Auto insurance rates have been on the rise nationwide, and this has also held true for the state of New York. In 2017, New York saw auto insurance rates increase by more than 20% from the previous year. That said, rates vary widely based on the insurer, city/county, age, driving history, type of vehicle, and even your credit score. But what are the best cheap car insurance rates in New York?

To get a clearer idea of how New York auto insurance works and how to find the most affordable rates in the state, let’s first take a look at how New York laws regulate drivers and their vehicles.

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Best Cheap Car Insurance Rates in New York

Best Auto Insurance Laws in New York

According to the New York Department of Financial Services, drivers must abide by the following regulations:

  • If you are driving a vehicle that is registered in the state of New York, you are required to obtain New York state liability insurance.
  • Auto registration and plate registration both require proof of insurance in New York.
  • At minimum, your liability insurance must cover $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for injuries.
  • At minimum, your liability insurance must cover $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for death.
  • At minimum, your liability insurance must cover $10,000 for property damage.
  • You must obtain a minimum of $50,000 in no-fault insurance. In a “no-fault” system like New York, your insurance provider will pay for any damages to you in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Finally, you must obtain a minimum of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist liability. 
  • If you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle in the state of New York, your license will be revoked for one year or more. This type of infraction may also carry fines and jail time.

How Cheap Auto Insurance Rates in New York are Determined

As of the latest data, good drivers in New York pay an average of $1,354 annually for auto insurance, or about $113 per month. Rates vary by insurance provider, location, insurance type, and the level of coverage. However, these rates are also highly dependent on drivers. When an insurance provider is calculating your rates, they will look at the following factors:

  • Location – Generally, if you live, commute, or work in an urban area (like New York City, Hempstead, or Buffalo), your rates will be higher, as accidents are more prevalent in densely-populated regions. However, other location-based factors are important, too, like adverse weather conditions and reports of vandalism.
  • Age – Statistically, younger drivers get in more accidents. This means that the younger you are, the more you will need to pay in insurance premiums. The average age in New York is 38, which is on par with the national average.
  • Gender – Men are more likely than women to get in accidents, so your gender could impact your auto rates as well.
  • Marital Status – Typically, married couples take fewer risks than their single counterparts, and this holds true for driving. Married couples get in fewer accidents, and therefore pose a smaller risk for insurance providers.
  • Driving Experience – While this metric is similar to age, it is still slightly different. Usually, the older you are, the longer you have been driving, but that is not always true. Nonetheless, people who have held a driver’s license for longer are more experienced, and therefore pay lower premiums.
  • Driving Record – A driver’s record is one of the most important factors that insurance providers consider. If you have a history of frequent speeding tickets, DUIs, or other infractions, you will have to pay more. New York is rated among the top-10 states when it comes to traffic incidents, which is one of the primary reasons that auto insurance rates are higher.
  • Claims Record – It is also important to consider how many claims you have made to insurance providers in the past (if any). At-fault claims will cause your premiums to rise, while not-at-fault collisions will generally have no impact on your rates.
  • Credit History – Your credit is a good indicator of how financially responsible you are. But, the research also shows that people with low credit tend to file more claims, making them a greater risk for insurance providers.
  • Previous Insurance Coverage – If you have maintained auto insurance without any gaps, your new insurance provider will see this as a good sign. However, if you went for several years, months, or even days without any insurance, you will be seen as high-risk.
  • Vehicle Type – Certain cars are driven differently, which means that certain cars are more prone to accidents. Some cars are also more prone to theft or vandalism.
  • Use of Vehicle – When you exclusively use your vehicle for personal use, you are less likely to get in an accident. However, if you take long business trips or frequently drive for your work, you increase your chances of a collision. 
  • Annual Mileage – How much you drive directly impacts your chances of getting in an accident. No matter how you use your vehicle (personal or business use), if you put a lot of mileage on your car, you are more likely to file a claim with your insurance provider.
  • Number of Policies – Finally, the type of insurance you want/need will help determine your rates. The more policies you have (liability, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc.), the more you will need to pay.

Best Auto Insurance Rates in New York (by Provider)

When looking at rates across the entire state, there are 6 major insurance providers that consistently provide low rates for good drivers. Additionally, there are several other companies that provide low rates in certain cities and counties but do not consistently provide low rates statewide. In any case, let’s take a look at some of the cheapest auto insurance rates available in the state of New York:

ProviderAnnual RateMonthly Rate
New York Central Mutual$1,037$86
Geico$1,041$87
Travelers$1,056$88
Erie$1,149$95
Progressive$1,493$124
Nationwide$1,497$124

 

It is important to note that the table above shows the average rates for the minimum coverage required by the state of New York. For standard or “full coverage,” the rates are significantly higher:

 

ProviderAnnual RateMonthly Rate
Travelers$1,784$149
Geico$1,807$151
Liberty Mutual$2,238$187

 

These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Naturally, individual rates will vary. Additionally, providers like Statefarm, Mercury, and Allstate also provide low rates for certain areas.

So, in order to get a better picture of auto insurance rates around the state, let’s look at how rates vary by city.

