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The Best Car Insurance in New York State

The Best Car Insurance in New York State

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If you’re looking for the best car insurance in New York, you’ve come to the right place. We created this guide to help you find the best car insurance provider for you in New York. To come up with this list, we’ve examined factors specific to each company, including customer satisfaction, financial strength, policy options, discounts, and of course, premium levels.

My top pick, and who I’ve used for years is Progressive. However, the single most important factor for getting the best car insurance at the most affordable rate is to compare quotes from several companies. Use the quote tool below from our car insurance partner. It provides a safe, secure way to save a whole bunch of time (and money!) shopping for car insurance.

Compare Top 10 Car Insurance

The Most Important Factors When Comparing Car Insurance in New York

Because of the cost and complexity of car insurance in New York, you’ll need to be aware of several factors, then be ready to employ certain strategies:

Car insurance in New York is much more expensive than the rest of the country. The best strategy will be to shop between several insurance companies and take advantage of every discount available.

New York is a ‘no-fault’ state, which can lead to higher premiums and more complex policies.  You will need to know both the general car insurance laws in New York, as well as the companies that can best serve your needs.

The cheapest policy isn’t always the best.  If you go with the minimum coverage only, you may be exposing yourself to a big liability after an accident. You’ll need the best car insurance for your circumstances, which probably won’t be the cheapest.

Your coverage levels should match your net worth. One of the most important reasons to have car insurance is to protect your assets. If you have $200,000 in financial assets, you’ll be underinsured with the minimum coverage levels of “25/50/10” (see explanation under What You Need to Know About Car Insurance Laws in New York below). Minimum coverage is best for young drivers who have no assets.

Bundling will save you money. Most insurance companies will give you a substantial discount on your car insurance if you also have other policies with them. These include homeowner’s, renter’s, and sometimes business insurance.

Get special coverage if you use the vehicle for business purposes. If you drive for Uber on the side, you won’t be covered by standard car insurance policies. You’ll need to work with a company that specifically provides coverage for ridesharing. There are several on this list that do.

Keep your driving record clean to get the lowest premiums.  If you do have an at-fault accident or moving violation, look into completing an approved driver education course.

The 7 Best Car Insurance Companies in New York

We’re not going to keep you waiting! We’ll start this guide with a list of the seven best car insurance companies in New York – ranked in order. And we’re throwing in the main reason why we ranked each company the way we did.

Note on Policy Options: We’re not going to include minimum required coverages in New York, nor collision and comprehensive, since both are typical options offered by all insurance companies.

1. Travelers

The Basics:

Policy Options Policy Options Discounts
Gap coverage
Rental coverage
Roadside assistance
Accident forgiveness (one accident and one minor violation every 36 months)
Decreasing deductible ($50 every six months up to $500 you’re accident- or violation-free)
New car replacement (replace your new vehicle with a brand-new vehicle of the same make and model if yours is totaled within the first five years of ownership).
Discounts Multi-policy (bundling)
Multi-car
Homeownership
Safe driver (10% for no accidents in three years, 23% for five years)
Continuous insurance (up to 15%)
Hybrid/electric vehicle
New car
Pay in full in good payer discounts
Early quote
Good student
Student away at school
Driver training
IntelliDrive Program – uses a smart app to capture and score driver behavior, and could result in a 20% premium reduction.

Premiums: $1,544 (2nd lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 845 (2nd on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A++ (highest rating issued by A.M. Best)

Why it Made the List

Travelers took the number one spot on our list because it’s strong in every category. It has the highest financial strength rating, ranks #2 in customer satisfaction, and offers the second lowest average premiums of any company on this list. The company also offers one of the more comprehensive packages of both policy options and discounts.

What Holds it Back

ConsumerAffairs.com gives Travelers less than two stars out of five based on customer reviews.

2. Progressive

The Basics:

Policy Options Gap coverage
Rental car reimbursement
Roadside assistance
Custom parts and equipment value
Rideshare coverage
Discounts Snapshot app ($145 average discount)
Bundle auto and property
Name Your Price tool (enter your desired premium, and Progressive will design a policy),
Multi-policy
Multi-car
Continuous coverage
Good student
Distant students (more than 100 miles from home)
Homeowner
Online quote
Sign online
Paperless
Pay in full
Automatic payment

It also offers large accident forgiveness if you have been a customer for at least five years, with no accidents in the last three years.

Premiums: $1,527 (Lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 815 (#9 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A+

Why it Made the List

Progressive offers the lowest average premiums in the state, which is, of course, a major draw for all consumers. Policy options are a bit on the slim side, but the company does offer coverage for ridesharing, like Uber and Lyft drivers. The company also has some of the most attractive discounts in the industry, including the Name Your Price tool and large accident forgiveness.

