Expert Comparison of the Best Car Insurance Quotes: New York (2019)

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The majority of the car insurance quotes New York drivers receive are among the most expensive in the US. New York is the 12th most populous state, it has a no-fault car insurance system, and it’s among the top nationwide in terms of the frequency of insurance fraud. Furthermore, New York City is one of the biggest and most bustling metropolitan areas in the world. All these factors increase the chances of something unforeseen happening, which leads to high premiums.

Here, you’ll find a list of the cheapest car insurance in New York for each category of driver. We put it together knowing that the majority of customers want competitively priced protection. To populate our list, we requested car insurance quotes from every major New York company, in addition to ranking them according to their financial strength and the quality of their customer service.

Needless to say, with a little bit of research, it’s not difficult to find affordable and high-quality car insurance in New York. Since we did the research for you here, you can easily discover the best car insurance option that suits your needs and budget. In addition, we’ve explored the cost of auto insurance in the five largest cities in the state of New York, and we also conducted a price analysis for each of New York City’s five boroughs.

The Best Car Insurance in New York

  • Erie Insurance – Overall Winner
  • Geico Insurance – Runner-up
  • USAA Insurance – Best Choice for Military
  • Progressive – Best for Young and High-risk Drivers
  • MetLife – Best for Associated-Employee Discounts

The Overall Winner: Erie Insurance

Erie may not be the cheapest company in the Empire State, but its premiums are still quite affordable, being below the state average. What you’re getting by paying a slightly higher price is its top-notch customer service. Erie holds first place in J.D. Power’s 2018 national rankings in the claims satisfaction and insurance shopping study, beating out the established companies like Allstate, Geico, and Progressive insurance. Moreover, it has a vast network of agents ready to provide personalized and professional service. If you want first-class automotive insurance in New York, Erie insurance should be near the top of your shortlist.


The Rating of Erie Car Insurance in multiple categories in New York

The Runner-up: Geico Insurance

Geico may not be the champion of customer service like Erie. However, it still gets respectable results, scoring 3 out of 5 stars in J.D. Power’s study in the New York region. Furthermore, the company’s NAIC ratio is way below the industry average, at 0.62. The lower the ratio, the fewer complaints the company gets.

What really sets Geico apart are its rock-bottom prices and outstanding financial solvency. In our comprehensive comparison of the car insurance quotes New York residents receive, Geico offered the most affordable coverage at $234 per month for a 40-year-old driver, followed by Progressive, which requires a 40-year-old driver to pay $266 monthly.

Moreover, Geico is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which is one of the most successful and financially stable corporations in the US. This indicates Geico won’t be looking for excuses when the time comes to pay any claims expenses. All things considered, it’s surely worth giving Geico a try if you want affordable, high-quality coverage in New York.


The Rating of Geico Auto Insurance in multiple categories in New York

The Best Choice for Military: USAA Insurance

This company offers the best customer service and some of the most affordable prices for auto insurance in New York. It also has an exceptional website and a wide range of discounts and optional coverage. However, there’s one big caveat: USAA is only available to former and current US military members and their close families. If you are lucky enough to belong to this group, you should definitely give this company a chance—it is among the best car insurance you can find.


The Rating of USAA Car Insurance in multiple categories in New York


The Best for Young and High-risk Drivers: Progressive

Progressive was founded as a niche company that specializes in high-risk auto insurance. It later became one of the biggest car insurance providers in the US, but it remained true to its roots. This means it’s one of the best auto insurance companies in New York that accepts the drivers other companies consider too dangerous. Furthermore, it will provide them with a relatively inexpensive protection plan.

If you choose Progressive insurance, you are not making a trade-off in terms of quality of service, since the company got solid results in our review. Since the company is the second most affordable in our study, after Geico, those looking for cheap auto insurance in New York City should be more than happy with Progressive.


