287

$4,178

* Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. Data for CarInsurance.com provided by Quadrant Information Services.

“No-fault” or PIP insurance in NY

No-fault doesn't mean that no one is found at fault for an accident, but instead that someone who is injured in an accident looks first to his or her own coverage to pay for expenses. If PIP limits are exceeded, then the at-fault driver's liability coverage can kick in.

Basic no-fault PIP coverage includes:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • 80 percent of lost earnings (up to maximum of $2,000 per month for three years)
  • Up to $25 per day for replacement services (e.g. household help)
  • Death benefit of $2,000, in addition to the $50,000 in liability death coverage

Exclusion to no-fault coverages: Most New York car insurance policies say that a person may be ineligible for PIP benefits if the individual was:

  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and that contributed to the accident
  • Riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or motorcycle as driver or passenger
  • Intentionally causing his or her own injuries
  • Injured while committing a felony
  • Injured while in a stolen vehicle
  • An owner of an uninsured vehicle

New York car insurance laws

New York driver point system

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a license point system to track high-risk drivers. The DMV assigns points for certain traffic violations. If you get 11 points in an 18-month period, your driver license may be suspended. Points stay on your record for 18 months. Points are counted from the date of your violation, not from the date of your conviction.

Keep in mind that car insurance companies don’t use the DMV point system when assessing your rate. However, they do review your driving record periodically, usually upon policy renewal time, and then will use their own demerit system to hike your rates based on your infractions.

Violation Points in NY

Speeding - MPH over speed limit not indicated -- 3

Speeding 1 - 10 MPH over speed limit -- 3

Speeding 11 - 20 MPH over speed limit -- 4

Speeding 21 - 30 MPH over speed limit -- 6

Speeding 31 - 40 MPH over speed limit -- 8

Speeding More than 40 MPH over speed limit -- 11

Reckless driving -- 5

Failed to stop for a school bus -- 5

Inadequate brakes -- 4

Improper cell phone use -- 5

Following too closely -- 4

Passing improperly, changing lanes unsafely, driving to the left of center, driving in the wrong direction -- 3

Failed to obey a traffic signal, a stop sign, or a yield sign  -- 3

Railroad crossing violation  -- 3

Failed to yield the right-of-way  -- 3

Passenger safety violation, including seat belt and child safety seat violations for passengers under the age of 16 -- 3

Left the scene of an accident that includes property damage or the injury of a domestic animal -- 3

Other moving violations -- 2

Inadequate brakes (vehicle of an employer) --2

Use of portable electronic device ("texting") -- 5

Tickets in NYC and Rochester

The New York DMV’s Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) processes tickets for non-criminal moving traffic violations issued in Rochester, and the five boroughs of New York City are handled by the DMV’s NY Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB).

Most TVB tickets can be dealt with online. You can schedule a hearing or pay the fine and surcharge with a credit card. For more information, see how to plead to or pay TVB tickets or how to appeal a ticket.

If you want to enter a plea of not guilty or pay the ticket, mail it to:

Traffic Violations Plea Unit

P.O. Box 2950 - ESP

Albany, NY 12220-0950

Traffic tickets issued outside of Rochester and New York City are handled by the criminal or traffic court of the city, county, town or village where the citation was given. To appeal these tickets, contact the court listed on your ticket.

How much will a speeding ticket raise my NY car insurance rates?

Typically insurers review your driving record upon renewal, and some companies raise your rates if you have a speeding ticket. However, if you have a clean driving record and it’s your first citation, some insurance companies will let it slide. Rate hikes usually last for three years. A speeding ticket in New York may raise your rates, on average, by 8 percent, according to our analysis of rates based on Quadrant Information Services data.

Credit and other factors that affect your car insurance rate

In addition to traffic violations, your credit, gaps in coverage, accidents and who you add to your policy can impact your rates. In New York, car insurance companies are allowed to consider your credit history when deciding how much you pay. Insurers say that their research shows that people with good credit file fewer claims, and therefore are lower risk drivers.

Here is how average car insurance rates in New York compare to those for common mishaps, poor credit and for adding a young driver. You’ll see that poor credit rates second behind adding a teen driver in terms of the highest rate hikes:

 

Clean driver rate

Rate after incident

$ difference

One bodily injury accident

$1,336

$1,699

$363

One property damage accident over $1,000

$1,336

$1,387

$51

Coverage lapse of 60 days

$1,336

$1,403

$67

Add 16-year-old female teen

$1,336

$2,940

$1,604

Add 16-year-old male teen

$1,336

$3,699

$2,363

Poor credit

$1,336

$2,414

$1,078

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

New York car insurance discounts

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP)

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) in New York lets drivers take DMV-approved accident prevention/defensive driving classes to get a car insurance discount. You can get a 10 percent discount on the base rate of your liability and collision premium if you complete a PIRP class. The discount lasts for three years. You may also be able to take four points off your driving record.

Once you complete the class, you will receive a certificate within 45 days that proves you passed. You have to give your insurer a copy of the certificate within 90 days after completing the course to get your discount.

The NY DMV has a list of companies that offer approved online accident prevention/defensive driving courses at its PIRP website.