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Cheapest New York Auto Insurance Rates by City

Aside from your driving history, your location is one of the most important factors when calculating the cost of your auto insurance. Population, crime rates, weather conditions, and cost of living can all affect the amount you pay each year. Individuals who live and work in rural areas typically have the lowest rates. However, the majority of New York residents live in urban or suburban areas, where rates tend to increase. 

The table below shows the average yearly auto insurance rates for 95 of the most populated cities in New York, in alphabetical order. These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40 year old men and women with good driving records. Here is what the data shows:

 

CityAverage Yearly Rate
Albany $1,113
Alfred$1,209
Amityville$1,231
Amsterdam$1,148
Auburn$1,146
Babylon$1,231
Batavia$884
Bath$1,123
Binghamton$1,082
Brighton$1,108
Buffalo$1,293
Callicoon$1,407
Canandaigua$1,108
Cobleskill$1,112
Cold Spring$1,387
Cooperstown$1,201
Corning$972
Cortland$1,108
Dunkirk$1,064
East Hampton$1,521
Ellenville$1,223
Ellicottville$1,192
Elmira$1,013
Fairport$1,083
Farmington$1,083
Fulton$1,130
Garden City$1,986
Geneva$1,092
Glens Falls$1,010
Gloversville$1,116
Hamburg$1,278
Hempstead$1,950
Henrietta$1,168
Herkimer$1,068
Hornell$1,014
Hudson$1,089
Huntington$1,793
Hyde Park$1,244
Ithaca$1,128
Jamestown$1,074
Kingston$1,223
Lawrence$1,986
Le Roy$1,180
Lindenhurst$1,793
Little Falls$1,094
Lockport$1,289
Massapequa$1,577
Mattituck$1,519
Mayville$1,100
Medina$1,230
Melville$1,793
Middletown$1,387
Millerton$1,089
Mineola$1,890
Monsey$1,424
Nanuet$1,424
Narrowsburg$1,407
New City$1,454
New York City$2,274
Newark$1,114
Newburgh$1,387
Niagara Falls$1,042
North Tonawanda$1,042
Norwich$1,186
Nyack$1,408
Olean$884
Oneida$976
Oneonta$1,049
Orchard park$997
Oswego$912
Palmyra$1,114
Pelham$1,393
Penfield$1.083
Penn Yan$912
Plattsburgh$1,024
Port Chester$1,393
Poughkeepsie$1,244
Rochester$1,245
Rome$1,165
Sag Harbor$1,526
Salamanca$1,126
Saratoga Springs$1,064
Saugerties$1,223
Schenectady$1,112
Southampton$1,516
Springville$884
Syracuse$919
Tonawanda$1,056
Troy$1,129
Utica$1,274
Watertown$1,078
Webster$1,083
Wellsville$884
Westfield$1,056
Westhampton$1,526
White Plains$1,393

Best Auto Insurance Quotes New York by Cities

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top-5 largest cities in New York and compare their respective auto insurance rates:

New York City

In New York City, the average annual cost is $1,350 for minimum liability insurance, and $2,274 for full auto coverage. However, as with most large cities, these prices can vary by district or neighborhood.

For example, residents in boroughs like Queens and The Bronx pay significantly more than residents in Staten Island. The affordability of insurance in Staten Island is partly due to its low population. Whereas many other parts of the city are densely populated, with more traffic and increased risk of accidents. Take a look here at our in-depth best car insurance rates for New York City

Hempstead

In Hempstead, the average annual cost is $1,234 for minimum liability insurance and $1,950 for full auto coverage. While Hempstead is not technically a city, it is a collection of small towns that are treated as a city due to the high population.

However, the high population and its proximity to New York City lead to heavy congestion during peak traffic hours. Moreover, Hempstead has a major problem with potholes, which can cause additional wear and tear on vehicles.

Buffalo

In Buffalo, the average annual cost is $804 for minimum liability insurance and $1,293 for full auto coverage. Due to its proximity to the city center, Allentown has much higher insurance rates than neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, like South Park. Auto insurance is relatively inexpensive in Buffalo compared to other major cities in the state, due in part to the mild climate, quality roads, and limited congestion.

Rochester

In Rochester, the average annual cost is $804 for minimum liability insurance and $1,245 for full auto coverage. Residents of the South Wedge neighborhood will pay significantly higher rates than those living in neighborhoods like Charlotte. Rochester drivers have an average of 1 accident every 8.2 years, which is more frequent than the national average of 10 years.

That said, good roads and low traffic congestion help keep auto insurance premiums low in the city.

Yonkers

In Rochester, the average annual cost is $987 for minimum liability insurance and $1,784 for full auto coverage. Generally, neighborhoods in the south of the city have higher insurance premiums, as these are closer to New York City and generate more traffic. While the rates are not as high as New York City, poor road conditions and heavy traffic both raise rates well above the state average.

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Summary Best Car Insurance New York 2019

As you can see, there are a lot of variables in finding the best auto insurance in New York. Additionally, the figures provided above are averages based on adults with good driving records, so the exact rates you pay may differ. Nonetheless, we hope that this information helps you when you’re ready to obtain a new policy or upgrade your current one in the state of New York.

If you’d like to learn more about acquiring auto insurance in your state, consult some of our other guides. If you’re looking for more information about New York auto insurance, consult the New York Department of Financial Services today!

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Matthew Jones