New York Car Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 21, 2021

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New York City has one of the best public transportation systems in the country, a lot of tragic congestion and expensive parking. And New York car insurance tends to be expensive, so many people go without a car in the city -- but if you're a NYC driver, it's even more important do your research to find the best (read: provides sufficient coverage at an affordable rate) New York car insurance.

What is Car Insurance and What Does it Cover?

Auto insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company to protect you against financial loss if you have a car accident or have your car stolen. The insurance company agrees to pay for losses caused by reasons outlined in your car insurance policy.

Car Insurance Coverage Types

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Glass coverage
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Towing

Best New York Car Insurance

New York State Car Insurance

If you're looking for cheap car insurance in New York, there's a few numbers you should keep in mind. This will help better inform your search and lead you to the best possible option.

  • Numbers of vehicles - The per household average is less than 1.
  • Minimum New York state car insurance requirements - $50,000 per accident and $25,000 per person in personal injury protection (PIP). Property damage (PDl) minimum is $10,000. amounts to $50,000 minimum. In addition, uninsured motorist bodily injury is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, minimum.
  • The average cost of car insurance in New York - around $1,000 for minimum coverage and roughly $2,300 for full coverage per year.

New York State Car Insurance Laws

You must have automobile liability insurance coverage to register a vehicle in New York and drive on New York roadways. Without the minimum required coverage, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend both your vehicle registration and your driver’s license. 

New York state requires you to have at least the minimum liability insurance as a proof of financial responsibility for your vehicle.

These numbers are often exceeded in an actual accident, in which case the at-fault party has to cover the medical and property damage costs from their personal savings.

New York State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Every state has its own laws regarding minimum liability insurance requirements. For example, in New York, minimum liability car insurance requirements are as follows. 

  • $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident liability for multiple injuries.
  • Unlike many states, New York requires uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries. The minimums are also $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident (same as liability above).
  • $50,000 per deceased person or $100,000 per accident liability for multiple deaths.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident.

All vehicles must carry the NY state minimum liability requirements as long as the registration is valid, even if you are not using the car. Your liability coverage must be issued by a company licensed by the NY State Department of Financial Services and certified by the NY State DMV.

How to Compare Car Insurance Plans in NY

When comparing car insurance in New York, there are many factors to consider. It’s not all about the price. While finding affordable car insurance is essential, you also want to buy a policy that offers the most comprehensive coverage from a highly rated insurance company. 

When searching for the best value in car insurance, here are some factors to keep in mind.

  • Policy options: Choose a policy that offers options that provide you with the most protection.
  • Affordability: How does the price compare with other car insurance providers?
  • Discounts: What discounts do you qualify to receive? Car insurance discounts can help you save substantially on your auto insurance premium. Standard discounts include multipolicy, good driver, VIN etching, etc. 
  • Driving record: If you have multiple speeding or traffic accident violations, you may have to pay a higher price for auto insurance. However, certain carriers specialize in high-risk drivers and may be able to offer a lower rate.

Of course, your rates for auto insurance will vary depending on the type of coverage you choose, where you live, the model and age of your vehicle and several other factors.

NY Car Insurance Insurance Provider Reviews

There is an abundance of insurance companies in New York and it can be challenging to decide which one is the best. Just by the numbers, you can conclude the following insurance providers come out on top.

All of these companies have a stellar reputation and many satisfied customers behind them. However, there has to be one that’s the best of the best.

Best For
  • Discounts

1. Best for Vanishing Deductibles: Nationwide

Nationwide is a serious contender when it comes to offering the best options for auto insurance. The company has been in business since 1920 and has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best. In addition, it has an easy-to-use mobile app. Finally, it offers a vanishing deductible program that allows you to reduce your auto insurance deductible by $100 every year you are accident-free.

Nationwide offers auto insurance, home, commercial, farm, life and other types of insurance. By purchasing all your insurance through Nationwide, you can earn substantial savings with a multi-policy discount. In addition, according to a survey by U.S. News and Report, Nationwide Insurance is rated among the top choices for customer service and claims handling.


  • Excellent financial stability
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Vanishing deductible program
  • Top company for customer service and claims


  • Higher rates for young drivers

AM Best Rating: A+

2. Best for Infrequent Drivers: Allstate

Allstate is a well-known and established name in car insurance. It is one of the largest and best car insurance companies in the United States. You may recognize the famous company slogan, “You’re in good hands.” The company has more than 12,000 agents across the nation. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Allstate ranks 5th in all property and casualty insurers in the U.S.

Allstate offers 2 car insurance app programs designed to help you save money.

  • Drivewise analyzes your driving habits and creates discounts based on how safe you drive.
  • Milewise is a pay-per-mile auto insurance app that uses a device to capture the miles you drive. As a result, people who drive less than the average driver can pay a low daily rate and per-mile rate to save money on auto insurance.


  • Financially stable company
  • Driving apps help earn discounts
  • Extensive U.S. network of agents


  • Driving apps are not available in all states

AM Best Rating: A+ 

State Farm
Best For
  • Rideshare drivers

3. Best for Young Drivers

If you are an active student, you qualify for a student discount with State Farm, which offers a 25% discount to every good student. To qualify, you simply need to have an average grade of B or above. This discount continues past graduation until you are 25.

You can also see if you are eligible to add your car to your parent’s insurance and earn some savings on the multi-car insurance policy.


