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There were around 309,000 car accidents in New York state in 2017. That’s about one accident for every 30 cars registered in the Empire State. Buying car insurance may not be a day at the beach, but when you need it, it can be a real financial life saver. Read on to learn more about New York’s car insurance laws and how to find the lowest rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New York

The rates shown here are based on a study performed by Quadrant Information services on behalf of U.S. News. The study examined rates from the largest car insurance companies in the United States, using certain driver profiles. Your rates will differ.

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings. 

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the nine largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here. 

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in New York?

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

According to our study, the average rate for car insurance in New York is about $1,861. What you pay depends on several factors, including how much coverage you choose to buy, your age, where you live, your driving record, and much more. Auto insurance rates in New York vary widely.

New York Car Insurance Rates by Age

Company

Single 25-year-old male

Single 25-year-old female

Married 35-year-old male

Married 35-year-old female

Married 60-year-old male

Married 60-year-old female

Allstate

$1,885.88

$1,899.01

$1,824.69

$1,960.78

$1,864.95

$1,844.41

Geico

$1,262.80

$1,188.28

$1,176.86

$1,182.57

$1,200.14

$1,200.14

Nationwide

$4,005.41

$3,796.07

$3,132.52

$3,163.52

$2,870.48

$2,720.88

Progressive

$1,755.40

$1,816.38

$1,288.65

$1,395.32

$1,129.47

$1,112.05

State Farm

$2,068.78

$1,987.14

$1,815.62

$1,815.62

$1,615.02

$1,615.02

Travelers

$2,343.99

$2,268.59

$2,151.45

$2,151.51

$2,092.47

$1,968.52

USAA

$1,607.69

$1,455.67

$1,162.96

$1,181.29

$1,096.55

$1,093.99

Younger, single driver profiles are typically charged higher rates because of their limited driving experience and higher frequency of accidents, our study found. The study shows single, 25-year-old male driver profiles pay an average representative premium of $2,133 in New York, the highest of these demographic categories. Single 25-year-old women driver profiles pay an average of $2,059. These study rates drop significantly for married 60-year-olds, where female driver profiles pay an average of $1,651 and male driver profiles pay an average of $1,696.

If you fall into the single 25-year-old male category, you may want to avoid Nationwide, which our study shows carries average study premiums that are 88% above the New York state average for this demographic. 

To determine the average rates based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

New York Car Insurance Rates by Mileage

Company

10 miles commute, 6,000 miles

25 miles commute, 12,000 miles

Allstate

$1,832.71

$1,879.95

Geico

$1,044.19

$1,201.80

Nationwide

$3,281.48

$3,281.48

Progressive

$1,416.21

$1,416.21

State Farm

$1,561.16

$1,819.53

Travelers

$2,162.75

$2,162.75

USAA

$1,209.39

$1,266.36

Ultimately in New York, a driver profile who commutes 6,000 miles annually pays about $75 less on average than the profile who drives 12,000 miles annually. Nationwide doesn’t change its study rates depending on annual mileage, but charges the highest rates according to our study, charging the 12,000-mile driver 76% above than the state average. Travelers and Progressive also do not change their study rates for mileage.

We created two driver profiles to compare how annual mileage can change car insurance rates: one with low mileage (6,000 miles per year) and one with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered males and females in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

New York Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type

Company

Low

Medium

High

Allstate

$1,759.63

$1,879.95

$2,033.05

Geico

$1,135.12

$1,201.80

$1,287.93

Nationwide

$3,545.02

$3,281.48

$3,085.88

Progressive

$1,349.53

$1,416.21

$1,510.02

State Farm

$1,699.84

$1,819.53

$1,911.13

Travelers

$2,073.24

$2,162.75

$2,318.37

USAA

$1,230.28

$1,266.36

$1,327.29

Ultimately, having high coverage costs our average driver profiles $97 more than having low coverage in New York. This is a small price to pay for the additional coverage you’ll get in case of an accident.

We created identical profiles in our study to represent drivers, then found out how rates changed with the three levels of coverage. The profiles were assigned a clean driving record, a good credit score, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. We used both males and females aged 25, 35, and 60. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis. 

New York Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

Company

Good

Fair

Poor

Allstate

$1,879.95

$2,193.32

$3,362.27

Geico

$1,201.80

$1,265.29

$1,552.29

Nationwide

$3,281.48

$3,911.71

$4,794.25

Progressive

$1,416.21

$1,981.09

$4,150.21

State Farm

$1,819.53

$2,337.77

$3,866.33

Travelers

$2,162.75

$2,712.88

$4,270.58

USAA

$1,266.36

$1,433.99

$2,459.30

The driver profiles with good credit in our analysis pays an average study rate of $1,861 in New York, compared to the profile with poor credit, which pays an average of $3,494, an 88% increase.

