Best Car Insurance in Long Island

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 21, 2021

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If you’re a driver on Long Island, you’re likely no stranger to muscling through the hassles that come with owning a car. A report by the National Transportation Research Nonprofit, or TRIP, released a 2020 report revealing that the infamous Long Island traffic congestion costs Long Island drivers more $1.9 billion in wasted costs annually. 

Individually, that number breaks down to $1,684 in additional expenses in both fuel and wasted work hours. And if you’re a Long Island driver, the last thing you need is a high insurance bill ticking up your monthly vehicle expenses. Use Benzinga’s guide to the best car insurance in Long Island to find the best policy for you and start putting some money back into your wallet.

Long Island Car Insurance Overview

If you’re looking to lower your car insurance rates, it’s important to first understand the type of insurance landscape you’re dealing with. With half of Long Island squarely residing within the boroughs of New York City, it’s a popular home base for commuters who drive into the city for work, meaning a high percentage of Long Island residents count themselves as regular drivers. 

At a minimum, New York drivers must have auto liability insurance coverage in order to register a vehicle. A brief glance at Long Island insurance statistics reveals the following:

  • Nassau County, where Long Island is located, counts an average of 2 cars per household, which is close to the national average and higher than the average for New York overall
  • Minimum New York state auto liability insurance coverage
    • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
    • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for a death of a person involved in an accident
    • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
  • The average rate for drivers with a clean driving record is $1,759

Long Island Car Insurance Law Explained

Long Island insurance law is subject to both local and state insurance requirements. Because New York is a no-fault insurance state, all car insurance providers must offer personal protection injury coverage. This means that any driver who is injured during the course of an accident receives insurance benefits, even if they are at fault. 

Long Island Car Insurance Rates Per Vehicle

While New York doesn’t release data on car ownership rates, a 2017 study by a Long Island newspaper found that the Honda Accord was the most owned car by registration. After that, the Honda Civic and Jeep Grand Cherokee were the second and third most owned vehicles. 

Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

In the United States, most insurance companies assess your insurance rates on a number of factors, including your credit score. Your credit score is used to calculate your credit-based insurance score, which, along with your driving history, insurance claims history, age, location and other factors, determines your monthly premium.

Essentially, these factors help an insurance provider assess how much of a risk you are likely to pose as an insured party. Your premium acts as the leverage between you and your provider to make insuring you and millions of other drivers profitable for the provider on the other end.

Factors influencing your credit-based insurance score include:

  • Credit history age
  • Payment history
  • Status of open accounts
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Number of credit inquiries
  • Credit utilization
Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate For State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300-579Nationwide$2,411
Fair 580-669Nationwide$1,983
Good 670-739Nationwide$1628
Excellent 740+Nationwide$1,130

Insurance for Drivers With a Clean Record

Keeping your driving record pristine is the surest way to cheaper auto insurance. Just one infraction can drive your premium up, so it’s important to adopt and maintain good driving habits. This will help you protect yourself, others, your vehicle -- and your budget. 

The following are great habits to cultivate while driving:

  • Heed all posted traffic signs
  • Drive the speed limit -- these are set on specific roads for a reason
  • Keep a reasonable distance between your car and in one in front of you
  • Drive defensively -- just because you’re driving cautiously doesn’t mean everyone else is
  • Don’t eat, text or otherwise engage in any activities that require you to take your attention off the road or hands off the wheel
  • Keep your documents in a safe, easily accessible place in the event of being pulled over or an accident -- being caught without them can add an extra layer of stress to incidents like this
  • Keep up on your vehicle maintenance to avoid vehicle failures while driving
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car, including a jack and a spare tire if possible
  • Stay calm -- sitting in traffic after a long day at work can already be super frustrating, so do what you can to keep your emotions in check and not let negative emotions lead to driving aggressively or recklessly
Insurance CompanyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage

Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions

While it’s important to avoid earning poor marks on your driving record, most of us will get some kind of driving infraction at some point in our life (kudos to those who don’t!). Common driving infractions can be as simple as failing to signal or speeding, while more serious but equally common infractions are at-fault car accidents and driving under the influence, or DUIs.

Driving infractions often have a negative impact on your driving record, which may lead to higher insurance rates. 

Insurance CompanyAt Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI

Best Car Insurance Providers in Long Island

Which car insurance provider offers you the best policy depends on your unique driver profile, so be sure to compare quotes from several providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. But overall, we found that the following providers all had great reputations and positive customer reviewers.

Best For
  • Discounts

Best Overall: Nationwide

Nationwide is a great insurance provider if you live in Long Island for a few reasons, but the primary one? They consistently offer the cheapest insurance rates across several driver profiles. Even drivers with less-than-stellar credit or poor driving records will find that Nationwide offers less expensive premiums than other carriers.

That being said, be sure to compare policies from other providers, especially if you have excellent credit or a pristine driving record. You may find discounts you weren’t expecting.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Long Island: Nationwide

Nationwide takes the cake here, too. If you’re after the cheapest coverage, point blank, Nationwide is worth adding to your shortlist of insurance providers. As far as quotes go, Nationwide returns the overall cheapest rate for a standard driver profile, as well as cheaper plans for other scenarios, like different credit ratings and not-so-squeaky clean driving histories.

Best For
  • Drivers with consistently good driving habits

Best Coverage for DUIs: Progressive

First things first -- not driving under the influence is the best way to avoid seeing the potentially massive increase in your insurance expenses that come with getting convicted of a DUI. But, if you do find yourself in this position, Progressive is worth a solid look if you’re shopping for insurance. 

While you’ll still find yourself paying more than double you would without this type of infraction on your driving record, Progressive routinely provides the cheapest quote for drivers with this type of high-risk profile.

State Farm
Best For
  • Rideshare drivers

Best for Young Drivers: StateFarm

Having a young driver on your policy can be scary. Not only do you have to worry about the safety of the inexperienced drivers in your life, insuring a young driver is often an expensive addition to your monthly car insurance payment.

That’s why State Farm is a great choice for younger drivers. They offer discounts to drivers under 25 with good driving records. Also, students who keep their grades up can see their insurance rates reduced by up to 25%.

Save Money on Your Long Island Car Insurance Premium

When a long commute and high levels of traffic congestion are already draining your monthly driving budget, it’s important to pinch pennies wherever you can. That’s why finding the best insurance policy for your unique driver profile is so important.

Use Benzinga’s roster of the best Long Island car insurance policies to ensure you’re saving as much money on your car insurance as possible.