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Best car insurance companies in New York

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    If you own a car in New York State, finding the best car insurance is likely one of your key concerns. New York is one of the top ten most expensive states for car insurance, averaging $2,498 a year for full coverage, which is far above the national average of $1,555 a year. Factors behind this include:

    • 6.1% of New York motorists are uninsured.
    • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death in the state.
    • New York is the 9th most densely-populated state in the country.
    • As a no-fault state, you need to add PIP coverage to your policy.

    But that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable, quality car insurance in the state. Maintaining a clean driving record, for example, will result in significantly lower premium rates. The table below indicates how much a speeding ticket or accident affects annual insurance rates in New York.

    Clean record1 speeding ticket1 accident
    Full coverage$2,498$2,823$3,054
    Minimum coverage$1,295$1,489$1,668

    Top car insurance companies in New York

    • Allstate: Most affordable
    • Progressive: Best online quote tool
    • State Farm: Best discounts
    • Travelers: Best for hybrid/electric cars
    • USAA: best for military families
    CompanyJ.D. Power ScoreAM BestDiscounts offeredAverage rate
    Allstate3/5A- (Excellent)Smart student, Drivewise, $1,997
    Progressive3/5A+ (Superior)Multi-policy, Snapshot safe driver$2,510
    State Farm4/5A++ (Superior)Drive Safe and Save, driver under 25$2,694
    Travelers3/5A++(Superior)hybrid/electric car, multi-car$3,140
    USAA5/5A++ (Superior)New vehicle, storage on base$2,434

    Allstate: Most affordable

    Allstate offers a comprehensive list of coverage options at a competitively-low price. You’ll find a nice range of discounts as well, which can bring your rate down even further. The company’s Drivewise program transmits real-time data on your driving skills in exchange for a rate cut based on how good a driver you are. For affordability, Allstate tops our list of best car insurance providers in New York.

    Progressive: Best online quote tool

    Progressive’s renowned Name Your Price tool lets you plug in the numbers that work for you and get a quote that fits your budget and your insurance needs. You can also compare your quote with those of other companies without leaving Progressive’s website — a nice perk to help you find the best rate possible. With rates being a key factor in finding a great auto insurer in New York, Progressive stands out for enabling easy comparisons. 

    State Farm: Best discounts

    Your quote from State Farm will undoubtedly include some of the company’s generous discounts, which could reflect significant savings on otherwise-steep rates. The Steer Clear discount, for example, can save young drivers under 25 up to 15% if they avoid at-fault accidents or moving violations. With numerous options easy to qualify for, many New York drivers will find savings opportunities with State Farm’s discounts.

    Travelers: Best for hybrid/electric cars

    If you have a hybrid or an electric car in New York, Travelers’ quotes are some of the best. This provider offers a green discount whether you own or lease your car, which means you earn money back just for being environmentally friendly. With the ever-growing popularity of such vehicles, this can be an advantage for New York drivers.

    USAA: Best for military families

    USAA consistently ranks high on consumer rating lists and it’s known for competitive rates, making it an elite provider — for those who qualify. It’s only available for current or retired military members and their extended families. If you fit that demographic, USAA should be your first stop for a quote, particularly for its military-oriented service.

    Car insurance in New York by city

    In addition to variances by state, rates fluctuate quite a bit by city as well. In the chart below, you can compare annual full and minimum coverage rates by major New York cities. 

    CityFull coverage annual rateMinimum coverage annual rate
    New York City$3,334$1,907
    Buffalo$2,140$999
    Rochester$1,543$662
    Yonkers$2,988$1,320
    Syracuse$1,697$713

    New York City

    New York City car insurance premiums are the highest in the state, at $3,334 for full coverage. That’s largely due to the population density and heavy traffic common to the city, resulting in a higher-than-average accident rate. It may rise even more in the near future, since the rate of car theft is up 63% in 2020.

    Buffalo

    Buffalo is known for severe winter weather, which may explain why you’ll pay an average of $2,140 for full coverage in this city. Buffalo also suffers more stolen cars than any area of New York State per capita — even compared to the New York City region.

    Rochester

    Rochester offers the most competitive rates of any urban area in New York. In fact, you’ll pay an astonishing $1,791 less than New York City residents if you live in the Rochester region. Low crime rates and good transportation infrastructure play a role in getting you the lowest car insurance prices in Rochester.

    Yonkers

    Yonkers features the second-highest average car insurance rates after New York City, at $2,988, which is not surprising considering how close the two urban areas are geographically. And as is true of NYC, Yonker’s rates may be affected in the near future because of the increase in car theft since the pandemic started. 

    Syracuse

    Syracuse has the second-lowest car insurance rates in the state after Rochester, with full coverage available for an average of just $1,697. Like its neighbors Rochester and Buffalo, it sees significant winter weather, resulting in a higher-than-average number of premium-raising accidents during snow and ice storms. But being farther from crime helps keep rates low compared to more urban parts of the state.

    New York car insurance considerations

    New York is a state exposed to many harsh weather conditions, and the risks that drivers face range from hurricanes on Long Island, to Buffalo’s notorious ice storms. Damage from wind, falling trees and other natural disasters make comprehensive coverage a key consideration for New York residents.

    As is true of most states, auto insurance is a requirement in New York to drive legally. New York is a no-fault state, which means each driver files a claim with their own insurer following an accident, regardless of who is at-fault. Because of this, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is mandatory.

    New York minimum liability requirements

    New York’s minimum liability requirements are listed as 25/50/10. What does this mean? Bodily injury liability covers the medical costs associated with the driver and passengers in the other car. Property damage liability, not surprisingly, covers damage to the car or other property. The percentages breakdown as follows:

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

    New York also requires a minimum of $50,000 of PIP coverage and 25/50 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

    How we chose the best car insurance providers in New York

    To choose the best insurers in New York, we compared those that offer low, competitive average pricing as well as discount options to lower your premium down ever more. An extensive range of coverages was a plus, with optional coverages fitting a variety of circumstances.

    We also looked at the ratings of consumer organizations such as J.D. Power to find providers that offer the best customer experience. Finally, AM Best ratings indicate whether or not the company is fiscally sound, and able to pay out even in the event of a regional disaster that impacts many policyholders.

    Other car insurance providers in New York to consider

    Although not included as one of our top choices for providers, you may include the following provider in your comparison-shopping as it could also be a good fit for auto insurance in New York.

    NYCM

    New York Central Mutual is a regional insurance company that has an “A” rating from AM Best, meaning they are financially well-managed and sound. They have a reputation for excellent customer service and offer good coverage options for policyholders. As a local provider, NYCM is worth your consideration. 

    CompanyAM Best ratingDiscounts offeredAverage rate
    NYCM A (Excellent) New car, seniors$2,590

    Methodology

    Coverage Utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states, using the top 15 carriers by premiums written by state. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30-year-old male and female with clean driving records, good credit and the following full coverage details:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.

    Mary Van Keuren

    After 30 years as a writer and editor in academia, Mary now writes full-time for the insurance and finance industries. Her work has appeared on Reviews.com, TheSimpleDollar.com and Bankrate.com, as well as other consumer-focused websites.

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