Geico is the most affordable insurance company in our study for driver profiles with poor credit, charging an average study premium that's 56% below the state average. Travelers and Progressive charge some of the highest representative rates along with Nationwide, all charging averages that are above $4,100 for the driver profile with poor credit, according to the study.

krisanapong detraphiphat / Getty Images

Based on profiles of male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60, our study verified that credit scores affect car insurance rates. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis. 

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New York Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Company

Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$1,879.95

$2,295.76

$1,879.95

$2,613.06

Geico

$1,201.80

$1,201.80

$1,354.27

$3,060.33

Nationwide

$3,281.48

$3,880.19

$3,281.48

$6,590.66

Progressive

$1,416.21

$1,435.45

$1,416.21

$1,671.30

State Farm

$1,819.53

$1,998.79

$1,819.53

$1,998.79

Travelers

$2,162.75

$2,495.41

$2,672.20

$2,706.02

USAA

$1,266.36

$1,317.35

$1,317.35

$2,088.47

In New York, driver profiles with a clean record pay about $1,861 on average, according to our study. With one accident, the average increases to $1,965, and with one speeding ticket, to $2,090. Our study found it is most expensive in general to have one DUI on record, costing driver profiles an average premium of $2,960. Nationwide is the most expensive for driver profiles with a DUI, charging an average study rate of $6,590 – 123% above the state average – so driver profiles with a DUI may want to avoid this company. Nationwide also charges the most for driver profiles with one speeding violation, with a study rate that's 86% above average.

Geico does not increase representative rates for driver profiles with one speeding violation compared to drivers with a clean record, keeping its average below what the other national companies offer.

To find out just how much of an effect a person's driving record has on insurance rates, we made driving profiles with a clean record, with one speeding violation, with one accident, and with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

New York Car Insurance Rates by City

City

Average Rate

Albany

$1,439.47

Buffalo

$1,925.90

Mount Vernon

$2,776.32

New Rochelle

$2,159.62

New York

$3,216.63

Rochester

$1,414.79

Schenectady

$1,433.04

Syracuse

$1,493.36

Utica

$1,528.94

Yonkers

$2,591.45

New York City is the most expensive city to insure a vehicle, our study found, costing 73% above the state average at $3,217. Mount Vernon is close behind with an average representative premium of $2,776. Yonkers and New Rochelle are next in line, with average study rates of $2,591 and $2,160 respectively. None of New York’s other cities have study rates that exceed $2,000. Rochester is the most affordable city in New York to insure a car, with an average representative premium of $1,415.

Within each state, insurance rates can vary dramatically from city to city. To get a sense of how these differences affect car insurance premiums, we looked at average representative rates across 10 of New York’s top cities. In our study, we used male and female driver profiles aged 25, 35, and 60 who put 12,000 miles on the odometer each year. Our profiles have medium insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and good credit. We included three vehicles in our study:  the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

New York Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

All vehicles registered in New York state must be covered by three types of insurance: Personal injury protection (PIP), liability, and uninsured motorist.

Personal injury protection – often called no-fault insurance – pays for medical bills and lost wages if you or your passengers are injured in a car accident. As its name suggests, this plan pays the policyholder regardless of who is at fault in the accident, and it covers these costs immediately – even before a personal health insurance plan – so that those injured can get treatment as quickly as possible. The minimum no-fault coverage required by New York state law is $50,000 per person. That means the driver and all passengers are covered for their medical costs and lost wages up to the $50,000 limit.

Liability auto insurance is different. It compensates the other parties affected by an accident for their bodily injury and property damage if you are at fault. The minimum liability coverage required by New York state is often referred to as the 25/50/10 ratio. A minimum coverage limit of $25,000 is set for the injury of one person, a limit of $50,000 is set for the injury of two or more people, and a limit of $10,000 is set for car and property damage.

The last type of required coverage is uninsured motorist insurance. It provides bodily injury coverage for you and any passengers in your car if an accident occurs and the driver at fault does not have insurance. This coverage also applies in the event of a hit-and-run accident. The minimum coverage limits required by New York state for this policy are the same as liability insurance: $25,000 for the injury of one person and $50,000 for the injury of two or more people. Read more about how much car insurance you need.

It’s a good idea to carry additional coverage over these minimum requirements though, especially if you have assets to protect. If a claim is made against you, and your liability coverage is insufficient, the other party can take you to court for monetary damages – putting assets like your home or business on the line.

There are several optional auto insurance policies that are worth considering as well. The two most popular types are collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by an accident, regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from all other incidents, such as a flood, fire, theft, vandalism, or hail. While the state of New York may not require comprehensive or collision coverage, your lender may require them if you lease your car or still owe money on it. That’s to make sure you can pay off your car loan or lease in the event your car is a total loss in an accident or collision.

Learn more about minimum insurance requirements in our guide on how much car insurance you need.

