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New York Car Insurance

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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 insurance laws work. You can also find out what 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.

When shopping for car insurance, use our average car insurance rates tool to compare rates. Enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for your neighborhood. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed to get an idea of what the most affordable price is in your area. For a more customized rate, choose from among six age groups and three coverage levels.

The average car insurance rate in New York is $1,759 a year. The severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood, your driving record, the type of car you drive and other variables are used by insurance companies to figure out the cost of your policy. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. For example, you could pay $3,146 more for the same policy in Manhattan ZIP code 10120 if you don’t shop around. Here’s why: the highest rate among six carriers is $4,305, the lowest is $1,159.

Cheap car insurance in New York

New York car insurance requirements

If you opt to buy the cheapest car insurance policy possible, buy the least amount of coverage you need to drive, as explained below:

Drivers must have minimum liability coveragelimits of 25/50/10 under New York car insurance laws. This coverage pays for others’ injuries and damage to other drivers’ cars when you cause an accident.

Personal injury protection (PIP) is also required. It 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.

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.

It does cost more to buy more protection, but as you’ll see in the chart below, additional coverage is typically affordable. Increasing your insurance from the state minimum to full coverage with a $500 deductible costs, on average, $947 more, or $79 a month. For just $67 a year you can raise your liability limits.

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Massachusetts from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Cheapest New York auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in New York, by company. 

You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for New York drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company, from least to most expensive, for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. In addition to comparing rates, qualifying for a mature driver discount can also trim costs.

Best car insurance in New York

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.

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Cheapest car insurance in New York by company

Below you'll see average annual rates for New York, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

  • State minimum liability requirements
  • Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
  • Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible

Largest car insurance companies in New York

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Who has the cheapest car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is $582, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

Low cost auto insurance for drivers in New York with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average New York driver with a full coverage policy:

New York drivers with bad credit: You can still save on car insurance

Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. New York is among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com's data analysis shows it has the eighth highest percentage increase for bad credit drivers. Compared to good credit drivers, those in New York with bad credit pay 86 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You'll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $2,290 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That's how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in New York?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In New York, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 176 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in New York, and how major insurers compare on price. Geico had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in New York

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

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Recommended car insurance coverage

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.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

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Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

These are optional coverages and fairly affordable to add to a policy. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. New York drivers pay an average of $700 a year for collision and $145 for comprehensive, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

These coverages are required in New York and should match the liability limits you choose. Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. MedPay is optional in New York and not a must-have coverage, because your PIP protection takes care of the same expenses as MedPay. However, one benefit of MedPay is that there is no deductible and it can help defray health insurance costs. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

New York car insurance laws and resources

New York roads with the most fatal accidents

Here are the highways and roads where the most fatal accidents happened in 2017, according to the most recent data available from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System research compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

"No-fault" or PIP insurance in New York

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 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.

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 coursesat 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.

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.

STATE CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

To drive legally in New York, you must have liability insurance with at least limits of:

25 / 50 / 10

Bodily injury liability limits of $25,000 per person you injure in an accident, up to $50,000 per accident, and property damage liability of $10,000. You must also carry uninsured motorist bodily injury limits of $25,000 for yourself and $50,000 for others. You also must have personal injury protection (PIP) of $50,000, which covers you, your passengers and other authorized drivers of your car who are injured while in your insured vehicle.

Click here for an explanation of liability requirements numbers

HOW MUCH IS CAR INSURANCE IN NEW YORK? The average car insurance rate in New York is:
$1,759 per year
5th most expensive state in the U.S.
"No-Fault" Insurance Law
Under a no-fault system, when you have an accident, your auto insurance provider automatically pays you for certain damages, regardless of fault, up to a specified limit.
DRIVING IN NEW YORK
In our independent study of the best and worst states for driving, New York was the
36TH BEST STATE
60% percent of roads are in poor/mediocre condition
5.3% of the drivers on the roads are uninsured
5.3% traffic-related deaths per 100,000 population
3.54% of the average annual median household income is spent on car insurance (24th lowest in the U.S.)
74 hours of commuter delay per year in New York City, the state's most congested city

Full report: Best and worst states for driving