Looking for the best car insurance for New York drivers? We've got you covered.
From the Brooklyn Bridge to the scenic Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks, there’s nowhere quite like the Empire State. New York residents can easily drive to some of the most iconic landmarks in the country without leaving their home state — but they also pay some of the nation’s highest car insurance rates.
According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, New York is the fourth most expensive state in the country when it comes to car insurance, beat out only by Michigan, New Jersey and Louisiana, which took the top spot. In 2015, the average annual cost of car insurance in New York was $1,360.66, several hundred dollars over the national average that year, which was $1,009.38. Those high prices mean choosing the right car insurance company is all the more important for New York drivers.
But deciding on a car insurance company is just one part of the car insurance process for New York drivers — it’s also important to know how much auto insurance is legally required in the state of New York, and what other types of coverage New Yorkers should consider adding to their policies.
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At least some amount of car insurance is legally required in almost every state in the U.S. Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which protects you from financial liability if you cause an accident that injures someone else or damages someone else’s property.
Some states require more than just liability insurance — including New York, where drivers are required to have personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In New York, drivers are required to have at least the following amounts of coverage:
Bodily injury liability coverage per person: $25,000
Bodily injury liability coverage per accident: $50,000
Property damage liability coverage: $10,000
Personal injury protection: $50,000 per person
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident
New York also requires motorists to carry wrongful death coverage, with minimum limits of $50,000 for one death per accident and $100,000 for multiple deaths per accident.
Remember, even though New York’s coverage requirements are relatively high, they’re still just a starting place when it comes to your auto insurance. You should consider higher coverage limits than the state suggests, and adding other coverages to protect your own vehicle, like comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. If you lease or finance a car, your lessor or lienholder will likely require you to add comp and collision to your car insurance policy.
|Insurance Company||J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Rating||Market Share||A.M. Best Rating|
|Berkshire Hathaway (GEICO)||857||31.93%||A++|
Methodology: These five insurers represent the largest auto insurers operating in the state of New York, according to the NAIC. The claims satisfaction ratings are according to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Coverage and claims: State Farm - One of the most popular car insurance providers in New York also boasts above-average claims satisfaction ratings — State Farm scored 864 on the J.D. 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, above the industry average of 861. State Farm also offers a wide range of coverage options, including coverage for rideshare drivers and emergency road service coverage.
Low rates and discounts: Progressive - With an easy to use website and a “name your price” function on its quote generator, Progressive is a good option for New York drivers looking to save on car insurance. Progressive also gives drivers plenty of ways to save on their car insurance payments, including discounts for having been continuously insured, for owning a home, getting a quote online, signing your documents online and paying your policy in full.
Digital tools: Allstate - Allstate’s website is remarkably easy to navigate, even if you’re not tech-savvy, and it includes learning resources and quizzes in addition to the online quote tool. The Allstate app for your smartphone is free to download and allows you to conveniently start and track a claim, take photos of damage, reach a representative and carry digital proof of insurance with you at all times. The Allstate app also includes a cheap gas locator and a parking reminder for drivers who have a hard time remembering where they parked their car.
Teen drivers: GEICO - Insuring a teen driver is always pricey — insurance companies adjust the rates based on the age and relative inexperience of young drivers — but GEICO, often an affordable carrier to begin with, offers plenty of ways to cut down on costs if you have a young driver in your home. GEICO’s discounts for teens include a good student discount for students who keep their GPA at a “B” or better, discounts for teens who complete driver’s education classes and downloadable parent-teen driving contract for families to complete together.
According to a 2017 report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in 2015, the average annual cost of car insurance in New York was $1,360.66, significantly higher than the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. that year which was $1,009.38. Here’s that information broken down by the average cost of different types of coverage.
As we mentioned above, the state of New York requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance, which protects you from the financial liability if you injure someone or damage their property with your car. New York also requires drivers to carry personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
But New York drivers should consider getting more car insurance coverage than the required minimum. For starters, if you lease or finance a car you’ll likely be required to add comprehensive and collision coverage, and most major insurers offer other add-ons you should consider for your policy.
Liability coverage - Covers you if you damage someone’s property or injure someone in a car accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage - Covers you if you’re in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance, or whose insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the damage they caused.
Personal injury protection - Often shortened to PIP, this covers medical expenses and lost wages if you or your passengers are injured in a car accident.
Collision coverage - Covers damage to your vehicle from an accident, regardless of which driver was at fault.
Comprehensive coverage - Covers damage to your vehicle that can happen when it’s not being driven, like damage from extreme weather, falling objects, fire, flood, vandalism and theft.
New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, meaning all drivers are required to have PIP as part of their policies and drivers must seek compensation for any injuries through their own car insurance company, regardless of who was at fault.
Flooding and hurricanes are extreme weather events that some coastal New Yorkers may have to deal with — so those drivers should know that damage from flooding or hail is covered by comprehensive insurance. Comp coverage also covers damage to your car from falling icicles or falling branches weighed down by snow, which may be a concern for New Yorkers accustomed to cold Upstate winters.
Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, where she has been since 2018. An expert in home, auto and renters insurance, she loves making tough concepts easy to understand and helping readers feel confident about their insurance options. Before joining Policygenius, she was a senior staff writer at Mic. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.
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