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Cheapest Car Insurance in New York

Note: Due to USAA's limited membership, we excluded them from this segment evaluation.

Category

Cheapest Company

Young Adult Drivers

Geico

Married Adult Drivers

Geico

Senior Drivers

Progressive

Drivers with Good Credit

Geico

Drivers with Poor Credit

Geico

Drivers with a Clean Record

Geico

Drivers with One Speeding Violation

Geico

Drivers with One Accident

Geico

Drivers with One DUI

Progressive

Low-mileage Drivers

Geico

High-mileage Drivers

Geico

Drivers with Low Coverage

Geico

Drivers with High Coverage

Geico

Drivers with Used Cars

Geico

Drivers with New Cars

Geico

Our study found Geico offers the lowest average car insurance study rates in New York, at 35% below the state average. Geico’s rates in our study tend to be lower regardless of driving record, age, credit history, coverage type, or annual mileage driven. The average study rate for Geico is about $1,200 in New York. 

However, we found Progressive to be the cheapest car insurance for senior driver profiles and for driver profiles with one DUI.

USAA and Progressive offer the next best auto insurance study rates after Geico overall, according to our research. The driver profiles insured with these companies pay on average about $1,266 and $1,416 a year, respectively. State Farm follows with the next cheapest study rates, at around $1,820.

simonkr / Getty Images

Travelers, Allstate, and Nationwide all charge average representative premiums above the state average, according to our analysis.

To find which car insurance company offers the lowest rates, our study used representative driver profiles with good credit, medium insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. Our profiles included males and females aged 25, 35, and 60. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Why Auto Insurance Rates Vary in New York

Many factors determine your car insurance rates, but where you live can have one of the biggest impacts. When offering rates, insurance companies evaluate the frequency of claims in a ZIP code, as well as the cost of medical and repair services. An area’s population and traffic are also considered. That’s why shoppers can expect higher rates in ZIP codes with dense traffic and lower rates in more rural areas. The more crowded the area, the more likely you are to make a claim on your auto insurance, which means higher costs for your insurance company, and thus higher rates for you.

In New York, the cheapest car insurance rates in our study are found in the smaller cities and ZIP codes of the upstate New York region. The average study rates in Schenectady, Albany, and Rochester are between $1,400 and $1,500 per year. The state’s highest car insurance representative rates are found in ZIP codes with the largest populations, according to our research. The average rate in our study in Yonkers and Mount Vernon are about $2,600 and $2,800 a year, respectively. The study rates are even higher in New York City at around $3,200 per year.

We checked our study's driver profiles in some of New York's largest cities to find out how city of residence can affect insurance rates. Our profiles are based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with a clean driving record, 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in New York

Some aspects of car insurance are out of your control, but most aren’t. There are many discounts available that can lower your car insurance rates substantially. Many insurers offer discounts to teens who take a driver safety course. Homeowners can often bundle their home and auto policies with the same insurance company to save money (also called a multi-policy discount). Drivers can insure multiple vehicles with the same company as well (a multi-car discount).

Some companies also offer discounts based on the safety features of the insured vehicle. You can often get discounts for having airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), daytime running lights, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, or anti-theft devices like a car alarm.

Ultimately, the simplest way to lower your car insurance premium is through safe driving. Insurers offer better rates to those with a clean driving record as compared to those with speeding violations or accidents. Usage-based insurance is also growing in popularity as a way to evaluate driving risk. Drivers can apply for apps and devices that record their driving habits and transmit that data to the insurance company. Examples of this include Progressive’s Snapshot program and Allstate’s Drivewise program. Safe driving is rewarded with lower premiums; frequent panic stops or high-speed driving can result in higher premiums.

​If you’ve applied for car insurance and been denied by a number of companies, you may want to consider purchasing coverage through the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP). This state program is designed to provide car insurance to consumers with a poor driving record or multiple insurance claims. Drivers are assigned to an insurance company and covered for three years. These policies tend to be much more expensive than the voluntary insurance market, though.

Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in New York

There are two main types of auto liability insurance laws: Fault-based and no-fault. New York is one of a dozen states that require no-fault insurance (personal injury protection). In these states, a driver and their passengers can receive compensation for their medical bills and lost wages from their own insurance company, regardless of fault. The policyholder can sue the other parties involved in the accident as well, but only under certain conditions, such as if medical bills exceed a set dollar amount. Advocates for no-fault insurance say it provides quicker compensation to those injured and deters lawsuits, which can be lengthy and expensive.

Most other states follow the fault-based system. In those states, drivers aren’t required to buy personal injury protection (an equivalent plan is often optional). Instead, the liability insurance of the driver at fault covers the lost wages and medical expenses of those injured. Proponents of this system say it lowers insurance premiums and reduces the need for overlapping medical coverage, which health insurance plans may already provide.