The Rating of Progressive Auto Insurance in multiple categories in New York

The Best for Associated-Employee Discounts: MetLife

MetLife is among the more expensive options in our test, costing a whopping $1,440 per month for a standard 40-year-old driver—this number stands out even more when you compare it to Progressive’s modest $266. Nonetheless, if you have recently purchased a vehicle and are exploring the New York car insurance options that might cover it, you should give MetLife a chance. We found in our review that the company is an outstanding choice for this group.

Most importantly, MetLife might be an excellent choice for those working in its associated companies and organizations, since it provides them with an amazing 50% discount to start with, not to mention the additional discounts available to them if they qualify.


The Rating of MetLife Car Insurance in multiple categories in New York

The Cheapest Car Insurance in New York

If you are looking for Cheap auto insurance, Geico and Progressive should be your first two options. Younger drivers can especially profit from choosing Progressive because the company offers superb rates for inexperienced and risky clients. Former and current army members and their families should give USAA a chance too.

Since it’s always smart to get quotes from three to five insurers, those searching for reasonably priced New York auto insurance should also add Erie, State Farm, Travelers, and Nationwide to their shortlist. These companies may not be the cheapest, but their prices are still quite affordable. In the end, insurance companies calculate their final premium based on the multitude of factors, meaning you can’t be sure you’ve got the best deal without shopping around.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance in New York

First of all, there is a significant variance between the cheapest and the priciest quote for certain New York driver demographics, meaning exploring the market can help quite a bit if you want cheap car insurance in New York. In addition, insurance prices in the Empire State are rather high because of New York’s no-fault system, high population density, and frequency of insurance fraud.

The no-fault system means your insurance covers the property damage and physical injuries you’ve suffered, no matter who was at fault in the accident. You are still able to sue the other driver, though. This system was created to lower the cost of auto insurance, but it accomplished quite the opposite.

On average, car insurance in New York City has exceptionally high premiums, standing at $579 per month for a 40-year-old driver. The rates are significantly lower in other major cities in the state of New York, ranging from $88 to $232 for a 40-year-old driver (our test company was Progressive insurance). This is completely expected since these are less populated and the frequency of fraud is smaller. Yonkers has the highest prices while some of the most affordable car insurance quotes New York residents can get were found in Rochester.

Car Insurance Prices in NY

Car Insurance in the Biggest Cities in New York

We took Progressive insurance as our reference company, and we requested a quote for a 40-year-old driver without previous violations in the biggest cities across the state of New York (this first list does not include NYC’s boroughs). Here are our results:

Buffalo

Those looking for cheap car insurance can find it in Buffalo, New York, since prices in this town are way lower than in New York City. Our Progressive quote in Buffalo was $132, compared to $266 for the same category in NYC. Other insurance reviews note that Geico, Nationwide, and Erie are quite affordable in this city, meaning it’s worth giving them a chance too. The last one also shares a name with the city’s biggest lake, making this company even more quote-worthy.

Rochester

Car insurance in Rochester, New York, is very affordable, despite the high number of young student drivers in this town. It costs only $88 per month based on our reference quote. Besides Progressive and Geico, there are some new names on the list of Rochester’s cheapest companies, like West Bend Mutual, Farm Bureau, and Western National. We couldn’t find much data on the quality of these insurers, meaning it may still be safer to go with an established company.

Syracuse

Syracuse is the state’s fifth most populous city and the center of the Central New York economic hub. It was named after an ancient Greek city that existed in present-day Sicily. Auto insurance prices in Syracuse, New York, are exactly the same as our reference quote in Buffalo, at $132. This is still way below the total the same driver would have to pay in NYC, which is $266.

Yonkers

Yonkers is the home of the world’s first elevator, built there in 1853 by the Otis Elevator Company. It is also a birthplace of Steven Tyler, lead vocalist of the famous rock group Aerosmith.

Those looking for cheap car insurance in New York are out of luck in the state’s fourth most populous city. Our reference quote here was $232 per month, which is only slightly cheaper than the same coverage in NYC.