What Holds it Back

Progressive’s J.D. Power rating is dead last.

3. Allstate

The Basics:

Policy Options Rideshare coverage
New car replacement
Accident forgiveness
Drivewise app
Sound systems
Roadside assistance
Personal umbrella
Rental reimbursement
Classic cars
Car insurance for travel to Mexico
Discounts New car
Multi-policy
Smart student
Vehicle safety equipment
Early signing
Responsible payer
New car
Paperless
Safe driving club

Premiums: $1,572 (3rd lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 831 (#5 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A+

Why it Made the List

Much like Travelers, Allstate is strong in almost every category. That includes having the third lowest average premiums in the state. It offers many of the same policy provisions as other insurance companies on this list, but also has its unique car insurance for travel to Mexico. Otherwise, the company rates about the middle of the pack on customer satisfaction and financial strength.

What Holds it Back

Allstate doesn’t have quite as many discounts as its competitors.

4. New York Central Mutual

The Basics:

Policy Options Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL – extra coverage above PIP for lost income),
Supplementary uninsured motorist
Medical payments
Roadside assistance
Umbrella coverage
Rental car reimbursement
Conversion van coverage
Discounts Autopay
Driver training
Student away at school
Defensive driving course
Safety equipment
Multi-policy
Homeownership
New car
Pay in full
Senior discount
Good student discount
Claim free
At-fault accident forgiveness (claim free for five or seven consecutive years)

Premiums: $1,988 (6th lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 869 (#1 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A

Why it Made the List

Any company that has the #1 customer satisfaction rating for its state deserves to be on any list of the top auto insurance companies. NYCM also offers two programs not commonly provided by other insurers, including the optional basic income loss coverage and conversion van coverage. The latter is important because a van that has been modified to accommodate an impaired individual is not generally covered under personal auto insurance policies.

What Holds it Back

New York Central Mutual is easily the smallest company on this list and operates only in New York. If you move to another state, you’ll have to get covered with another carrier. The company is also on the higher end of the premium scale on this list, coming in at #6. It’s also at the low end of the financial strength rating, with a grade of “A”. That means it’s still a strong company, but a shade below the others on this list.

5. State Farm

The Basics:

Policy Options Car rental
Travel expenses for an accident more than 50 miles from home
Medical payments
Emergency roadside assistance
Rideshare
Sports cars
Antique classic cars
Small business vehicles
Discounts Accident-free
Defensive driving course
Accident prevention course
Safety equipment
Driver training
Good driver
Good student
Multi-car
Multi-policy
Student away at school
Steer Clear Safe Driver (complete education requirements and no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the previous three years – both met before turning 25)

Premiums: $1,943 (5th lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 845 (#2 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A++ (highest rating by A.M. Best)

Why it Made the List

State Farm ranks #2 in customer satisfaction and has the highest financial strength rating at A++. The company is also the largest single automobile insurance company in the country, which indicates a high degree of confidence that a large number of people place in State Farm. It appears on nearly every list of the best auto insurance companies in most states.

State Farm also offers unique policy options, like travel expenses for an accident, sustained more than 50 miles from home, and coverage for small business vehicles. On the discount side, they offer the Steer Clear Safe Driver program to help drivers under 25 lower their insurance premiums.

What Holds it Back

State Farm’s premiums are higher than some of the other carriers on this list, though they are still well below the statewide average. The company’s heavily advertised “Drive Safe & Save Mobile” program is not available in New York.

6. GEICO

The Basics:

Policy Options Emergency roadside assistance
Rental reimbursement
Mechanical breakdown
Motorcycles
ATVs
Recreational vehicles
Boats
Collector autos
Ridesharing
Commercial auto and driving in Mexico
Discounts Safety equipment
New vehicle
Good driver (five years accident-free)
Seatbelt use
Defensive driving
Driver’s education
Good student
Emergency deployment
Military
Multi-vehicle
Multi-policy

Premiums: $1,888 (4th lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 823 (#6 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A+

Why it Made the List

GEICO’s average premium in New York is well below the statewide average. On the discount side, we love the fact that GEICO publishes the percentage discounts you can expect. For example, you can save up to 25% for a driver-side airbag, and up to 40% for the full front seat.

GEICO also offers interesting policy options. Like Allstate, they extend auto insurance to travel in Mexico. They also add commercial auto coverage, and one we haven’t seen elsewhere – mechanical breakdown. You can use it in place of the car manufacturer’s extended warranty, and it can cover your vehicle for up to seven years or 100,000 miles (comes with a $250 deductible). It’s even available for leased cars that are less than 15 months old and have fewer than 15,000 miles.

