The Best New York Auto Insurance Companies
As is the case with most types of insurance, auto insurance is something motorists buy with the hope that they will never need it. The Empire State has more drivers on the road than almost any other state, so even if you go months or years without having to make a claim, it’s likely there will come a day when you do. We set out to learn all we could about New York’s top auto insurance providers in order to parse out the differences between them. Along the way, we also uncovered a lot of useful information for New York drivers to be aware of before shopping around for auto insurance.
The 6 Best Auto Insurance Companies in New York
The Best New York Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up
|Progressive||Travelers||Allstate||State Farm||Liberty Mutual||USAA|
|Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review|
|Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote|
Progressive is our top pick for auto insurance in New York, hands down. We found its auto quote process and overall website user experience to be clean, simple, and intuitive. Progressive offered the second-highest amount of supplemental coverage options of our picks behind State Farm, offering endorsements for even smaller things like roadside assistance and pet injury. In addition, it offers a wide array of discounts, ranging from those for having multiple cars on one policy to having teen drivers in the household. The website also mentions an average discount of 7% for starting your quote process online — an awfully enticing offer none of our other providers had.
Progressive is also one of only a few top auto insurance providers in New York that offers a live chat option. That’s super convenient when you’re trying to quickly find an answer. But its best feature is its incredibly comprehensive FAQ section called “Progressive Answers,” which handles top-level insurance questions (“What actually impacts your auto insurance price?”) as well as the more specific (“Red cars and other insurance myths”).
That said, Progressive received only a three out of five from J.D. Power for its overall customer satisfaction and claims process. Still, Consumer Reports ranked it as “Very Good” in regards to its simplicity of process and “Excellent” for its timely payouts, so your own experience may vary.
Our second pick for top auto insurance providers in New York is Travelers, covering 4% of the market. The company received the highest ranking of all our top picks from Consumer Reports, second only to USAA. J.D. Power gave it a three out of five (“about average”) for overall satisfaction and four out of five for the overall claims process (“better than most”). The quote process is seamless, spitting out a quote in a matter of minutes.
The website is a great resource of information, with sections clearly spelling out “ways to save” and “what’s covered.” It also features a nifty Tools and Resources section linked to blog posts covering common auto insurance-related topics, such as “A Timeline for Getting Your Teen Driver on the Road Safely.” Travelers offers the second-highest amount of discounts, including one for low mileage and another for having a safe driving history, which may translate to real savings in your premium. If Travelers receives any dings, it’s that it doesn’t offer quite as many endorsements as its top competitors.
Allstate provides insurance to 13.6% of New York’s motorists, making it the second-largest insurer in the state. The company’s website is a great resource for all things auto insurance. It clearly lists all of its endorsements and discounts (you could save money by paying for your auto insurance in full or having anti-lock brakes, for example). Plus, the website provides an at-a-glance definition beneath each supplemental coverage and discount, which is highly useful to someone bouncing from website to website trying to quickly compare quotes.
Customers gave Allstate three out of five (“about average”) for overall satisfaction and for timely payouts, according to J.D. Power. Allstate also received high marks from financial institutions like Moody’s, which granted the company its highest rating for having “exceptional financial security.”
- Great online presence
- High claims satisfaction scores
Poorly designed mobile app
State Farm is the third-largest auto insurance provider in the state, covering roughly 12.6% of insured drivers. The website isn’t quite as comprehensive as that of Progressive or Allstate, and it feels a bit outdated, with huge blocks of small-print text. Still, it does a fine job delineating all of the discounts you may be eligible for (including having air bags in your car and going through a safe driver course) and all of the endorsements you can receive (like ride-share driver coverage and emergency road service).
One thing we didn’t love about State Farm? Its online quote process. We had to enter our Driver’s License Number or Social Security Number and then provide a detailed account of any at-fault accidents, tickets, major violations, or license suspensions in the past six years: a lot of work to get a quote when you’re just shopping around.
Both S&P Global and A.M. Best rated the company’s financial stability as “very strong” and “superior,” respectively; this made us feel good about recommending State Farm, regardless of its quote process. The company earned only two out of five from J.D. Power when it came to the claims process but, on the plus side, it received a three out of five (about average) in overall satisfaction.
Liberty Mutual is the fifth-largest auto insurance provider in New York with 5.4% of the market share. The website is easy to navigate, and we got exactly where we wanted to go in just a few clicks.
That being said, Liberty Mutual’s online quote tool requires a Social Security Number, which isn’t ideal if you’re just shopping around for a quick quote. There are two ways to obtain a free quote on its website. You can either choose to receive a “quick estimate,” which means answering a few quick questions, or a “personalized quote,” which means answering much more detailed questions. Both require your SSN.
Liberty Mutual received positive ratings from all three financial institutions (Moody’s, S&P Global, and A.M. Best), varying from “good” to “very strong.” J.D. Power rated both its overall satisfaction and claim satisfaction as three out of five, meaning “about average,” so you’re likely to have a positive experience when working with the company.
