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Best Car Insurance in New York for June 2024

Updated
Dana George
By: Dana George

Our Insurance Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

It's illegal to drive in the state of New York without auto insurance. However, that coverage does not come cheap. The relatively high cost of insurance in New York makes it doubly important to find the right policy -- coverage that will be there to protect your financial interests in the event of a claim.

We've looked into New York insurers to determine which provides the state's best car insurance. Here's what we found.

Best auto insurance in New York:

  • Best overall: USAA
  • Best budget pick: Unitrin Safeguard
  • Best for typical drivers: Geico
  • Best for customer satisfaction: USAA
  • Best for minimum coverage: Geico
  • Best for military veterans: Geico
  • Best for teen drivers: New York Central Mutual
  • Best for drivers with one speeding ticket: Unitrin Safeguard

Best car insurance in New York overall: USAA

With one of the lowest rates in the state ($2,769) and the highest rating in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction, USAA is unbeatable. However, USAA is only available to active, retired, and honorably separated military members and their families.

Civilians might want to consider the second-place winner in the "best overall" category: New York Central Mutual (NYCM).

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Best car insurance in New York overallUSAA
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Best budget pick: Unitrin Safeguard

In a state with particularly expensive rates, finding an insurance company that has kept its premiums low is important. In New York, that company is Unitrin Safeguard. With an average auto insurance rate of $2,254, a Unitrin Safeguard policy is 46% lower than the state average.

Best for typical drivers: Geico

Choosing the best auto insurance policy for typical drivers was a tough call, with the final decision coming down to Geico and NYCM. Geico won out for a few reasons. The company received a healthy customer satisfaction score of 821 out of 1,000 on the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study. It also provides the best coverage for members of the military and drivers seeking minimum coverage. Finally, Geico won this category because it charges drivers with a speeding ticket far less than most of its competitors.

Best for customer satisfaction: USAA

It's impossible to overstate the importance of the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Policyholders do not hold back when rating companies, making the results all the more meaningful. For 2023, USAA came in at the top of the heap with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 879 out of 1000.

Again, civilians may want to take a closer look at NYCM. NYCM's average rates are nearly identical to USAA rates, and NYCM came in second place for customer satisfaction.

Best for minimum coverage: Geico

The average insurance rate statewide for minimum coverage comes in at $1,361. Geico blows that rate out of the water with a rate of $544. That's a full 60% lower than the state average. While minimum coverage will not repair the policyholder's vehicle if they cause an accident, it allows them to drive legally.

Best for military veterans: Geico

The natural assumption might be that USAA always offers vets the best service and lowest rates, but it's not always the case. For example, in New York, Geico's average policy rate is over $400 lower than USAA's, and Geico ranks No. 4 in the state for customer service, with a J.D. Power score of 821 out of 1,000.

Best for teen drivers: New York Central Mutual

Paying for a teenage driver's auto insurance is no joke. Statewide, the average teen premium is a whopping $8,593. That's solely due to a teen's lack of experience behind the wheel and the number of insurance claims resulting from young drivers. NYCM, one of the state's highest-rated insurers, provides one of the lowest rates. With an average annual premium of just over $4,600, it's certainly not cheap, but it's possible to reduce that price tag by bundling teen coverage with yours and taking advantage of price breaks, like a good student discount or credit for a driver's education course.

Best for drivers with one speeding ticket: Unitrin Safeguard

Unitrin Safeguard is not only the best budget insurer but also the most forgiving of drivers with one speeding ticket on their records. Given that a speeding ticket stays on a driver's record for up to four years in New York, carrying coverage through a company that keeps the lid on its rates makes financial sense.

How much does car insurance cost in New York?

The specific cost of auto insurance depends on several factors, including age, driving record, and vehicle type. The average cost to insure a vehicle in New York runs $4,200 annually, 28% higher than the average national rate of $3,017.

Average car insurance cost

Here, we break down the average monthly and annual premiums for a variety of common driver personas in New York:

Persona Average Monthly Premium Average Annual Premium
Overall $350 $4,200
Drivers with Clean Records $327 $3,920
Drivers with One Accident $398 $4,773
Drivers with One Speeding Ticket $355 $4,261
Drivers with One DUI $437 $5,246
Teen Drivers $708 $8,499
Senior Drivers $258 $3,094
Military Veterans $290 $3,477
Drivers Seeking Minimum Coverage $113 $1,361
Data source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas.

New York auto insurance laws

Auto insurance is required to drive in New York. Further, drivers must provide proof of insurance to register a vehicle in the state. If drivers do not maintain the coverage, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend their vehicle registration and driver's license.

If the DMV receives information that a driver was involved in a traffic crash while driving without insurance, their driver's license and vehicle registration will be revoked for at least one year. Further, their license and registration will also be revoked for at least one year if someone else drives their uninsured vehicle, is involved in a crash, and is convicted of operating without insurance.

Court fines could run as much as $1,500 for driving without insurance or allowing someone else to drive. They will also have to pay the DMV a civil penalty of $750 to get their license back after revocation.

What is the minimum car insurance required in New York?

The minimum required car insurance required in New York is as follows:

  • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

Other things to consider when looking for car insurance in New York

Here are some basic facts to keep in mind while shopping for the cheapest auto insurance in New York:

  • New York is a no–fault state. No-fault insurance is also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is designed to pay claims quickly, no matter which driver is at fault.
  • Pedestrians injured by motor vehicles in the state are also protected by no-fault coverage.
  • Drivers must maintain required insurance on a continuous basis as long as they own their car. The New York DMV has a system -- called the Insurance Information and Enforcement System (IIES) -- that detects all uninsured vehicles.
  • If you are insured under a New York auto insurance policy and rent a car for 30 days or less anywhere in the U.S., its territories and possessions, or Canada, you do not need to buy a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) from the car rental company, even if you don't have collision or comprehensive coverage on your own car. According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, such coverage is provided at no charge.
  • You can't fairly compare one company's rates to another until you've factored in all discounts available to you.

How to find the best car insurance in New York

Here are a few tips that can help you secure the highest level of coverage you can afford.

Shop around

Do not assume all insurance companies are alike. For example, one may charge far more for a driver with a speeding ticket on their record than another insurer will. Taking the time to shop around can save you hundreds each year.

Take advantage of discounts

Often overlooked car insurance discounts can also save you big. Let's say you also own a home. Carrying more than one policy through the same company (called "bundling") is one of the easiest ways to save money.

Choose a higher deductible

Your deductible is the amount you must pay toward a claim before your insurance company pays the remainder. Generally, the higher the deductible you pay, the lower your premium. It's a good idea to build an emergency fund you can pull from in the event of a claim.

FAQs

  • Anyone who gets behind the wheel to drive in New York is legally required to carry auto insurance. A driver must also be insured before they can register their car with the state.

  • Drivers caught driving without insurance in New York may get hit with a traffic court fine as high as $1,500 and revocation of their driver's license. They will then have to pay the DMV an additional fee of $750 to get their license reinstated.

  • The best car insurance for you is the one offering the highest level of coverage at the lowest possible rate.

Our Insurance Expert