Best Cheap Car Insurance in New York for 2018
If you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance in New York, it pays to shop around. The same coverage and limits can fetch very different rates from company to company, meaning you may lose out on a great deal by settling for the first quote you get.
To make your shopping easier, NerdWallet researched rates from the eight largest auto insurers in New York to find the most affordable options for a variety of driver types, including:
Also in this article:
Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.
Geico offered the best car insurance rate for good drivers in New York in our analysis, with an average price of around $91 per month. Travelers and Allstate were the next cheapest options, respectively.
If you have a clean driving record, you can push your rates even lower by making sure you get the discounts you’re entitled to, such as a claim-free discount for steering clear of accidents for an extended time period.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Young drivers tend to need less coverage than motorists with families or greater savings to protect, a factor that we included in our analysis.
Geico notched by far the cheapest average rates for drivers in their early 20s, at roughly $50 a month, followed by New York Central Mutual Fire and Travelers. If you’re under 25, still in school and have a B average or better, ask your insurer or agent about a good student discount to trim rates even more.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash
Causing an accident typically triggers a price increase at renewal time. The severity of the rate hike depends on the insurer. Geico’s average cost for this group — the cheapest we found — was more than $200 a year higher than the company’s rate for drivers of the same age with no accidents.
Not all insurers appear to penalize you for one accident. Allstate returned the same rate for drivers with one at-fault crash and those with clean records — $1,890.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in a “Poor Credit” tier.
Having poor credit can prevent you from getting the cheapest car insurance in New York when you buy your policy. The lowest rate we found was Geico at about $128 per month.
However, each insurer has its own approach for covering drivers with credit problems, so it pays to shop around. One insurer in our test gave drivers with a clean record and poor credit a quote of nearly $7,300 per year — more than $607 a month.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.
Even though auto insurance rates can climb with age, retirees can typically get a relatively good deal thanks to their reduced time behind the wheel. For this reason, we looked at rates for drivers in their 60s who travel half as much as our other groups.
The cheapest New York car insurance quote we found was from Geico at roughly $73 a month. This was cheaper than the company’s rate for drivers half that age who face a daily commute.
Retirees in New York can also save by refreshing their driving skills with an online accident prevention course, which reduces base car insurance rates by 10% for three years. Learn more about the state’s many approved course providers.
Minimum car insurance requirements in New York
New York auto insurance laws require car owners to carry liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI).
The minimum coverage limits are:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 PIP
- $25,000 UMBI per person
- $50,000 UMBI per accident
For the best financial protection, consider buying more than the bare minimum. Any costs that surpass your coverage limits would have to come out of your own pocket. A serious accident could easily leave you owing more than, say, $10,000 to repair another driver’s car.
Alternative car insurance in New York
If car insurance companies are declining you for coverage due to DUIs, crashes or other factors, you could qualify for car insurance through the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP).
NerdWallet’s comparison tool lets you view New York car insurance rates from top companies side by side and possibly trim hundreds off your premium.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:
Cheap New York Car Insurance
Compare the best rates from 10 car insurance companies in New York.
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Across the Empire State, there are 242,769 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped with the best and cheapest insurance, then you take the wheel.
Cheap Car Insurance
It’s cheap to get car insurance in New York!
Whoa! New York is one of the cheapest states for car insurance. Let’s see how much you’ll save!
At The Zebra we’re all about helping you save money on car insurance. Our engine looks for the cheapest insurance provider to find the best fit for you and your vehicle. Since New York might have cheaper premiums that makes our job a breeze! It’s easy to get started—we just need some basic information to begin finding the best auto discounts for you.
What’s the cheapest car insurance in New York?
Cheap Insurance for Good Drivers in New York
Good drivers can save money on car insurance if you have no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs. Insurance companies use your driving record as a way to predict what kind of risk you will pose to them. So, by not having any of these violations you are less risky and therefore cheaper customer for them. In addition to having a cheaper premium, some companies offer a Good Driver discount. While the amount varies based on your company, it can range between 5-10%. If we’re looking beyond just average rates and at individual companies, Nationwide seems to have the cheapest rates for good drivers.
Cheap Insurance for Young Drivers in New York
Young drivers, those between the ages of 16-25, pay the most for car insurance across the US. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. For teen drivers, historically the most expensive drivers to insure, we’ve found that Geico, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual are the cheapest companies.
Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers in New York
Having a bad driving record can be a huge burden for getting cheap car insurance – no matter your location. In New York in 2017, a DUI raised rates an average of $1,208 a year. Other violations, such as an at-fault accident or a speeding ticket will also hurt your driving record. Based on our research, if you’ve had a DUI or at-fault accident, your best bet for cheap car insurance is to shop with Liberty Mutual, State Farm, or Nationwide.
Car Insurance Laws
State minimum insurance requirements in New York
In New York, the state minimum coverage requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage $10,000 per accident
- Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- $50,000 per person
Optional coverage in New York (varies by carrier):
- Loan/Lease Payoff
- Medical Payments
- Rental Car Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
- Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (SUM)
- Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP)
- Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL)
Liability coverage is legally required in New York and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In New York, the cheapest insurance minimum is listed as 25/50/10 and explained below:
$25,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
$50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.
$10,000 property damage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage that you cause in an accident.
Uninsured Motorist coverage is legally required in New York and pays for injury and lost wages that you or your passengers may suffer in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver who is at fault. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into two categories. In New York, the minimum is listed as 30/60 and explained below:
$25,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person injured in your vehicle by an uninsured driver.
$50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries in your vehicle by an uninsured driver if more than one person is hurt.
Personal Injury Protection provides coverage for medical costs that you and your passengers incur in an accident regardless of fault. PIP will cover medical expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and even work loss resulting from an accident. In New York, minimum PIP coverage of $50,000 per person is required on your policy.
These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in New York but higher coverage amounts are available with most companies. These minimums will provide you with the cheapest insurance rate.
New York is a no fault state!
What does this mean for you?
Put simply, a no-fault insurance laws system requires that drivers carry their own protection. When an accident happens, no matter who is at fault, your own insurance foots the bill. Each driver takes care of his or herself, and theoretically, the chances of someone suing or raising a hissy fit over culpability are lessened. And bonus? It guarantees every driver immediate medical treatment in the event of an accident.
Cheap New York Car Insurance Companies
The Zebra compares over 200 companies & 1,800 products, so you can save way more than 15% and find the cheapest car insurance in New York.
Estimating car insurance rates: What you need to know
For ballpark estimates on your car insurance rates, or to find out how, why or how much your car insurance will go up or down after a ticket or a change of address, we have several helpful articles and car insurance calculators.
CarInsurance.com’s average car insurance rates tool provides average auto insurance rates for nearly every ZIP code in the U.S. It allows motorists to explore comparative rates within their own city or across the nation.
Car Insurance Estimator Calculator
The “How much car insurance do I need?” tool can suggest what level of coverage is best for you, based on your age, the state you live in, your car’s model year, whether you own or finance your car, and whether you own or rent your home.
By their nature, averages and estimates don’t apply specifically to you. For that, you can use our online quote comparison tool and get matched with multiple car insurance providers, who will give you a quote, or you can call one of our licensed insurance agents at 855-430-7753.
But you may simply be looking ahead to a new car, a marriage or a move across town and wonder about the consequences. We advise that you check car insurance rate quotes before making life changes, so you’ll be aware of how your premium may change and can budget for it appropriately, or switch to a provider that offers a better price given your new situation.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions about the factors affecting your car insurance rate.
How much does my age affect my car insurance rates?
Auto insurers penalize inexperience rather than age. Of course, the vast majority of inexperienced drivers are teenagers. Rates for 16-year-olds can double or even triple their parents’ car insurance annual premiums.
The less experienced the driver, the higher the rates. Among drivers with clean records and no accidents, no other factor changes rates more.
Statistically, inexperienced drivers crash – a lot – and so they are the riskiest category of drivers to insure. Car insurance rates reflect this high risk.
The inexperience penalty drops slowly until about year 10. As an example, this is what the inexperience surcharge for basic bodily injury liability coverage looks like at one California car insurer during the first decade of driving:
If you keep a clean record after age 25, rates typically stay relatively stable until you become a senior driver, when crash rates go up and premiums begin to rise again.
Does my address affect what I pay for insurance?
If you live in a highly populated urban area, congestion, accidents and insurance claims are more prevalent. Living and driving in a metro area will make your rates higher than if you live in a rural area, where having an auto accident is less likely.
Car insurance companies look at factors such as the rate of stolen cars in your area, and the number of cases of vandalism, claims and fraudulent claims. All of this helps insurers discern the risk associated with insuring you and your car in that ZIP code, whether you ever have made a claim or not.
All other factors equal, your ZIP code can change your rate by hundreds of dollars.
Are some cars cheaper to insure than others? Why?
Auto insurers track which cars have the most wrecks and the worst injury records. Those factors impact the cost you pay for liability insurance — which covers the damage you cause to others.
