Get the best NY auto insurance rates for for full coverage or basic liability. By shopping multiple companies online, you save money! We specialize in reviewing, comparing and finding the most competitive car insurance prices in the Empire State. We make it possible to reduce your premium by instantly showing you the property and casualty carriers that have the best offers in your area. Both high-risk and preferred policies are compared. If you are without coverage, you can obtain a policy today and get legal, and back on the road. If your policy recently lapsed, it's important to reinstate that policy or quickly secure new coverage.
Once your zip code is provided, we can quickly determine (usually within 10 seconds) the companies that offer the most affordable options, so you can pay up to 50% less than many other New Yorkers. We also understand that not every person has a perfect driving record or excellent credit. Affordable options are available in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Rochester, Hepstead, Buffalo, Syracuse, and most other areas if you have a few tickets or accidents on your record. Although good credit helps, you can still obtain a low-cost policy with a poor credit score and/or no prior liability coverage. Cost-saving deductibles are reviewed for most vehicles, and premiums typically reduce if you can maintain a clean driving record.
Minimum Vehicle Liability Requirements
Car insurance in New York is mandatory. Quite simply, if you drive without it, you are breaking the law. Regardless of which company offers a policy, the liability limits must be at least $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury (death of one person), or $50,000/ $100,000 (death of two persons), and $10,000 for property damage (which is quite low). If you don't drive your vehicle, you should cancel the registration so you're not required to carry coverage. However, if it is legally registered, keep coverage in-force. Higher PD limits of $25,000 or $50,000, and higher BI limits of $100,000/$300,000 should be considered. $1 million umbrella contracts are also offered by many carriers.
If your registration is valid, coverage must remain active by a carrier certified by the Department of Financial Services. The registration must contain only one or two names. The Department Of Insurance can provide additional assistance verifying that your policy coverage is compliant (see below for minimum limits), and is active for the current policy period.
No-Fault or PIP (Personal Injury Protection) of $50,000 is also required on all policies. The claim must be quickly paid, regardless who was at fault. Occupants in the vehicle along with any injured pedestrians are also covered. $2,000 of life insurance is also paid for any deaths. PIP supersedes any individual or group healthcare benefits that may be in effect at the time of the claim. PIP also does not pay physical damage to vehicles or property.
Pedestrians are eligible for coverage if they are injured as a direct result of the accident. Typically, "reasonable and necessary medical bills (including rehabilitation) are covered. Lost earnings from an employer can be claimed although the amount awarded is capped at $24,000 per year for a maximum of three years. An additional $25 per day is available for miscellaneous expenses. These amounts apply to pedestrians, the driver, and passengers. Uncovered medical expenses may be covered by your private or employer-provided healthcare coverage.
You Can Sue Other Drivers
The Department of Financial Services (ask us for contact information) provides additional information regarding compliance and penalties. Your proof of coverage is identified by your NYS Identification card and electronic notification. When required to verify that you are in compliance, you may be asked to show both hard copy and the electronic copy. When you are driving, an original or copy should be with you at all times. A faxed copy of your ID card is acceptable, only if the bar code can be successfully scanned. Out-of-state coverage is not acceptable if the vehicle is registered in-state.
NOTE: You can sue another driver for "pain and suffering" if you were seriously injured (as defined under the law). If there was additional property damage not covered by your no-fault benefits, you can also seek to recover damages. However, your own insurer is not required to furnish legal representation or offer any financial assistance. You also must prove that the driver of the other vehicle was considered either totally or partially responsible for the accident. Medical expenses and lost wages can be recovered, regardless who caused the accident.
If a "serious injury" occurs, additional compensation may be awarded. Generally, if the injured person is not able to accomplish typical daily tasks up to six months after the accident, the injuries are determined to be "serious." Compensation for "pain and suffering" may be possible when these circumstances occur.
What If Your Insurance Lapses?
A suspension of your license and registration can result if your coverage lapses. A lapse can occur in many situations, including before you new coverage begins, after your registration expires, before recent coverage is reinstated, and before you surrender your vehicle license plates. After the vehicle is officially registered, a lapse occurs if coverage is not immediately in effect. If your registration is suspended in excess of 90 days, you are required to voluntarily give up the plates and registration. Also, your license will be suspended, with a cost of $50 for reinstatement.
