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The Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies for New York Drivers in 2020 

In the table below, there are five popular companies offering affordable car insurance in New York. Please note that the numbers below are an estimate and may not reflect your exact rate based on your individual circumstances.

Company
Amount
1. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$1,622
per year
2. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$1,867
per year
3. Erie
In 2020, Erie ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$1,928
per year
4. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$2,206
per year
5. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$2,286
per year
6. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #6 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$2,481
per year
7. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #7 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$3,093
per year
8. Travelers
In 2020, Travelers ranked #8 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$3,482
per year
9. New York Central Mutual Fire
In 2020, New York Central Mutual Fire ranked #9 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$3,745
per year
10. MetLife
In 2020, MetLife ranked #10 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$4,776
per year
11. Esurance
In 2020, Esurance ranked #11 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$4,874
per year
12. The General
In 2020, The General ranked #12 in New York for the cheapest car insurance on average.
$7,026
per year

Remember that your rates may not be an exact match to what is reflected in the table above. There are also discounts available from each insurance company that may be available to you, so you will need to get a personalized quote to find out exactly how much you will be charged for your car insurance by each company.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in New York for 2020

To determine which insurance companies are the best for the people of New York, MoneyGeek uses a unique rating system that combines AM Best’s financial strength ratings with JD Power’s customer satisfaction score, along with their claims and affordability score. Using this information, we have put together a list of the highest-scoring companies in the table below.

Based on the rating system described above, the higher the score, the more affordable, stable and dependable the company is on a state level. Just remember that everybody has different needs, so just because a company has the highest score in one category or another doesn’t mean it is automatically the best choice for you.

Expand all Rankings +

1

USAAScore: 100
+

5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Affordability

A++

Financial Stability

2

TravelersScore: 90
+

4/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

Affordability

A++

Financial Stability

3

State FarmScore: 87.5
+

4/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

Affordability

A

Financial Stability

4

MetLifeScore: 87.5
+

4/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

Affordability

A+

Financial Stability

5

GEICOScore: 85
+

3/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

Affordability

A++

Financial Stability

6

AllstateScore: 82.5
+

3/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

Affordability

A+

Financial Stability

7

NationwideScore: 80
+

3/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

Affordability

A+

Financial Stability

8

Liberty MutualScore: 80
+

3/5

User Satisfaction

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

Affordability

A

Financial Stability

9

ProgressiveScore: 77.5
+

2/5

User Satisfaction

2/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

Affordability

A+

Financial Stability


Market Share by Company

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Berkshire Hathaway (the parent company of GEICO) and Allstate are the largest insurers in New York. GEICO has 32.58% of the market share while Allstate has 13.57%, which means that just over 46% of insurance plans in New York are written by these two companies.

Company
Market Share
1. GEICO
32.58%
2. Allstate
13.57%
3. State Farm
12.56%
4. Progressive
10.57%
5. Liberty Mutual
5.45%
6. Travelers
3.88%
7. USAA
3.02%
8. NYCM INS GRP
2.61%
9. National General
2.41%
10. Nationwide
1.93%

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI in New York

Part of your insurance rate is determined by your driving history, including moving violations and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) convictions, though New York refers to it as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated.) It is important to understand that a DWI in New York isn’t always limited to alcohol use; Drug use while driving can also earn you a DWI. In New York, a DWI doesn’t automatically earn you any jail time, but it does earn you a fine of up to $1,000 and a six-month suspension of your license.

The following table reflects estimates of what drivers in New York can expect to pay for auto insurance if they receive a DWI.

Company
Amount
1. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$2,642
per year
2. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$2,736
per year
3. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$2,736
per year
4. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$3,092
per year
5. Erie
In 2020, Erie ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$3,224
per year
6. Travelers
In 2020, Travelers ranked #6 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$4,430
per year
7. New York Central Mutual Fire
In 2020, New York Central Mutual Fire ranked #7 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$4,925
per year
8. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #8 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$5,360
per year
9. Esurance
In 2020, Esurance ranked #9 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$6,929
per year
10. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #10 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$8,709
per year
11. The General
In 2020, The General ranked #11 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$9,894
per year
12. MetLife
In 2020, MetLife ranked #12 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI.
$13,769
per year

In New York, you could serve jail time for being convicted with a DWI. In fact, if you are convicted of a 3rd DWI you could spend up to seven years in jail. Typically speaking, a DWI has a significant impact on your car insurance rates, more than doubling them in some cases. It is possible to find cheap car insurance for people with a DWI in New York. If you have a DWI on your record you will need to get quotes from multiple companies to make sure you are getting the lowest possible rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance for NY Speeding or Distracted Driving Tickets

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 889 crashes in New York during 2018 that were caused by distracted driving. The CDC says that using a cell phone behind the wheel is the worst type of distracted driving, but distracted driving also includes people who are eating, fiddling with their GPS, changing radio stations or doing anything other than focusing on the road while they drive. If you receive a ticket for distracted driving or speeding, that will increase your insurance rates, as you can see in the chart below.