New York Driving Laws and Punishments

All cars and trucks registered in New York state must always have insurance coverage. Motorcycles are the sole exception – they don’t need to be insured when in storage, but they must be insured when operating on public roads. If you are caught driving without insurance in New York, you can be fined up to $1,500. You can also be arrested and have your vehicle impounded. If you are involved in an accident while driving without insurance, your license and vehicle registration can be revoked for a year. There are additional fees to reinstate your license if it has been revoked.

New York state also has strict distracted driving laws. It is illegal to drive a vehicle while holding and using a cell phone in New York. This includes placing a call, reading or composing text messages and emails, and viewing or taking pictures. To legally use a cell phone while driving in New York state, it must be securely attached to the vehicle – on the dashboard, for example – or equipped with a hands-free device like a Bluetooth headset. Fines for distracted driving range from as little as $50 for a first offense to $450 for a third offense. Drivers will also receive violation points against their license. Drivers with a probationary license or learner permit will automatically lose their license or permit for 120 days and up to a year if a second violation occurs within six months.

Allstate Insurance Company

There are a number of DUI laws in New York state with varying penalties. The Zero Tolerance law states that no driver under the age of 21 can operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between .02 and .07 percent. Drivers who violate this law will have their licenses suspended for six months and up to a year (or until age 21) if a second violation occurs. Fines total about $225.

​Drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher are in violation of the New York Driving While Intoxicated law (DWI). Depending on the number of offenses, drivers in violation of this law can face fines of between $500 and $10,000, maximum jail time of between one and seven years, and a license suspension of at least six to 12 months. These penalties are the same for motorists convicted of Driving While Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug). The penalties are more severe for those convicted of Aggravated DWI, which is classified as driving with a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher.

Even though a blood alcohol content of .08 is commonly referred to as the “legal limit”, you can still face penalties in New York for operating a vehicle below this limit. This is known as DWAI, or Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol, and it’s classified as driving with a blood alcohol content of more than .05 but less than .07 percent. Depending on the number of offenses, drivers in violation of this law can face fines of $300 to $1,500, maximum jail time of between 15 and 180 days, and a license suspension of at least 90 days or up to six months.

New York Car Insurance FAQs

Is Car Insurance Required in New York?

Yes, all vehicles registered in New York state must be insured up to the state’s minimum coverage requirements for personal injury protection (PIP), liability, and uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. Drivers can opt for higher levels of PIP and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, additional liability insurance to protect their assets if they are found to be at fault in an accident, as well as optional insurance like collision or comprehensive coverage to protect their vehicle.

Which Cars Are Required To Be Insured in New York?

All cars, trucks, and SUVs currently registered in New York state must be insured. This includes all registered vehicles that are inoperable or in long-term storage. If you own one of these types of vehicles and do not wish to keep it insured, you must cancel your registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and return your license plates before ending your insurance coverage. Only motorcycles can remain uninsured when not in use.

If you’re a nonresident of New York with a vehicle registered in another state, such as a college student or a member of the military, you must follow the car insurance and registration laws of that state. If you become a resident, you must insure and register the vehicle in New York within 30 days.

When Should I Get Car Insurance in New York?

If you’re buying a new or used car, you’ll need to get insurance before you can register the vehicle. You can shop for insurance online, over the phone, in person with an agent or broker, or at a car dealership.

​If you’re buying a car and you have existing insurance on a second vehicle, a car you’re selling, or a car you’re trading in – you can contact the insurer to have your next vehicle added to the policy.

What Happens if My Car Is Not Properly Insured in New York?

If you have cancelled or failed to maintain adequate insurance coverage on a registered vehicle, the DMV can suspend the car’s registration as well as your driver’s license. You can also be ticketed and arrested and have your vehicle impounded. The DMV maintains an online database that tracks insurance coverage for vehicles registered in New York state.

Is New York a No-Fault State?

Yes, New York is a no-fault state for car insurance. New York requires all drivers to have personal injury protection, which is often referred to as no-fault insurance. Under this coverage, your insurer pays for the medical bills and lost wages if you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Do I Need Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in New York?

Yes, New York requires drivers to have uninsured motorist insurance. This coverage kicks in if you or any passengers in your car are injured in an accident where the driver at fault does not have insurance. It also applies in the event of a hit-and-run accident.

Is Liability Insurance Required in New York?

Yes, New York requires drivers to have liability insurance. If a claim is made against you that states you were at fault in an accident, liability insurance pays those affected by the accident for their bodily injury and property damage.

Does New York Accept Digital Insurance Cards?

Yes, New York accepts digital insurance cards. These cards can be displayed on portable electronic devices like a cell phone, and they are accepted anywhere proof of car insurance is required, including at the DMV, in court, and during traffic stops. Check with your insurer to see if they offer these digital cards.

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