Carriers are required to cover a vehicle for a period of one year. After 12 months, the insurer can "non-renew" the policy. Under certain conditions, a policy can be cancelled if underwriting guidelines are not met. After 60 days, prior to the renewal, the policy can only be canceled if misrepresentation or fraud is proven while making a claim, premiums not paid, or if one of the named drivers listed on the policy has their license suspended or revoked. If a policy is non-renewed, up to 60 days of advanced written notice may be required.
If you operate a vehicle without the minimum required liability coverage, it's likely you will receive a citation, and you also may be arrested. Impounding of the vehicle is also likely. Attempting to drive during this period of time can result in additional penalties and fines. If the vehicle is involved in an accident (regardless of fault), a license suspension of 12 months will result. Court costs and fines could exceed $1,000 and an additional civil penalty may be imposed. The DMV is notified by the carrier if your coverage has been canceled, lapsed, or reinstated.
If your registration has been suspended as a result of an insurance lapse, a different person is not able to register the same vehicle. Any person that has the same last name as the registrant, or is living at the same address also can not apply. Form FS-2 is used in the process.
NY Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist protection provides benefits for yourself and passengers of your vehicle if you are hit by someone without insurance or it is a "hit and run" situation. An extra fee will cover you if the negligent party resides out-of-state. It's also possible that if you are a pedestrian and don't own a car, you still may be able to recover compensation for damages.
The level of uninsured motorist coverage you select, must equal the bodily injury limit on your policy. Thus, you can not have a bodily injury level of $25,000/$50,000 and separate UM limits of $100,000/$300,000. However, if you move to another state, it may be possible to split your limits so that they are different from each other.
It's important that the carrier is licensed to do business in the state (we can verify that for you) and that they provide two ID cards with the required information. You always need specific ID to register and/or renew your vehicles. It's always advisable to keep one card in the glove compartment box, even when it is in storage. An exception would be a motorcycle, if you choose to delete coverage. Electronic ID cards are acceptable, except for self-insured vehicles, dealer-garage policies, all-owned or auto-liability policies.
Registration of the vehicle within 45 days of the effective date is mandatory. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles keeps one copy and you retain the other. But the copy you provide must be readable and legible. If it is registered in a nearby state such as Pennsylvania or New Jersey (or any other state), it will not be considered valid. Note: An endorsement for out-of-state accident coverage is available from brokers.
Your current company (regardless whether it is Progressive, Esurance, Nationwide, Geico, State Farm or any other carrier) is required by law to notify the Division Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) whenever you purchase or terminate a policy. You risk a suspension of your driver's license if they are not electronically notified. It's also important to understand that if your vehicle is registered in NY and you live in another state, you still must carry New York coverage. Changing the registration will remove the need to carry a NY policy.
Who Has The Best NY Auto Insurance Prices?
Typically, the following companies offer some of the most competitive rates in the state: Amica, Erie, Esurance, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Allstate, Mercury, Progressive, State Farm, The General and USAA. Naturally, we are leaving out some heavyweights, such as Allstate, Hartford and several other reputable companies that offer affordable policies in selected areas of the state. As prices change, we keep you updated on any rapid movements (up or down). Also, any carrier that requests a large price increase will be mentioned.
Although several companies always seem to always offer the most competitive rates, there are many factors that ultimately determine your best choice. For example, several insurers have very liberal underwriting guidelines regarding multiple tickets and/or at-fault accidents. The increase in premium may be as little as 10% for one carrier, and 40% for another. The "forgiving" of the first violation is not practiced by all companies, and surcharge levels can wildly differ. Unreported accidents with no damage, or accidents with damages paid directly by yourself, may not impact your premium.
Part of our work is to match your underwriting profile with the lowest offers. Of course, prices will differ from one county to another. For example, Albany and Nassau County pricing will be different than Schenectady or Queens County. Sometimes, different zip codes within the same county will not cost the same. And of course, a "high-risk" classification will always inflate the rate, while a preferred driving and credit risk will pay the least. Occasionally, Fortune 500 companies offer payroll-deducted coverage. Long-term employees may be eligible for special discounts that could also apply to a other property and casualty products. Additional investment and ancillary products are occasionally offered, such as dental, vision, life, disability, and long-term care.
Also, differences in ages and the vehicles you own, will result in substantially different rates, depending on the carrier. Progressive may have the lowest offers for households with teen drivers (this is a hypothetical example). But Esurance might be a better fit if each of the parents is over age 55. Since there are so many possible scenarios, by letting us do the research and shopping, you will definitely save. If you are planning a move, we can show you what impact it will have on your policy costs and coverage. If you are preparing to retire, reach age 55 or 65, get married, or purchase a home, all of these factors could potentially lower your premium.