Car Insurance Prices in the 5 New York City Boroughs

New York City is the largest municipality in the US and one of the biggest and liveliest metropolises in the world. Traffic jams are quite frequent, especially during rush hour, and the rate of insurance fraud is nation-leading. These factors cause auto insurance rates to skyrocket, meaning residents of New York City experience high premiums. Here, too, we requested a quote for a 40-year-old driver with a clean record from Progressive insurance, which is among the cheapest options in the state, to help give readers a basis of comparison.

Insurance Prices in New York Boroughs and Major NY Cities

Brooklyn

Home to over 700 arts and cultural institutions, not to mention the New York Nets, Brooklyn is the second most densely populated NYC borough. It’s also the most expensive one for car insurance. The monthly premium from Progressive for our reference driver was $416.

We wouldn’t be surprised if other insurers charged circa $2,000 on a monthly basis. Living in the birthplace of Jay Z, Woody Allen, and Eddie Murphy comes with a significant dose of prestige, and auto insurance premiums in Brooklyn, New York, reflect that. Other affordable insurers in this borough, according to the insurance reviews we evaluated, are Geico, Nationwide, and State Farm.

The Bronx

Did you know that Stanley Kubrick, a visionary director of genre-defining movies, such as A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey, was born in the Bronx? During the filming of The Shining, he made Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson shoot the same scene 127 times until he was satisfied. The alleged birthplace of hip-hop and home of the Yankees is the fourth largest and third most populous NYC borough.

Our quote from Progressive for a 40-year-old accident-free driver came in at $346 per month.  If you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance in New York City, it’s the second most expensive location after Brooklyn. Other reasonably priced companies in this borough according to car insurance reviews are Geico, Nationwide, and Travelers.

Manhattan

The iconic landscape of Manhattan hosts some of the most well-known and prominent buildings on the globe. It is home to Wall Street, a center point of the financial world, and to the two largest stock exchanges on the global level. The United Nations Headquarters are also located in Manhattan, together with some of the most elite educational institutions, including Columbia University, New York University, and Cornell Tech.

There are unquestionably many things the residents of Manhattan, New York, overpay, but automobile insurance is not one of them. One would assume that this concentration of money, power, and brains, together with Manhattan being the most densely populated NYC borough, would lead to bank-breaking car insurance rates. However, our reference quote was $332, lower than the Bronx or Brooklyn. Geico, State Farm, and Travelers are also worth checking if you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in Manhattan, New York.

Queens

While Queens is geographically the largest, it’s the fourth most densely populated borough in New York City. Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest tennis arena in the world, which has hosted the US Open since 1978, is located in Queens. The borough is the most ethnically diverse urban territory on the planet, with nearly 48% of the residents being foreign-born.

The lower concentration of residents bespeaks lower premiums compared to the more crowded boroughs like Brooklyn and Manhattan. Our reference quote came in at $282, which is quite reasonable for New York City. Other affordable car insurance companies in New York that you should take into account in Queens are Erie, Travelers, and Geico.

Staten Island

Staten Island has the lowest population out of all five boroughs, but it has the third largest area. However, the monthly premium for our Progressive quote was still quite high, at $307. You should check Geico, Erie, and Nationwide too if you are looking for affordable car insurance in this part of New York City.

Did you know that the map of Westeros, the fictional continent from the Game of Thrones fantasy series was modeled after Staten Island? The author G.R.R. Martin grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey, and often gazed through the window at Staten Island’s landscape. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, he said, “I did finally get to Staten Island and, I have to say, it was kind of disappointing.”

Minimum Auto Insurance Limits Required in New York

The New York state minimum required for car insurance is quite extensive. It includes a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $10,000 for property damage liability. In addition to this, the minimum death benefit limits are $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is also mandatory in this state, with the minimum limits being $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Although it might seem that you’re sufficiently protected with the state’s basic requirements, we would still advise a potential customer to opt for higher limits. You can easily find cheap car insurance in New York that’s also high quality, and if you choose such a provider, increasing limits won’t cost more than $100 per year—a small price to pay for peace of mind.

