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Best Cheap Car Insurance In New York (With 2019 Rates)

A driver who resides in New York State and is in need of affordable car insurance can best start by comparing rates among different providers.

This article will explain why rates differ, how your own life situation affects prices, and how to find the lowest cost auto insurance companies in New York State.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New York State

In our rates analysis, New York State is the ninth most expensive state in which to insure a car, with an average yearly premium of $1,812.

Affecting your rates are your age, type of vehicle, place of residence, credit score, and your driving record. But you can shop around, and, indeed, it is a necessity to finding the lowest rates.

For the average 40-year-old male driver with a good driving record, the following New York State insurers provided the best rates:

  • Progressive: $2,398/ year ($200/month)
  • GEICO: $2,105/year ($175/month)
  • Travelers: $1,760/year ($147/month)

Other companies with good average rates include:

  • Allstate: $1,548/year ($129/month)
  • MetLife: $1,598/year ($133/month)
  • Amica: $1,608/year ($134/month)

Cheapest Car Insurance in NY State by Age

There are many factors which affect the price of auto insurance, but one of the most important is age. The youngest drivers, ages 16-20, cost the most to insure because they are the least experienced.

In New York State, a single 17-year-old male costs as much as $10,059 a year to insure at Allstate, and a 17-year-old female, at the same company, is slightly cheaper at $9,411.

But there are less expensive alternatives in New York State for insuring a 17-year-old female driver, among them: Progressive ($7,736), Nationwide ($5,431) and GEICO ($3,737).

GEICO with its cheaper rates, consistently rates well with various ages as the following table shows:

INSURER25-year old single male35-year-old married male60-year-old married male
GEICO$1,664$1,438$1,224
Nationwide$3,917$3,030$2,853
Progressive$2,858$2,153$1,847
Travelers$3,647$3,328$3,046

Those vehicle owners with safe driving records will obtain better rates as they get older.

For senior drivers (55+) GEICO offered the cheapest yearly average rates. In our analysis, 55-year-old male with good driving record who drives a 2015 Toyota Camry 12,000 miles a year from his home in St. Albans, NY would pay $1,276 at Progressive, $1,002 at Allstate, and $843 a year at GEICO.

For families who own a home, bundling home and auto insurance from one provider can provide a discount on both policies.

Families with teenage drivers can put their teens in a certified safe driving course to lower rates. They should also look for the best car insurance for their teenage drivers. And insuring multiple vehicles through one insurer will also help dampen costs.

Apps such as Allstate’s Drivewise and Progressive’s Snapshot use digital devices to record a driver’s habits on the road and send these to the insurer. Safe driving is rewarded with lower premiums based on data. But these electronic records also transmit bad driving, such as speeding and sudden braking, to insurers and can raise premiums too.

Safe driving is the best way to keep rates down, which goes into our next section, finding affordable insurance when your driving record is poor.

Cheapest DUI Car Insurance in NY State

DUI or Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, dangerous and carries huge financial and legal penalties.

For drivers convicted of DUI, finding a lower cost auto insurance policy is challenging.

In New York State, your policy will jump by an average of $1,207 a year after a DUI, some 16% more than the national average increase for DUI.

But here are some auto insurers whose DUI rates are considered more affordable in New York State:

  • Progressive: $1,578/year ($132/month)
  • Allstate: $2,342/year ($195/month)
  • GEICO: $2,372/year ($198/month)
  • New York Central Mutual: $3,886/year ($324/month)
  • Liberty Mutual: $4,812/year ($401/month)

Progressive is the winner in the category of best post-DUI rates in New York State.

A blood alcohol level above .08% or higher is evidence of intoxication.  A driver who is 21 or younger and drives with a BAC of .02-.07% violates the Zero Tolerance Law.  Penalties include loss of driving privileges, fines and possible jail time.

With DUI, you might also be required to have car insurance policy with SR-22 filing in New York State and deemed as a high-risk driver.

DUI is a crime and there is no excuse for driving when drunk. Why risk it?

Cheapest Car Insurance for Poor Credit Drivers in NY State

Credit card debt problems have a huge impact on the cost of auto insurance because insurers use credit ratings to price premiums. A low credit rating (below 400) means you are a high-risk driver.

In our rates analysis, a bad credit rating actually raises your rates more than a DUI or a recent accident!

For a 40-year-old man with bad credit, the following insurers were less pricey than average:

  • GEICO: $3,425/ $285 a month
  • Travelers: $3,627/ $302 a month
  • NY Central Mutual: $4,523/ $376 a month

Again, GEICO was the best option for bad credit auto insurance.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Low Mileage Drivers in NY State

Driving fewer miles per year lowers your risk of auto accident, so your premiums should drop too. For drivers who are lower mileage (say 5,000 miles a year), the following insurers in New York State have better rates:

  • Liberty Mutual: $2,226/year ($186/month)
  • GEICO: $1,795/year ($150/month)
  • Travelers: $1,784/year ($149/month)

>>MORE: Best Car Insurance for Low Mileage Drivers in 2019

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers with One Accident in NY State

New York State is one of twelve “no fault” auto insurance states, a trend that peaked in the 1970s when legislators believed it would reduce lawsuits. In many cases, however, litigation, costs and insurance have skyrocketed, precisely because wealthy insurers make tempting targets.