Company
Amount
1. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$1,759
per year
2. Erie
In 2020, Erie ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$2,166
per year
3. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$2,635
per year
4. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$2,709
per year
5. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$2,736
per year
6. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #6 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$2,846
per year
7. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #7 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$3,232
per year
8. Travelers
In 2020, Travelers ranked #8 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$4,064
per year
9. New York Central Mutual Fire
In 2020, New York Central Mutual Fire ranked #9 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$4,151
per year
10. MetLife
In 2020, MetLife ranked #10 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$6,020
per year
11. Esurance
In 2020, Esurance ranked #11 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$6,701
per year
12. The General
In 2020, The General ranked #12 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for distracted drivers.
$9,894
per year

There are some insurance companies that will allow you to avoid a rate increase by taking a safe driving course, but this isn’t a guarantee, so check with your insurance company if you receive a ticket while driving. A ticket will stay on your record in New York for three years. If you earn 11 or more points on your driving record in an 18 month period your license will be suspended, so drive carefully.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in NY for Drivers With Bad Credit

While it may seem unrelated, your credit score can have a significant impact on your insurance rate. According to Experian, the average credit score in New York is 712, which is higher than many other states in the country. A poor credit score can result in higher insurance premiums because insurance companies view a low score as a higher risk to insure. The following estimates reflect what a person in New York with a poor credit score may pay for auto insurance.

Company
Amount
1. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$2,941
per year
2. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$2,989
per year
3. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$3,062
per year
4. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$4,328
per year
5. Erie
In 2020, Erie ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$4,726
per year
6. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #6 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$5,115
per year
7. New York Central Mutual Fire
In 2020, New York Central Mutual Fire ranked #7 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$7,475
per year
8. Travelers
In 2020, Travelers ranked #8 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$7,980
per year
9. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #9 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$8,466
per year
10. The General
In 2020, The General ranked #10 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$10,091
per year
11. Esurance
In 2020, Esurance ranked #11 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$10,193
per year
12. MetLife
In 2020, MetLife ranked #12 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with poor credit.
$14,633
per year

Your credit score is important to your insurance rate because insurance companies see a higher credit rate as a sign you are more responsible and, therefore, less likely to be in an accident and more likely to pay your premiums on time. While this may seem unfair, it does mean that improving your credit score can lower your insurance premium.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New York for Seniors

Generally speaking, your insurance rates typically go down with age. Senior citizens, however, may see their rates increase as their vision gets worse and their reaction time slows. As upsetting as this may be, drivers 65 and older made up 15% of all fatal traffic accidents in 2017, which is a factor insurance companies take into account when determining your rate.

Company
Amount
1. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$1,908
per year
2. Erie
In 2020, Erie ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,081
per year
3. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,159
per year
4. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,347
per year
5. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,483
per year
6. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #6 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,594
per year
7. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #7 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$2,833
per year
8. New York Central Mutual Fire
In 2020, New York Central Mutual Fire ranked #8 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$3,581
per year
9. Travelers
In 2020, Travelers ranked #9 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$3,975
per year
10. MetLife
In 2020, MetLife ranked #10 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$5,632
per year
11. Esurance
In 2020, Esurance ranked #11 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$6,296
per year
12. The General
In 2020, The General ranked #12 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.
$9,584
per year

The chart above shows that insurance rates vary from company to company for senior citizens. Understanding that money is tight for many senior citizens, insurance companies offer discounts for seniors who take safe driving courses, reduce their annual mileage or drive vehicles with certain safety features.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Students

New York Car Insurance: How Much a Teen Driver Will Cost You

Median annual price change for families with a teen driver on their policy:

$1,577 INCREASE

This is a difference of 70%.

By every measure, teens are more likely to end up in an accident than adults. The New York DMV recommends that you play an active role in the state's Graduated Driver's License program by:

  • Verifying that your child has had required hours of practice driving with you
  • Signing a parent and teen driving contract
  • Enrolling in the TEENS program, which will let you know if your child receives a citation for any kind of traffic violation
  • Withdraw your consent if your teenager is not ready to drive
  • Verifying that your child has had required hours of practice driving with you
  • Signing a parent and teen driving contract
  • Enrolling in the TEENS program, which will let you know if your child receives a citation for any kind of traffic violation
  • Withdraw your consent if your teenager is not ready to drive

Along with the higher risk of teen drivers come higher premiums. Choosing a vehicle wisely can help make your teen’s premiums more affordable. Insurers may also offer discounts for good students or teens who take a defensive driving class.