As for which limits you should consider raising, the property damage liability minimum, at $10,000, is quite low, what with a significant number of vehicles being worth $25,000+ nowadays. Furthermore, in case of a severe bodily injury, with the minimum coverage, you will likely have to pay a large sum out of your pocket. And since the no-fault system provides no real protection here, a gravely injured party can always sue the guilty one for damages.

How to Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance in New York

 

How to Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance in New York

 

There are some additional ways to lower your premium, like qualifying for a discount by completing a certified driving course or going accident-free for more than five years. Adding safety features to your vehicle, like a theft protection system, will also get you lower rates from most insurers. No matter what, the first thing to do is go through our list of car insurance companies in New York and find an affordable option that suits your needs.

Furthermore, since insurance policies are zipcode based, moving from NYC to a location with a lower population density, like Buffalo, will decrease your premium more than two-fold. Be sure to get a few quotes, since every region is a little bit different depending on the insurer. Overall, we found that when looking for the cheapest car insurance in New York, Rochester is the go-to place.

Another way to stop your rates from going up is to shop around every couple of years. This is because price optimization is legal in New York, meaning insurance companies may track your behavior to estimate how likely you are to leave them for another insurer, and they’ll add a couple of dollars to your premium if they think you won’t jump ship. By exploring other options, they’ll see you’re willing to accept better offers, meaning the company will offer their best prices to keep you as their customer.

Conclusion

Finding the best auto insurance in New York depends on your priorities, but a couple of companies separate themselves from the competition for any potential customer. If you’re looking for affordable insurance, Geico is our top choice, followed by Progressive. In case you are a former or current US army member, the chances are USAA is the best company for you. However, because of its limited availability, we couldn’t award it as the best company in New York.

That crown goes to Erie Insurance, which is slightly more expensive than the most affordable options, because it offers top-notch customer service in return. It also has a vast network of highly professional and helpful agents.

In the end, if you are looking for the finest car insurance in the state of New York, getting a couple of quotes from different carriers is a must. Insurance companies take numerous parameters into account when calculating a premium, meaning no review or guide can analyze them all. Nonetheless, you have all the information to start the search right here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the cheapest car insurance in New York for new drivers?

In our analysis, Progressive is the least expensive option, costing $433 monthly for a 21-year-old driver. Geico and Travelers also come close in terms of affordability for an inexperienced driver.

2. How much is car insurance per month in New York City?

According to our data, the average cost for a 40-year-old driver in New York City is $612 per month, which is quite expensive. The premiums vary significantly based on company, with Geico and Progressive offering monthly premiums below $300, New York Central Mutual and State Farm offering around $800, and MetLife pricing its insurance at an eye-watering $1,440 per month. This means that, despite the high median prices, those looking for cheap insurance in New York can find many options in this state.

3. How does a driver get car insurance in New York?

The ways to get a car insurance policy in New York are the same as the rest of the US. You can either call an insurance agency over the phone, go there in person, or get a quote online. Some companies will not offer online quotes, while most of them prefer to finalize their quote via an agent.

Every approach has its own advantages. Getting in touch with an agent offers a personalized experience, while completing a quote online seems more convenient. We prefer an online solution since an agent might try to upsell you their products and present some coverage that you don’t really need as though it’s essential.

4. How much is car insurance in New York?

Auto insurance quotes in New York vary significantly depending on whether you are based in NYC or some other city in the Empire State. The average monthly premium for a 40-year-old driver in NYC is $612 per month, with a substantial difference between the lowest (Geico at $234) and the highest (MetLife at $1,440) monthly premiums. Quotes in other big towns in NY are generally 50% cheaper than they are in its biggest city.

5. Which company offers the cheapest car insurance in New York?

You should start with Geico and Progressive if you’re looking for cheap quotes. Trailing behind them, but still offering reasonable prices are Erie, Nationwide, Travelers, and State Farm. Insurance corporations take many factors into consideration when they’re calculating your premium, meaning the companies that are the cheapest in guides like ours may not be the most affordable option for you. Thus, it’s always smartest to shop around for the best car insurance quotes New York drivers can get their hands on.

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