New York City Car Insurance Guides

New York is the city that never sleeps, a town where you can always find bumper-to-bumper traffic even in the early morning hours. That’s great news if you’re a young professional who enjoys an active nightlife, but terrible news if you’re shopping for cheap car insurance. Big metropolitan areas are usually the most expensive places to drive and in the US, you can’t get much bigger than New York City. And as you might expect, the best car insurance rates for New York City drivers can get pricey, especially if you live in Brooklyn or Queens.

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According to Insure.com, New York is the 9th most expensive state for car insurance in the nation with an average annual premium over $1,700 for full coverage. New York City skews that average since it’s the biggest and most expensive city in the state, with the five most costly zip codes all residing within the city limits. For example, a full coverage insurance plan for a Brooklyn resident can cost upward of $4,000 per year. That’s well over $300 per month! It’s a good thing New York never sleeps – you’ll need to spend lots of waking hours shopping around for the best possible rates. 

New York State Car Insurance Minimums

While the best auto insurance in New York is required by federal law, Uncle Sam allows each state to set up their own regulations and minimums. For New York drivers, the state minimums are relatively cheap compared to full coverage insurance plans. New York operates under liability requirements of 25/50/10. In non-insurance speak, this means:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability

Some states require additional protections to be built into insurance policies – New York happens to be one of them. In addition to the most common liabilities, New York drivers also must procure $50,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. 

Remember, these are the minimum requirements ordered by New York state, not the recommended levels of coverage. If you’re involved in a serious accident with passengers in the car, you can bet that $50,000 in bodily injury liability won’t cover all your potential medical bills. Minimum coverage isn’t recommended unless you absolutely need cheap insurance and spend most of your driving time alone. Even if you aren’t on the hook for medical bills, minimum coverage policies won’t pay to repair damage done to your car. We recommend full-coverage auto policies of 100/300/100 with comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. Otherwise, you’ll be putting personal assets at risk if an accident you cause results in serious injury or damage.

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What Factors Determine My Auto Insurance Rate in New York?

Insurance providers aren’t big fans of drivers in the Big Apple. Not only is New York one of a dozen states with no-fault accident laws, but New York City is also a major hotspot for auto insurance fraud. In fact, New York City has insurance fraud rates four times higher than the rest of the state. 

No-fault insurance laws also negatively affect premiums. In a classic case of good intentions leading to bad results, no fault laws were proposed to reduce insurance premiums by eliminating the expensive legal work in assigning fault. But statistics show no-fault laws do just the opposite – premiums increased in states with no-fault laws compared to those using the old-fashioned tort system.

So let’s review: no-fault laws? Check. High rates of insurance fraud? Check. Dense population? Check. What else goes into determining your auto insurance rates?  Here are a few more factors:

  • Age: Drivers under the age of 26 pay the highest premiums. After turning 26, your rates should steadily decline until age 65. After age 65, your risk profile increases and insurance will again get more expensive.
  • Location: Insurance rates aren’t just calculated by your city and state. Your location will be narrowed down to your zip code and premiums between zip codes can fluctuate wildly, even if they’re only a couple of miles apart.
  • Credit Score: Poor credit is crippling in the United States. Not only does a low credit score restrict your access to loans and credit cards, but it also comes with higher auto insurance premiums. In other words, the people who can least afford a high premium are often the ones stuck with the high premiums. 

Some additional factors include gender, type of vehicle, and driving record. So if you’re a 25-year old male driving a red sports car in Brooklyn with a history of traffic tickets, you might want to be sitting down when you receive your auto insurance quotes.

Most Expensive and Cheapest Auto Rates in New York City by Zip Code

Your zip code within New York City has a large impact on your insurance rate. Zip codes with high amounts of claims, thefts, accidents, and vandalism are all negatively affected. Here are the five most and least expensive towns in New York City by zip code. (We have good news for Manhattan residents and bad news for Brooklyn residents.)

Most Expensive Auto Rates

  1. Brooklyn, 11212 (Brownsville)
  2. Brooklyn, 11233 (Stuyvesant Heights)
  3. Brooklyn, 11213 (Crown Heights)
  4. Brooklyn, 11225 (Prospect Lefferts Garden)
  5. Brooklyn, 11207 (East New York)

Least Expensive Car Rates

  1. Manhattan, 10036 (West Midtown)
  2. Manhattan, 10022 (East Midtown)
  3. Manhattan, 10017 (Murray Hill)
  4. Manhattan, 10019 (Hell’s Kitchen)
  5. Manhattan, 10023 (Upper West Side)

Best Auto Insurance Providers in New York City

If you’re shopping for the cheapest car insurance in New York City, start your search here. These companies offer the best service and the most affordable rates.

Best overall: Allstate – Allstate is the second largest insurer in NYC behind Berkshire Hathaway. With great customer satisfaction scores and reasonably priced premiums, Allstate is one of the best choices for car insurance in New York.

Most Affordable: GEICO – One of the easiest experiences in the auto insurance industry. GEICO has the cheapest rates in New York City and doesn’t require you to purchase premiums through an agent.

Best Customer Experience: USAA – The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has been providing veterans with affordable financial products for nearly 100 years. USAA consistently ranks at the top of auto insurance customer satisfaction surveys.

Choosing the Right Car Insurance Plan NY

We recommend 100/300/100 full coverage plans, but everyone has their own unique situation. If you’re single and own an older car valued under $3000, getting less than full coverage might make sense. But if you have a high net worth, a financed car, and a family to care for, buying the state minimum is a considerable risk.

Driving in New York City can be a gamble even with full coverage. Always shop around for the best rate every few years, even if you’re satisfied with your provider. If you choose to forgo full coverage, make sure you purchase enough liability to at least put your mind at ease. Insurance is something we hope to never use, but car accidents happen, especially in densely populated areas. Don’t leave yourself (or your assets) at risk.

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Johnny Jet Editorial