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Car Insurance in New York

Illustration of a car driving down a road next to a field with a highway banner that reads

If you’re new to New York car insurance, you might be surprised to learn that it’s different in several respects from car insurance in other states.

Quick Facts

  • New York is known as a no-fault state. All New York drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers your medical costs if you’re injured in a car accident, whether or not you’re at fault.
  • New York doesn’t require its drivers to file SR-22 forms. However, if you’re ordered to file an SR-22 in another state, you’ll still need to keep doing so even you’re a New York resident or move to New York.
  • Undocumented workers in New York don’t need to prove their citizenship or legal status to get a New York driver’s license, and insurance companies can’t discriminate against drivers due to legal status or citizenship.

How Much is Car Insurance in New York?

How much car insurance costs in New York depends on what type of car insurance you need or want. Common types of car insurance in New York include:

  • Liability insurance, which protects you when you hurt someone or damage property when you’re involved in a car accident and are at fault
  • Collision insurance, which covers repair costs to your own car when you’re involved in a car accident and are at fault
  • Comprehensive insurance, which covers repair or replacement costs of your car when it’s stolen, vandalized, or damaged in a natural disaster
  • Personal injury protection (PIP), which covers your own medical costs when you’re injured in a car accident, regardless of fault
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance, which covers your medical and car repair costs if you’re involved in a car accident, and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance

If you’re not sure which types of car insurance are best for you, the best option is to get a car insurance quote and talk to a New York car insurance expert who can help get you the coverage you need.

What is the Average Premium in New York for Full Coverage Car Insurance?

If you’re looking for full coverage car insurance in New York, that is, car insurance that combines liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance coverage, expect to pay an average of $1,375 per year.

How Much is it for Just the Minimum Required Car Insurance in New York?

If you want just the minimum required auto liability insurance in New York, then you can expect to pay an average of $2,775 per year. However, average car insurance rates in New York vary widely depending on a variety of factors.

How do Rates Compare Across Major Cities in New York?

New York is home to the largest city in the US as well as small towns and villages. How much you pay for car insurance depends a lot on where you live. Below are the cities with the ten highest and ten lowest average annual car insurance rates in New York.

Top 10 Cities with the Highest Average Car Insurance Rates in New York

City County Average Annual Car Insurance Premium
1 Brooklyn Kings $6,600
2 Saint Albans Queens $6,100
3 South Ozone Park Queens $6,075
4 South Richmond Hill Queens $6,000
5 Jamaica Queens $5,950
6 Rosedale Queens $5,925
7 Woodhaven Queens $5,925
8 Ozone Park Queens $5,925
9 Cambria Heights Queens $5,900
10 Howard Beach Queens $5,900

Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Average Car Insurance Rates in New York

City County Average Annual Car Insurance Premium
1 Corning Steuben $1,775
2 Coopers Plains Steuben $1,800
3 Gang Mills Steuben $1,800
4 Horseheads North Chemung $1,800
5 Big Flats Chemung $1,800
6 Elmira Heights Chemung $1,800
7 Elmira Chemung $1,825
8 West Elmira Chemung $1,825
9 Horseheads Chemung $1,825
10 Wellsburg Chemung $1,825

Is There a Good Driver Discount in New York?

Even if you live in a part of New York with higher-than-average car insurance rates, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to lower your car insurance rates in New York. One of the best ways to do it is to get a good driver discount if you haven’t received any moving violations (including speeding tickets) or made any car insurance claims in the last three years. Other ways to lower your New York car insurance premium include completing a defensive driving course and bundling your car insurance with other insurance policies.

New York Car Insurance Laws

What are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in New York?

Like most other states, New York requires anyone with a registered vehicle to carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the minimum auto liability insurance limits in New York are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person ($50,000 for accidents resulting in death)
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident ($100,000 for accidents resulting in death)
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident
  • $50,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)

Bodily injury/death liability insurance in New York covers medical bills and funeral costs if someone other than you is injured or killed in a car accident. Property damage liability covers repair costs to cars and property other than your own. Both of these coverages only apply when you’re at fault for a car accident.

Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in New York covers your own medical bills if you’re injured in a car accident. Unlike bodily injury or property damage liability, PIP insurance applies whether or not you’re at fault for the car accident.

What Factors Does New York Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?

Car insurance companies in New York are legally allowed to consider several factors when determining how much you pay for car insurance. Below are the most important factors that affect your car insurance premium in New York.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Location
  • Driving History
  • Type of Car
  • Driving Experience
  • Credit History

What is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in New York?

New York takes car insurance very seriously. If you’re caught driving without car insurance in New York, you could face a penalty anywhere between $150 and $1,500. Your car can be impounded, and you could even face jail time for up to 15 days. Your license and vehicle registration will likely be suspended. To reinstate your license, you’ll need to prove to the DMV that you have valid car insurance coverage and also pay a $750 reinstatement fee.