If you're coming to New York to study for more than 90 days, you're presumed to be a state resident and need a New York driver's license. What helps is that you can simply exchange your old state or Canadian license as long as your old license:

  • Has your photo on it
  • Carries the date it was issued and was issued six months prior to your arrival in New York
  • Is a valid license or one that expired in the last two years
  • Has not been suspended, revoked or stolen

Whether your car is registered in the state or not, your auto insurance must meet (or exceed) the minimum coverage required by New York.

Rates for teenagers can be unique. Not only are they rated based on driving experience, but everything from their GPA to where their custodial parent lives in a divorce situation can impact the cost of their insurance. Since teens in New York must hold a learner’s permit for a minimum of six months before applying for their license, you have some time to review rates with multiple companies, such as the rates listed in the chart below.

Company
Amount
1. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #1 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for students.
$5,260
per year
2. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #2 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for students.
$5,280
per year
3. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #3 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for students.
$6,024
per year
4. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #4 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for students.
$6,747
per year
5. Nationwide
In 2020, Nationwide ranked #5 in New York for the cheapest car insurance for students.
$8,039
per year


Premium Comparision by Student Type

Getting a quote for insurance before you need to add your teen is the best way to make sure you are getting cheap car insurance for young drivers in New York.

PREMIUM COMPARISON FOR TWO ADULTS + A 16-YEAR-OLD

car
Average premium for two 2014

Mustang GTs

$6,096
car
Average premium for two 2008

Town and Country Limiteds

$4,045
Annual benefits of minivans:$2,051 saved

This is 34% less expensive.

Cheaper premium for college vs. high school drivers

Median premium change with a college student vs. high school driver:

$572 DECREASE

This is a savings of 13%.

Potential discounts for teens in New York

Impact on annual premium with good student and defensive driving discounts:

coins
$358 SAVED

New York students: a long-distance discount

You may pay a smaller annual family premium if your child lives 150 miles or more away from home.

male
Average premium for a 19-year-old male
car

$4,520 at home

graduation

$4,090 at school

$430 IN SAVINGS

female
Average premium for a 19-year-old female
car

$3,780 at home

graduation

$3,660 at school

$120 IN SAVINGS

Insurance Rate Information for Military Drivers and Veterans

With hundreds of thousands of active-duty military personnel and veterans, New York requires auto insurers licensed to operate in the state to offer discounts to military members and veterans. Every plan is different, but they are all required to give active and retired vets a reduced rate. In addition to your military discount, shopping around could save even more money.

Although military members and veterans have to carry auto insurance like everybody else, once they have automobile coverage they can get a price break at the New York DMV.

Service members don't have to pay sales tax on vehicles purchased out-of-state even if they're registered in New York. If your New York vehicle registration or license expires while you're deployed, there's an automatic extension of up to 60 days after you return to New York State. Liability insurance coverage must be maintained on vehicles in use, including the extension period on re-registering.

Age savings for New york service members

male
25 years$2,092
50 years$1,584
female
25 years$1,798
50 years$1,595

$508 Saved
$203 Saved

Median auto insurance for service members: $1,586

Who Needs Car Insurance in New York?

Every driver in New York is required to have car insurance. You must have insurance to register a vehicle in New York, which means if your vehicle is registered with the state it must be insured.

Proof of Insurance in New York

Anyone who wants to register their vehicle in New York must obtain car insurance. Even if your car is sitting in a driveway or garage and never used. If your vehicle is registered, it must stay insured. However, if you put very few miles on your vehicle each year, insurance companies might grant you a low-mileage discount.

Proof of Insurance

Under New York law, car insurance companies must issue two original insurance ID cards or give you access to digital ID cards. The state now allows you to store electronic ID cards on your smartphone and use them as proof of insurance.

Whether it's printed or digital, you need to show the ID card:

  • When a police officer asks for it
  • When you're involved in a car accident
  • When you're registering your vehicle

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements in New York

Each state has minimum liability insurance requirements. Here are the minimum requirements for New York:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury to a single person
  • $50,000 for the death of a single person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people
  • $100,000 for the death of two or more people

Note that these are the state's legal minimums. Experts strongly recommend you consider higher limits and additional coverage. For other common types of protection, see the MoneyGeek guide to car insurance.

Low-Cost Insurance Program 

New York does not have a special state program for providing low-cost car insurance to low-income drivers. However, it does have a system called the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP). The NYAIP is for drivers who can't get car insurance coverage, perhaps because they have a poor driving record or have filed a lot of claims. The NYAIP fills this car insurance market gap.