For those who have one accident in NY State, the following insurers offer cheaper than average “Full Coverage” rates:

  • Travelers: $1,772/year ($148/month)
  • Liberty Mutual: $3,254/year ($271/month)
  • NY Central Mutual: $3,274/year ($273/month)

Cheaper Car Insurance by City

The most expensive places to insure a vehicle are in the boroughs of NYC, with Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island averaging $2,973 a year versus the New York State average of $1,450 a year. Long Island, to the east, is also very expensive and just behind NYC in auto insurance costs.

The cheapest cities in New York State are the small towns, frequently those near the Pennsylvania border in the SW corner of the state. Those areas are some 29-31% cheaper than average and include Corning, Bath, Elmira, Olean and Wellsville. In Corning, for example, a 30-year-old might pay only $994 a year for auto insurance.

Here is a sampling of various cities in NY State:

Brooklyn, NY

The average driver pays $3,501 a year for auto insurance, the highest in the state, 18% higher than the city average, and 141% higher than the state.

Using five zip codes in Brooklyn to combine averages, the best yearly rates for auto insurance are: State Farm $2,472; Allstate $1,504; Liberty Mutual or Progressive   $1,174; and GEICO $682. GEICO was some $1,000 cheaper than the city average.

Manhattan, NY

The only time Manhattan has been cheaper than Brooklyn is when it comes to car insurance. Only 12% of people in Manhattan commute by car. The average auto insurance policy cost is $2,754, some $747 cheaper than Brooklyn.

Mercury $4,508, Allstate $4,062, Nationwide $2,239, State Farm $1,904 and GEICO $1,059 are the “cheapest car insurance companies” in Manhattan.

Hempstead, NY

Hempstead in Long Island’s Nassau County, NY is a suburb that was developed in the 1950s. It has since seen a decline in prosperity and an increase in both violent and property crime.

Auto insurance is some 49% more expensive, on average, $2,860 a year, compared to the rest of New York State. But Nationwide ($2,678), Erie ($1,986) and GEICO ($1,950) are all considered value priced.

Buffalo, NY

New York’s second largest city, Buffalo, is located on the eastern shore of Lake Erie at the confluence of the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers.

The average driver here spends $1,645 a year on car insurance, but Nationwide ($1,293), Erie ($1,257) and Geico ($892) all beat the going rate.

Rochester, NY

On the southern shore of Lake Ontario, with 208,046 residents, Rochester has been the home of Eastman Kodak, once the mightiest film company in the world, for over 100 years. A low cost, livable city, Rochester has been restoring its historic buildings and reinvesting in its urban amenities.

The average policy is $1,310 a month, but Western National ($828), Farm Bureau Mutual ($828) and West Bend Mutual ($816) all beat the median.

Car Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements in NY State

New York State DMV requires the following minimum insurance coverage for all drivers operating vehicles within New York State:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $10,000 per accident
  • Basic Personal Injury Protection: $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident.

Minimum coverage car insurance in New York State seems to be more expensive than other states, so shopping around to find the cheapest car insurance for minimum coverage is important.

New York is one of thirteen “no fault” states for car insurance, meaning that if you did cause or did not cause an accident, you will still be reimbursed for injuries, but not necessarily vehicle damage claims. Your PIP or Personal Injury Protection protects you in the event of injury from a car crash.

Insurers advise against only having minimum insurance as you may incur costs that are much greater than those covered by the minimum. If you have only $25,000 of bodily injury coverage but you need $50,000 worth of medical treatment, you will owe $25,000.

Stats That Might Affect Car Insurance Rates in NY State

After California and Texas, New York is the third largest state in population at 19 million people, 8.3 million of whom live in NYC.  

Densely populated New York City, in the SE corner, is the most urbanized region in North America, but much of upstate New York is rural, with beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, farms, small towns and medium sized cities.

As of 2017, there were over 11 million registered vehicles in the state.

Drivers in New York State, however, saw their car insurance rates increase by 9% from 2017-19.

New York has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers in the US, only 6.15%. Florida has the highest at 26.7%.

Summary

  • Brooklyn has the highest rates in the five boroughs of NYC; and other boroughs are almost as pricey. High priced insurance prevails in some towns in nearby Long Island. The lowest rates are found in small towns near PA.
  • You can save money, but you carry the greatest risk, by only having minimum coverage auto insurance.
  • GEICO is cheapest in many categories, but Erie, Progressive, Nationwide and State Farm are also competitive.
  • The most expensive age to insure a driver is 17. Rates drop as one ages.
  • Low mileage drivers (<5,000) should ask their insurer for discounts.
  • Consider bundling home and auto to save money from one sole insurer.
  • The biggest reasons car insurance goes up sky high are: DUIs, accidents and bad credit. Steer clear of all three!
  • If you live in NYC ask yourself if you absolutely need a vehicle. Brooklyn is the most expensive area to insure a car in the city of NY. Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights, East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant are the priciest within that borough.
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