All of these penalties apply whether you’re driving your own car while uninsured or letting someone else borrow your car.

Keep in mind that a police officer will always ask to see proof of liability insurance at any traffic stop, even if you were stopped for something unrelated to car insurance. And if you can’t provide proof of insurance, the police officer will assume that you don’t have coverage. That’s why it’s important always to have a copy of your insurance card somewhere where you can easily access it while driving. While many insurance companies provide electronic ID cards, we recommend keeping a paper copy as your primary proof of insurance. You never know when you’ll forget your phone or run out of battery!

Am I Required to Report an Accident in New York to Authorities?

According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, drivers in New York are legally required to file an accident report for any car accident that involves injury or death or for any accident where the value of property damage (including damage to your own car) is more than $1,000. If you don’t file an accident report within ten days of the date of the accident, then your license can be suspended until you file the report.

Once the accident report is filed, the accident will appear on your New York driving record. However, the New York DMV does not determine who’s at fault for a car accident. Therefore, accidents on your New York driving record will never indicate whether you’re at fault or not.

Once you’ve filed your accident report with the New York DMV, you’ll still want to contact your car insurance company and let them know that you were involved in an accident. That way, the insurance company has as much information as possible about the accident while your memory is fresh. The more information you give your insurance company, the more prepared they’ll be to help you and process your claim quickly.

What is Driving Like in New York?

How Many Car Accidents Happen in New York?

It’s estimated that there are between 10 and 11 million car crashes in New York every year. While most crashes result in only property damage, there are almost 137,000 emergency room visits each year due to traffic-related accidents. Of that number, over 12,000 cases lead to hospitalizations, and about 1,100 accidents lead to death. About one-third of all fatal accidents in New York were alcohol-related.

The most common causes for car accidents in New York include:

  1. Distracted driving
  2. Failing to yield the right of way
  3. Following too closely
  4. Speeding or maintaining unsafe speed
  5. Disregarding traffic controls, including running red lights

How Many Motorists are Uninsured/Underinsured in New York?

About 5% of New York drivers are uninsured. Even more are underinsured, that is, driving with car insurance that doesn’t meet the legal requirements for auto liability coverage.

When you’re involved in a car accident in New York with an uninsured or underinsured driver at fault, it might seem like there’s no hope for financial recovery. But there are a couple of options. First, you always have the right to sue the other driver, who can be found at fault by the court and required to compensate you for damages beyond your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, lawsuits are expensive and can take years to settle. In the meantime, you’re still on the hook for paying your medical bills and car repair costs. In addition, if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, then chances are that they won’t be able to pay your medical and repair bills, at least in the short term.

A better option is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. New York car insurance companies are legally required to offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) when you purchase a standard car insurance policy. UM/UIM covers you when you’re involved in a car accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. With UM/UIM coverage, you get paid directly by the car insurance company instead of having to go through the lengthy and expensive process of a lawsuit. That’s why UM/UIM in New York is such a good idea.

If you’re injured in a car accident in New York with an uninsured driver, you may also be eligible to recover some of your losses through the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).

FAQs about New York Car Insurance

I am a Low-Income Driver. What Can I do About Getting Car Insurance in New York?

While New York doesn’t offer a special insurance program for low-income drivers, there are a few rules that keep car insurance companies from discriminating against low-income drivers in New York. Car insurance companies in New York are not allowed to factor in your occupation or level of education when calculating your car insurance premium. The idea is to make sure that insurance costs are based on driving performance and history rather than income or socio-economic factors.

Can an Undocumented Worker get Car Insurance in New York?

It is against the law in New York to deny anyone with a valid driver’s license the opportunity to apply for car insurance, regardless of the driver’s citizenship, immigration status, or legal status. The New York Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act — commonly known as the “Green Light Law” — also protects drivers from being denied insurance coverage based on race, creed, skin color, national origin, disability, sex, marital status, or advanced age.

Is it Possible to Get Car Insurance in New York With a DUI Mark on my Record?

New York drivers with a DUI conviction can still be insured. However, they can expect their car insurance rates to increase by 85 percent on average. DUIs and other major traffic violations stay on your New York driving record for as long as ten years.

Get a New York Car Insurance Quote Today!

Photo of traffic on a street in New York City with cars, taxis and buses going in both directions.

Driving in New York is unpredictable, and car accidents happen every day. Don’t risk getting caught without car insurance in New York, losing your license, and paying thousands of dollars in fines. Anyone can get affordable car insurance in New York, even if you’re an undocumented worker.

Get started with a quote online, visit us at a local office near you, or call us at (800) 777-5620 for a quote.