Listed below are several of the cities (in alphabetical order) with the least expensive car insurance rates in NY:
Which Companies Have The Fewest Complaints?
The NY Department of Financial Services researches and investigates about 5,000 complaints against car insurance companies each year. Allegations must be reviewed, and of course determined if the customer or carrier was at fault. The results are categorized and annually published. Excessive consumer complaints and claims can lead to an insurer becoming insolvent. If the carrier eventually is in receivership, the New York Liquidation Bureau assumes the responsibility of the Superintendent of Financial Services, and protects creditors and consumers.
Since only the percentage of at-fault instances vs. the total number of premiums received are counted, it's much easier and more accurate when determining the carriers with the best record. Listed below are the major insurers (minimum of $50 million of annual premium) with the lowest (best) complaint ratios.
.006 -- Geico
.009 -- Central Mutual
.011 -- Progressive Specialty
.011 -- Geico General
.011 -- Amica Mutual
.013 -- Geico Indemnity
.016 -- Progressive Northern
.021 -- National Liability And Fire
.023 -- State Farm Fire And Casualty
.025 -- State Farm Mutual
.025 -- Metropolitan Property And Casualty
.033 -- Liberty Mutual Fire
.033 -- Travelers
.033 -- Nationwide General
.034 -- American States
.034 -- Hartford
.036 -- Nationwide Mutual
.038 -- Allstate Property And Casualty
.087 -- Allstate Insurance
You can earn the same discounts as most other states by insuring more than one vehicle with the same company, carrying homeowner's coverage (again, with the same carrier), making sure your children get good grades, parking your vehicle off the street, retiring, utilizing a car alarm system...and many others as well. Some of the most common discounts for your auto insurance are found in the article linked in this sentence. But there are also some regional state-specific reductions that are offered.
Take A Defensive Driving Course
The Department of Motor Vehicles has approved many courses that will remove points from your MVR report, and also reduce your NY auto insurance rates by 10%. The number of points that comes off your record is capped at four. The reduction lasts for three years after you complete the designated course, and provide written notification to your existing carrier.
The ASC (American Safety Council) offers a "Point And Insurance Reduction" course that can be conveniently taken online. The same material is also offered in a live classroom setting. It does not need to be completed in one session, and can be used on most home and work computers.
Although not a discount, utilizing "car sharing" can actually help you make money while the vehicle is not being used. These types of programs are becoming more popular in many other states. It allows the owner to charge a fee during periods of time when the car is typically parked or not in use. There are limitations regarding travel distance and experience of the driver. Special liability coverage is typically required.
The problem for insurers is that the extra risk drivers not in the household present, is difficult to predict. Therefore, they feel the liability should perhaps be covered by the "renters." For that reason, New York bill A8007B (which has not been voted into law yet) which would regulate these "sharing" programs, is strongly opposed by many companies. The last action taken on this bill was four years ago, and there has been no movement since that time.
Point And Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP)
One of the easiest methods to substantially lower your premiums is to participate in PIRP (Point And Insurance Reduction Program). Many "Course Sponsors" offer the program (with the approval of the DMV-NY) and if you have any violations or accidents on your driving record, it's a great way to remove up to four points and get a 10% decrease in rates (for primary driver only).
You can take the course online or attend classes at a designated facility. It takes approximately 5-7 hours to complete the training. After you register, you must finish the sessions within one month. Although violations will still appear on your BMV record, four points will not be counted towards a possible suspension. A certificate of completion will be mailed within 45 days.
Among the topics discussed include attitude and behavior of drivers, how to act more defensively, and understanding laws and regulations. There is no exam following completion of the course and the cost will vary depending on the vendor you use. A list of different vendors can be provided upon request.
A telematics device is provided by the insurer, and is electronic, and provides information about the way you operate your vehicle at all times (See "Update" at bottom of page). If you rarely use your car, or use it for short distances, you may benefit by this innovative technology. Lives are saved since roads are safer so all parties stand to benefit. Of course, speeding and rolling through stop signs must cease, or you may actually pay more for your coverage!
Preventing teenagers from texting while driving is popular among parents. Phone calls and emails can also be blocked while young persons are still on the road. Some of the carriers that either offer this option or are planning to offer it include Esurance, Progressive, State Farm, Utica, and Allstate.