Alternatives to Insurance in New York

Drivers in New York have the option of showing they can pay for an accident without the benefit of insurance. Here are the alternatives:

  • Filing a surety bond with the commissioner in an amount no less than what you would be paying for the state minimum car insurance in New York
  • Paying a security deposit of $150,000 to the commissioner
  • Applying to self-insure your vehicles (only applies to those who have at least 25 vehicles registered in their name)

High-Risk Auto Insurance Program in New York

Car insurance companies use your location to calculate your rate.
Explore average rates for your city.

Car Insurance Requirements in New York: How Much Coverage Do You Need?

What percentage of drivers in New York lack vehicle insurance?

5.3%

National average: 12.6%

Source:

Insurance Information Institute.

Even though New York law requires only minimum liability car insurance, insurance experts recommend that you increase your coverage to cover up to $100,000 in personal injury for one person, or $300,000 per accident.

Keep in mind that New York is a no-fault car insurance state, which means that no matter who was at fault in an accident, each auto insurance policy will pay for up to $50,000 in crash-related expenses. However, purchasing Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can increase that no-fault limit to $100,000 or more.




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Expert Advice on Finding Cheap Car Insurance in New York

  1. What are the key factors drivers in New York should look for when searching for the best auto insurance coverage?

    Dealing with a reputable insurer is one. According to Forbes, the average liability insurance premium in New York has doubled over the past 31 years. The top-tier firms like GEICO charge below the state average premium. The average rate goes up if someone has a speeding ticket or an accident. The average more than doubles for people with poor credit histories. Drivers with the minimum coverage pay less than half of what the average driver pays.

    Think about things like the value of your car and other individual circumstances that may affect your willingness to purchase additional coverage. Going with standard policies that provide you with the minimum level of coverage required by law may be cheaper in the short run, but these policies typically have relatively high deductibles. This means that if you do get involved in an accident, you will need to dig deeper into your pocket before the insurance company steps in.

  2. What steps can drivers in New York take to find affordable car insurance?

    Sources like Consumer Reports, Gabi, and InsuranceQuotes make it easy to obtain a wide range of quotes and to compare insurers. An agent may be helpful, but direct quotes are usually more effective. Investopedia has published a rating of the best auto insurers.

    Shopping around for car insurance is a daunting task. There are so many options that you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed and lost in the details. Moreover, it is often not immediately obvious what benefits more expensive policies offer that cheaper ones do not, and you may not even know precisely what level of coverage you need until trouble has already found its way to you. A reliable insurance agent could help you navigate this labyrinth based on your individual needs and do the research on the best deals for you.

  3. How do regulations and rules in New York impact insurance pricing and how consumers might shop for coverage?

    New York has the eighth-highest full-coverage (liability-plus-collision) and the third-highest minimum coverage (liability-only) auto insurance rates in the nation. New York requires prior approval for rate changes in excess of five percent, and all rates must be filed with the insurance commissioner. The New York State Department of Financial Services, which replaced the New York State Insurance Department and the New York State Banking Department in 2011, has numerous licensing requirements for companies and brokers. It regulates insurance contracts.

    State insurance regulation stifles innovation, but it’s better than federal regulation would be. The founder of New York’s Equitable Insurance Company, Henry B. Hyde, had left the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1859. Due to Hyde’s creativity, the Equitable introduced a radically new form of life insurance, tontine insurance, in 1868. The product, a lottery-like, reverse form of life insurance that had been invented by Neapolitan banker Lorenzo Tonti in 1653, was popular and successful, but the New York State legislature illegalized it in 1906 on the ground that it is immoral to profit from death. Regulation stifled Hyde’s creativity, and there has been little creativity in the insurance industry ever since.

    Regulation has likely increased the stability, continuity, and reliability of the better insurance companies, but it has also likely stifled growth, imagination, progress, and creativity. The state’s relatively high rates result from the regulatory regime. One good part of the regulation is that consumers can check with the New York State Department of Financial Services as to whether an insurance company is licensed.

    The main problem auto insurance companies face in general is that their business relies on future events that are inherently difficult to predict. As a result, even if you are an above-average driver, insurers may not be able to tell you apart from drivers worse than you (especially if you are a young or new driver with a non-existent driving record), so you may wind up paying just as much as those other drivers. This may be unfair, but insurance companies would quickly go out of business if they offered low rates to everyone. Investing in sending a credible signal that you take safe driving seriously helps you convince insurance companies to offer you lower rates. In fact, the State of New York requires insurers to automatically reduce the base rate on your premiums by 10% for three years after you take a certified defensive-driving course. These courses are very affordable, only take a few hours to complete, and may also reduce existing violation points on your driving record for the purposes of calculating a suspension by the DMV.


Mitchell Langbert
Mitchell LangbertAssociate Professor of Business Management at Brooklyn College
Aron Tobias
Aron TobiasAssistant Professor of Economics at Syracuse University


Sources