Insurers also know which cars are expensive to buy, expensive to repair or more easily stolen. Those factors drive up the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage, which repairs or replaces your own car.
The calculations about the risk of a certain car are made independently. For example, if you are an inexperienced driver in a car with a poor claims record, you are penalized twice. A more mature driver in the same car would pay a surcharge for the car, but not one for inexperience.
Insurers can also choose not to cover certain types or brands of cars. For example, some won’t insure a lifted pickup truck, a kit car or certain exotic cars.
How does my marital status affect my car insurance rate?
Married couples have been found to have fewer accidents and claims than single drivers do.
Rates can be from 5 percent to 15 percent lower for married couples just because of their marital status. But there are also other discounts married couples can look forward to when they combine their policies, such as a multicar discount, or a multipolicy discount if they have a renters or homeowners policy with the same insurer.
An insurer considers you single if you have never been married, or are widowed or divorced.
How much does my driving record impact my car insurance rate?
Your driving record is paramount to your car insurance company. Safe drivers get a discount from standard rates for keeping a clean driving record. On the flip side, individuals who have a moving violation (speeding or a DUI, for example) or an accident on their motor vehicle record are more of a risk and can face a surcharge on top of standard rates.
If you have enough violations or accidents, you can become uninsurable according to some car insurance companies’ underwriting rules. For example, some insurers reject anyone with four or more chargeable accidents in three years, or more than three DUIs in seven years, or more than 15 points on the driver’s motor vehicle record.
In general, a minor violation such as a speeding ticket can boost your rates 20 percent to 40 percent. You may not be surcharged for the actual ticket, but will lose your good-driver discount. If you have a major violation like a DUI, your rates can go up 100 percent or more. The more risk you appear to be to your auto insurer, the more you will pay.
How much does my commute matter?
You car’s annual mileage is a rating factor for many car insurance companies. The less you drive, the less risk you have of being in an accident. Also, how far you drive for your commute lets the insurer know what kind of risk you are during the congested, high-risk hours.
Your insurer can also use the length of your commute to determine if you head into a metro area from your rural or suburban home. If you live outside of Los Angeles, but your commute is 30 miles, your insurer can predict that although your local area is low-risk, your commute into the heart of a very populated metropolitan area pushes your risk factor much higher.
Why should my credit history count?
Insurance companies routinely check your credit rating as part of your application process, except in California, Massachusetts and Hawaii, where state law prohibits credit from being a pricing factor.
Credit scores help the insurance companies assess the risk level of a potential customer. Research has shown that those with lower credit scores (typically under 600) are more likely to file claims, file exaggerated claims, or even commit insurance fraud.
Those with low scores may face a surcharge. Rates for those with higher scores are typically unaffected.
Your credit score can also affect how an insurance company allows you to pay for your policy, since statistics show that people with lower credit scores are more likely to miss a payment. Customers with very poor credit scores may be required to pay the entire premium for a six-month policy up front. Customers with low credit scores sometimes won’t qualify for monthly billing, or they may need to pay a large percentage of the policy up front and the remainder monthly.
Are some types of coverage more expensive?
There are several types of car insurance. The more coverage you get, the more you will pay. If you get a bare-bones liability policy that covers only what the state requires, your car insurance costs are going to be less than if you bought coverage that would repair your own car, too.
Liability coverage tends to cost more because the amount the insurance company risks is higher. Coverage for collision and comprehensive insurance is limited by the replacement cost of the car itself. But medical bills and multiple-car accidents could push a liability claim into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you don’t have enough liability coverage, you could be sued for the difference by anyone you injure.
Comprehensive and collision damage is affected by the deductible you choose. The higher the deductible, the less the insurance company will have to pay — and the lower your rates.
Medical coverage, such as uninsured motorist bodily injury, medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), will cause your rates to go up. Without some kind of medical coverage, if you don’t have health insurance elsewhere, you might not be able to pay for treatment if you are injured in an accident you caused.
Is there any difference between insurance companies?
Insurance companies must follow state laws, but within those laws they price coverage based on their own underwriting rules and guidelines. One insurance company may look at your driving record for five years, another only for three. The surcharge for a speeding ticket may raise your insurance by 10 percent with one carrier but only 5 percent with another.
You should shop around and get quotes from several carriers. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples — the same coverages with each insurer — and check the reliability and financial stability of the insurance carrier.
Finally, make an informed decision about who you want to be insured with for the best price and protection. Don’t let a small savings drive you away from an insurance company you know and trust.