How Do NY Prices Compare With Other States?
Are you a glutton for punishment? Do you really want to know? All kidding aside, New York car insurance rates (average throughout the state) tend to be about average compared to other states. In several recent national comparisons, NY prices were typically ranked (highest to lowest) in the 25-40 range in 50-state comparisons. This is quite an improvement from five years ago when rates in most areas of the state were among the 15 highest in the US. So what happened?
While states like Michigan, Georgia, Louisiana and California kept getting more expensive, NY drivers seemed to slow down a bit. The number of thefts has slowly reduced in most areas, and the cost to fix and repair vehicles has also remained fairly level. Also, since good credit can have a positive influence, as consumer credit scores increase, and personal debt declines, it's good news for auto insurance prices. Minor "fender-benders" are also not reported as often, and teen drivers are involved in fewer accidents. Also, mass transportation resources are better-utilized compared to 5-10 years ago.
Not every person pays exorbitant rates. If eight out of ten companies are not competitive in your area, we'll find the two companies that can save you money. Cheap car insurance rates in New York can be found, and we'll show you where. If you are, or have the potential to be safe at the wheel, you can get better prices. The longer you drive without tickets and accidents, the greater the savings will become. Loyalty and Senior discounts help older drivers obtain affordable prices.
The concept of "car sharing" has become popular in many western states. "LYFT," a California start-up company, had begun operating in several cities, including Buffalo and Rochester. But their operations in the state were short-lived when the NY State Department of Financial Services asked the company to immediately cease operations.
LYFT has not met all safety laws and requirements and also does not have the appropriate licenses to conduct business. However, they are seeking to work with various city and state departments to meet their legal requirements. They feel their service will benefit communities that badly need car-sharing opportunities. In the future, LYFT could be allowed to operate in the state if all obligations are met.
No-fault auto insurance scams in New York have cost consumers millions of dollars in excess premiums. Defrauding the no-fault system will now be a little more difficult as the state has barred 18 physicians and providers from submitting any more claims. Many of the persons targeted have suspended licenses and have recently been convicted of insurance fraud. The successful prosecution and conviction of these persons could lower your rates.
Usage-based-insurance (UBI) is the latest innovation that is impacting many states including NY. An electronic device is installed in your vehicle that monitors your driving habits, patterns and general behavior while you're on the road. How fast you drive and how quickly you stop are just a few of the bits of data information that are recorded and interpreted.
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has recently announced that they support and recommend usage of this program. Esurance is one of the major carriers that utilizes this technology and it is available to some policyholders.
Vehicle theft in New York is reducing fast. The trend began in 1994 and has continued for 20 years. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released some very interesting and telling data that highlights the downward trend. In 1990, more than 180,000 vehicles were reported stolen. Last year, the figure dropped to less than 16,000, a remarkable turnaround.
In the 1990s, NY had more car thefts than any other state except California. But now, thanks to updated and improved enforcement programs, stiffer penalties, and license plate-reading technology, insurers can charge lower fees for the comprehensive portion of the policy.
It's expected that the encouraging numbers will continue, as vehicle manufacturers enhance their theft-prevention standard features, including sophisticated tracking software and smart keys. And of course, any theft or fraud can be reported (even anonymously) by calling (800) 835-6422.
Ride-sharing company Lfyt has been fined $300,000 by the NY Attorney General for not requiring its drivers to be commercially-licensed. Licensing regulations were also broken and drivers often had insufficient liability insurance. They began operations in the state in 2014 without required prior approval.
Starting this month, Lyft drivers will have to use New-York licensed carriers that cover all parts of the ride, including the pick-up and drop-off. Also, if Lyft offers policies to its fleet of customers, the company must meet NY licensing requirements. City taxi-drivers should get a minor boost in business because of the fine and much closer supervision.
Consumers that receive a DMV order, or suspect their liability insurance has lapsed, can check the status of their registration, license or auto insurance online. The DMV order provides an ID number and vehicle plate number. The status can only be checked online, and not by mail, fax, or phone.
New legislation (The Driver And Family Protection Act) is pending approval by Governor Cuomo. The new legislation would force insurers to offer SUM (Supplemental Underinsured Motorist Coverage) benefits equal to the liability limits chosen in the policy. SUM protects covered family members and drivers when they are on a bicycle or walking. A waiver would be required to be signed if the applicant prefers to reject the coverage.