What Holds it Back

GEICO ranks #6 in customer satisfaction among nine companies listed in the J.D. Power survey.

7. Liberty Mutual

The Basics:

Policy Options Medical payments (including legal fees and lost income)
Lower or eliminate your collision deductible
Lifetime repair guarantee
New car replacement
Better car replacement
Rental car reimbursement
Roadside assistance
Gap coverage
Original replacement parts for your car
Coverage for teachers (protection for your car on school grounds)
Driving in Mexico
Discounts Accident forgiveness
Multi-policy
Multi-car
Online purchase
Automatic payment
Pay in full
Online purchase
Paperless policy
RightTrack (save up to 30% for good driving behavior)
Homeowner
Active, reserve or retired military
Early shopper
Good student
Student away at school
Alternative energy vehicle
Safety equipment
Accident- and violation-free

Premiums: $2,046 (7th lowest average premium on our list)

Customer satisfaction rating: 819 (#8 on the J.D. Power Survey)

Financial strength rating: A

Why it Made the List

Liberty Mutual advertises “only pay for what you need”. We’re not exactly sure what that means since that statement is true of virtually all car insurance companies. There is the minimum legally required coverage, which you must purchase, then a laundry list of options you can choose – regardless of the insurance company.

Still, Liberty Mutual has some of the more interesting policy options, particularly when it comes to the maintenance of your vehicle. Of special interest are the lifetime repair guarantee (you must use an approved facility), new car replacement assistance, and the option to replace your car with a better car that’s one model year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles.

What Holds it Back

Liberty Mutual has the highest average New York auto insurance premiums of the seven companies on our list. It also ranks a disappointing #8 in customer satisfaction, and is on the low end of the financial strength rating, gathering only an “A”.

How We Found the Best Car Insurance in New York

In compiling our list of what we believe to be the best car insurance companies in New York, we’ve used the following five criteria to make that determination:

Policy Options

Virtually all insurance companies must offer at least the minimum coverage limits required by law in each state. But each company also can offer various options that are not required. These can include coverage for premium sound systems, classic cars, and specialty vehicles, ridesharing services, and umbrella insurance for high net worth individuals.

Discounts

The initial premium quote you receive from any car insurance company is only the starting point. From that base number, premium increases will be added for additional risk factors, such as driver history, the type of vehicle, and the number of miles driven. But car insurance companies will also provide discounts for certain features. These can include a safe driving history, bundling coverage with other insurance policies, multiple drivers and cars on the same policy, good student discounts, customer loyalty, vehicle safety equipment, and many more.

The more discounts a company offers, the higher it rates in this category. While we list the most common types of discounts offered by each insurance company, you should request a full disclosure of all discounts provided by your carrier, to take advantage of all that may be available to you.

Premiums

Cost is almost always the most important consideration when shopping for car insurance. While recognizing its importance, we caution that you do not make your car insurance decision based solely on the premium.

But recognizing that it is a central factor, we’re presenting the average premium charged to New York residents by each provider on this list. Since it’s only an average, it’s meant only to provide a ballpark estimate as a starting point. Exactly what you’ll pay for a policy will depend on the community who live in, your age, driving history, and other factors that are described in this guide.

The premiums shown for each company are based on data provided by The Zebra, which is determined to be a reliable source of pricing information.

The New York statewide average for car insurance premiums is $2,752 for 2020, which is well above the national average, but not nearly as high as the most expensive states. Each of the insurance companies included on our list is well below the statewide average.

Customer Satisfaction Rating

One of the most important criteria for assessing an insurance company is its customer satisfaction rating. The most important aspect of the rating is satisfaction with auto claims. After all, the whole purpose of buying insurance is the potential to pay claims. It’s the basic “product” all insurance companies provide.

For that rating, we are relying on the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released in June 2019. More specifically, we’ve relied on the Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking – New York Region.

best car insurance new york customer satisfaction

Insurance Company Financial Strength

In the search for the lowest possible car insurance premiums, most consumers completely ignore this all-important category. But it will do little good to have cheap insurance from a company that has financial problems. An insurance company’s ability to pay claims, and even to stay in business, is closely tied to its overall financial strength.

To determine the financial strength of each company on our list, we are relying on ratings provided by A.M. Best. The company specializes in rating the financial strength of insurance companies, particularly regarding a company’s ability to pay claims.

The higher insurance company financial strength ratings are as follows:

Superior: A+, A++
Excellent, A, A-
Good, B, B+

Companies rated lower than “A” are excluded from our list.

What You Need to Know About Car Insurance Laws in New York

Car insurance laws and requirements vary from one state to another. Regulations in New York are as follows:

State Minimum Insurance Requirements

The minimum New York State car insurance requirement is “25/50/10”, broken down as follows:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person in any one accident, or $50,000 for any injury resulting in death.
  • Bodily Injury: $50,000 for two or more persons in any one accident, or $100,000 for any injury resulting in death.
  • Property Damage: $10,000 per accident.