Safety discounts

New York law requires insurance companies to give you a discount if your vehicle has the following safety features:

  • “Passive restraint” system, which means either automatic seat belts or air bags
  • Factory-installed anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Factory-installed daytime running lamps (DRL)

Of course, insurance companies also offer many additional discounts, even if not mandated by state law. These  include good student, safe driver, low-mileage and anti-theft device discounts, among others.

New York Auto Insurance Plan (NYAIP)

The insurance companies in the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP) sell coverage to high-risk drivers. If you have been turned down by insurance companies in the regular market, the NYAIP is where you can find coverage. The group is comprised of major insurers who are mandated by law to sell policies to all NYAIP applicants. Here’s how it works: you file an application for a NYAIP policy either online or through an agent, and are then assigned to one of the insurance companies in the NYAIP pool.

Regardless of which company from the pool insures you, the rate will be the same. Premiums for NYAIP coverage are generally higher compared to the regular market because it is for high-risk drivers who have had more claims and driving citations. However, under NYAIP rules, drivers are eligible for a "careful driver" discount if they are accident-free and conviction-free for at least one year while in the plan and have at least four years of experience as a licensed driver.

Your NYAIP insurer must insure you for three years before dropping your coverage. At the end of this three-year period, you may shop for a standard market policy or re-apply to the Auto Plan. If, at any time, you can find an insurer in the voluntary market that is willing to cover you, you may terminate your coverage with your NYAIP insurer and buy a policy from the new company.

You can get the following auto insurance coverages through NYAIP:

  • The New York minimum limits required by law for bodily injury and property damage liability, basic no-fault, and uninsured motorists insurance
  • Optional higher limits up to $250,000/$500,000 in bodily injury liability and up to $100,000 in property damage liability
  • Optional supplemental uninsured motorist coverage up to $250,000/$500,000
  • Optional collision and comprehensive up to the amount of $50,000, with several deductible options

For help finding a NYAIP policy, call the consumer help line at 212-943-5100.

 

More NY car insurance resources

Surcharges

If you cause a car accident, New York law says your insurer can raise your rates (known as a surcharge) only if you caused bodily injury or property damage that was more than $2,000. You can also be surcharged if you're convicted of certain traffic violations. As in any state, keeping your driving record clean will go a long way toward holding down your car insurance rates.

Uninsured motorist penalties for New York

You may have to pay $150 to $1,500 in fines and could receive a sentence of 15 days in jail. You may also have your license and registration suspended and your car impounded.

How long does an accident affect your insurance?

An accident normally remains on a New York motor vehicle record (MVR) during the year that the accident occurred and for the following three years. The accident is then removed on Jan.1 of the fourth year after the accident.

No grace period

There is no grace period allowed in New York before you renew your insurance or obtain insurance on a new car. In fact, the law requires that you mail your insurance renewal forms at least 15 days before your cancellation date.

Age restrictions

If you are a minor, insurance companies normally require that a parent or guardian need to sign on your insurance policy since it is a legal and binding document. The New York DMV allows only ages 16 and up to apply for a title and registration.

New York DUI insurance

The penalties for drunken driving and drug-related driving violations in New York include license suspension, fines and the possibility of serving time in jail.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or Driving while impaired by a drug (DWAI-Drug) first offense brings fines of $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail and a license suspension of at least six months. A second offense for DWI or DWAI-Drug is a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, up to four years in jail and a minimum of one year loss of license.

Driving while ability impaired by a combination of alcohol/drugs (DWAI-Combination): First offense carries fines of $500 to $1,000, up to a year in jail and license suspension of at least six months. Second offense carries fines of $1,000 to $5,000, up to four years in jail and loss of your license for at least a year.

Your rates will increase following a DUI conviction, typically for five to seven years. The average rate increase in New York for a DUI is 60 percent, according to a CarInsurance.com analysis of data commissioned from Quadrant Information Services. While you will pay more after a DUI, you can still save by shopping for the insurer with the lowest rate.

New York DUI car insurance rates by company

  Clean driver rate

DUI rate

Dollar increase

% increase

Company 1

$1,601

$2,812

$581

36%

Company 2

$1,075

$2,682

$1,607

149%

Company 3

$5,344

$7,074

$1,730

32%

Company 4

$1,961

$2,322

$361

18%

Company 5

$2,126

$6,394

$4,268

201%

*The table shows the annual rate for NYC ZIP code 10016 from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. (One carrier refused coverage for DUI.)

 

Largest car insurance companies in New York by market share

Rank Company / Group Premiums Written ($) Market Share (%)
1 Berkshire Hathaway Insurance 3,216,565 28.95
2 Allstate Insurance Group 1,724,838 15.52
3 State Farm Group 1,384,293 12.46
4 Progressive Insurance Group 765,285 6.89
5 Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies 720,584 6.48
6 Travelers Group 525,378 4.73
7 Nationwide Group 322,307 2.90
8 NYCM Insurance Group 291,320 2.62
9 USAA Group 282,679 2.54
10 Hartford Insurance Group 219,310 1.97
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.