  • Relatively cheap rates for NYC
  • Student discounts
  • Great for rideshare drivers


  • No gap insurance

AM Best Rating: A++

Best For
  • Drivers with consistently good driving habits

4. Best for Coverage Options: Progressive

Progressive is not the cheapest insurance provider in the state of New York, but it is one of the most reliable. Besides the minimum insurance as required by law, they offer standard coverage and comprehensive coverage which account for other than the usual damage to your vehicle.

They offer many other options, such as lease payoff, rental car reimbursement, medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage, etc.


  • Pet injury protection included in collision coverage
  • Toggle between rideshare and personal coverage by turning on your rideshare app


  • Lower customer service ratings than other providers

AM Best Rating: A+

Read Benzinga's full Progressive auto insurance review

5.Best for Comparing Coverage: Gabi

Gabi is an online insurance company licensed in all 50 states. It is a broker that allows you to compare multiple insurance quotes side-by-side in only minutes. Its broker engine helps you compare different rates to find you the best coverage. You can also use the website to find other types of insurance, including homeowners, renters and landlord insurance. Gabi Insurance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. 

Gabi does not offer its own insurance companies but instead provides quotes from its insurance partners. Gabi’s insurance comparison service is available nationwide. It works by comparing your current insurance coverage to match your existing coverage to that of other companies so you can make an apples-to-apples insurance comparison.


  • Compares quotes quickly
  • No fee to use
  • Identifies opportunities for multi-policy discounts

Con: Automatically recommends the cheapest company, which is not always the best choice

AM Best Rating: N/A

New York Car Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score

Insurance providers in almost all US states use the insurance credit score as an important factor in determining individual insurance rates. The same applies to New York Insurance companies.  They do this in order to maintain their profit because those with poor credit scores usually file more claims and are less likely to pay their insurance premiums.

That is the reason why they have to pay the highest insurance rates, and the difference can be substantial. Those with good credit scores pay somewhere around 50% less annually than those with poor credit scores.

You can improve your credit score by lowering the total amount of debt you have. If you pay bills on time, your score gets better. Insurance providers have different rates for every credit score category, so it is best to compare them all before choosing the right one for you. This table shows the average rates for state-minimum liability insurance, but if you want to be more thorough, you can get a quote with your exact details.

Credit ScoreRate For State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300-579$2,411
Fair 580-669$1,983
Good 670-739$1,628
Excellent 740+$1,130

NYC Rates for Drivers with a Clean Record

Besides your credit score and vehicle model, insurance companies check your driving record to calculate the risk of you being in an accident or filing a claim. Those with a clean driving record can expect much lower insurance rates than those who have a history of driving infractions.

Your age also matters, and the driving experience that comes with it. Insurance rates for 40-year-olds are much lower than the rates for teen drivers because of how inexperienced they are on the road. Of course, if somebody got their driver’s license at the age of 50, they are also going to fall into the inexperienced category and may be required to pay more for insurance.

Drivers who have spotless records are often rewarded with various discounts on their annual insurance rate. Those discounts can come in very handy, especially if you want full coverage. The minimum coverage only covers your liability toward the other party.

Full coverage adds much more protection because it covers the comprehensive and collision parts as well. Comprehensive includes coverage for situations which are not a result of a collision, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

Collision is self-explanatory; it covers the damage caused by collision with a person or an object if you’re at fault. If not, you’ll have to claim from the other party’s liability insurance.

Insurance AgencyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage

Rates for Drivers with Driving Infractions

A history of driving infractions will not bode well for your insurance rates. First time offenders are usually spared, especially if it is a minor offense like a slight speeding violation. Some insurance providers will not add surcharges because of this but you can say goodbye to your good driver discount.

However, major offenses like a DUI can lead to the doubling of your insurance rates. Speeding violations usually have the lowest surcharges of about 30% over the regular rates.

If you have multiple violations, some insurance companies may not even accept you as a client. If it comes to this, you need to find an insurer specialized in insuring high-risk drivers, which is going to cost you a lot more. To return to regular insurance, one has to have a clean driving record for at least three years.

Insurance Agency At Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI

Getting Covered in NYC

Many New Yorkers decide not to drive and use public transportation instead. The long commute times are not inspiring either, but if you have to drive, you can do it. Just don't forget to get insurance.

Here’s the good news. You can learn more about insurance above and beyond what’s covered in this article with Benzinga's guides to the best home insurance in New York, the best affordable health insurance and the best boat insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is NYC car insurance expensive?


This is relative, but, yes — the average rate for car insurance in NYC is higher than the national average. This is because New York State is a no-fault state, many drivers drive uninsured, healthcare is becoming more expensive and more people are driving, among other facts. In fact, New York State is the 2nd-highest most expensive insurance rates.


Do insurance companies use my credit report to determine rates?


Some insurance companies use a credit-based insurance score to help determine insurance rates. The insurance companies consider past bankruptcies, your driving record, insurance history and your income to debt ratio. However, most states will not allow your insurance score to be the sole determining factor of your auto insurance rates.



Does my auto insurance cover me if I drive out of state?


Yes, your auto insurance will cover you when you drive to other states within the U.S. However, if you drive outside of the United States, you will need a temporary foreign auto insurance policy to cover you there. In addition, if you permanently move to another state, you will need to update your auto insurance company with your new address.