Bodily injury, more commonly known as liability coverage, pays for both injury and loss of wages to another driver or their passengers, as a result of an accident caused by you. The same is true of property damage. It will cover damage to another driver’s vehicle in an accident where you are determined to be at fault. It’s important to understand that property damage does not extend to repairing your own vehicle in an at-fault accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – required for bodily injury only, as follows:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury: $50,000 per accident

Coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage is not a required provision in New York.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – requires minimum coverage of $50,000 under no-fault benefits required by law. PIP covers medical costs incurred by either you or passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who the at-fault party is in an accident. In addition to medical costs, it can also cover lost wages.

Optional Car Insurance Provisions in New York

The following coverage provisions can be added to your policy, though they are not required under New York State law:

  • Higher dollar amounts on any required coverage provisions.
  • Collision, paying for damage to your vehicle regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
  • Comprehensive, paying you for non-moving damage to your vehicle, including fire, flood, theft, vandalism, or collision with an animal.
  • Medical payments coverage, pays medical or funeral expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in a moving accident.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), if you or a passenger in your vehicle experience serious injury or death due to an accident.
  • Supplemental spousal liability covers costs related to death or injury of the driver’s spouse during an accident.
  • Towing and labor coverage.
  • Rental car reimbursement.
  • Mechanical breakdown coverage.
  • Roadside assistance.
  • Loan or lease payoff, sometimes referred to as “Gap coverage”, it provides for the full pay off of your loan or lease, even if the financing balance is higher than the value of your vehicle at the time it’s totaled in an accident or other casualty.
  • Personal umbrella policies, providing additional liability coverage ($1 million or more), typically for high net worth individuals, though it can also cover libel, slander, false arrest, and invasion of privacy.

New York is a “No-fault State”

New York is one of 12 states nationwide that operate under no-fault car insurance. Under the law, you’ll pursue coverage for medical treatment through your own car insurance provider, regardless of which driver is determined to be at fault. You will not be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages caused by the accident.

There are two exceptions to New York’s no-fault law.

The first is vehicle damage claims. A claim against the at-fault driver can be made for either damage or total loss of your vehicle. There are no dollar limitations on this provision.

The second is the “serious injury” provision. You can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver if your injuries result in any of the following conditions:

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Bone fracture
  • Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Substantially full disability for 90 days

If any of the above apply, you can pursue financial remuneration against the at-fault party, either through the driver’s insurance company or with a personal injury lawsuit.

New York Doesn’t Allow Occupation or Education to be Used as Underwriting Criteria

Under a law passed in 2017, New York prohibits the use of a driver’s education or occupation as criteria for determining the acceptability of an applicant or the premium rate in auto insurance policy.

These are common criteria used by auto insurance companies across the country, but they are specifically prohibited under New York law. The law is intended to eliminate penalizing drivers in low-wage occupations, or those without college degrees.

New York State Car Insurance FAQs

If I get into an accident in another state, what happens if my liability exceeds the New York State minimum requirements?

If the minimum liability requirements in another state where you are operating your vehicle are higher than those of New York, your policy will provide coverage for the minimum required in that state.

Why is car insurance so expensive in New York?

The statewide average premium in New York is nearly twice that of the national average. There are several reasons why this is true. First, New York has a very high population density, particularly in New York City and the surrounding suburbs. Close proximity produces more accidents. The state has a higher risk for both vandalism and theft. New York City also presents a problem on the parking front. Tight spaces and on-street parking increase the likelihood of accidents. Still, another factor is that New York is a high cost state in general, which is also reflected in auto insurance premium rates.

But one of the biggest single contributors is the state’s high premiums is its no-fault status. No-fault is designed to minimize litigation, but it often results in higher premiums. Because of the no-fault law, you’re required to have personal injury protection (PIP), which results in a higher premium.

What happens when your car insurance lapses in New York?

First, midterm cancellation is not permitted once a policy is in force for 60 days, or anytime during the renewal period, except for revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, non-payment of premium, or fraud or material misrepresentation. If you fail to pay your premium when due, the insurance company can either cancel your policy midterm or refuse to renew it. And you may be subject to a $300 fine.

Summary: Best Car Insurance in New York

Company Best For  
Best Overall Get Started
Cheapest Overall Get Started
Cheapest After DWI/DUI Get Started
Highest Customer Satisfaction Get Started
Teen Drivers Get Started
Young Drivers, Drivers With a Violation Get Started
Customized Coverage Get Started

 

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