- High customer satisfaction ratings
- Offers a variety of discounts for members
- Only for active or retired military and their families
USAA doesn’t have the most advertised discounts of our picks, though the company does offer the more common ways to save, including multi-car discounts and discounts for safe driving. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the main reason we saved it for last. Unlike our other top picks, USAA only offers insurance coverage to members of the military and their families.
That being said, there’s no denying the financial stability of the provider, with a score of A++ from A.M. Best and a perfect score from J.D. Power — five out of five ratings in all categories, from pricing to the claims process. While it’s true that USAA isn’t for everyone, if you are eligible for the company’s coverage, it’s definitely worth getting a quote.
The Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in New York
|Car Insurance Companies||Average Annual Premium|
|NY Central Mutual Fire||$1,232|
|Encompass Home & Auto||$2,424|
|Average Across Credit Rating Tiers||$2,010|
Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 07/01/2019.
These rates are a sample set meant only for general comparison. Your own premium will vary. Learn how we tested rates for the cheapest car insurance companies below.
Top 3 Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in New York
Top 3 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies in New York
• Unitrin Direct
• Metropolitan P&C
• Preferred Mutual
New York’s high population density and cost of living contribute to its being the second-most expensive state in the U.S. for car insurance. Home to New York City, New York state hosts the country’s most populous metropolis, which brings with it an elevated risk for car accidents, theft, and vandalism. Though the high concentration of people in one five-borough area is bad enough, New York’s notoriously high cost of living can lead to higher rates of debt and low credit scores. In some cases, customers with poor credit are pay over $4,000 in annual premiums.
Guide to New York Auto Insurance
New York minimum liability
In auto insurance jargon, liability essentially means “responsibility.” There are two main kinds of liability: bodily injury and property damage. If you are at-fault in an accident, your auto liability insurance will pay the other driver’s medical and vehicle repair costs.
Minimum liability refers to the minimum amount of insurance coverage the state of New York requires you to purchase before you can legally drive your car. (Sometimes, liability coverage is shown in the following shorthand: 25/50/10.) New York’s minimum liability coverage breaks down as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage coverage per accident
A $10,000 minimum liability for property damage coverage per accident is on the lower side. In fact, 35 other states require higher minimum liability. You never want to purchase solely the minimum liability coverage if you can afford more. If you’re involved in a serious car accident, the crash might very well exceed the the minimum liability of $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident, and you’ll be left paying the rest out of pocket. That’s why DMV.org advises purchasing the highest amount of auto insurance you can afford.
One other interesting thing about New York state laws regarding auto insurance: Policyholders must also have 50/100 for wrongful death coverage. This means $50,000 of coverage for a wrongful death claim for any single person and $100,000 for a wrongful death claim for multiple people in a single accident. (We delve more deeply into this at the end of the review.)
There are many factors that determine auto insurance premiums (if you rent or own your home, how long you’ve been a licensed driver, your driving safety record, your ZIP code, and so on). This is why we highly recommend shopping around to find the most affordable premium and in-depth coverage for your specific situation. This review on the top auto providers in New York is a great place to start.
New York has the second-lowest rate of uninsured motorists in the U.S.
New York is one of only 17 states that requires drivers by law to carry both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This means that if you are in an accident and the driver at fault is not insured, or underinsured, you will still be covered. The Insurance Institute lists New York with just 6.1% of its drivers as uninsured (Maine is the lowest with 4.5%). It calls mandatory underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage “an effective remedy” for providing compensation to drivers hit by an uninsured motorist, but it also states that the policy does little to reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the road overall.
New York is the only state to require wrongful death coverage
All New York state drivers are required by law to purchase liability insurance for wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is typically filed by a close family member of someone who has died due to negligence or misconduct. The claim is intended to compensate the bereaved for financial losses incurred after their loved one’s death.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not an easy process. The New York state wrongful death statute includes financial loss such as funeral expenses, loss of earnings, and loss of pension, but you cannot recover compensation for emotional grief.
New York Auto Insurance FAQ
What are average auto insurance rates in New York?
Thanks to dense traffic and a high cost of living, New York has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country — an annual average of $1,361, compared with the national average of $1,009. However, the rate you’ll actually pay could be lower depending on your car, coverage, and address. Use our tool at the top of the page to find your best rates.
How much auto insurance do you need?
Since New York has more drivers on the road than all but three other states — and since its location makes it susceptible to hurricanes — we recommend getting as much auto insurance coverage as your budget allows.
How can I lower my car insurance in NY?
Aside from getting as many quotes as possible, there are a few other things you can do to keep the cost of your car insurance low. These range from being aware of available discounts to being an all-around better driver.
9 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates in NY
- Consider your car: The newer the vehicle, the higher the premium. Other factors such as estimated repair costs and the make and model will also give you an indication of what you might be looking at in terms of rates.
- Maintain good credit: Having a good credit score is a clear indication to auto insurance companies that you can be trusted to handle your finances and, most importantly to them, pay your premiums. This will usually factor into how high or low your insurance rates will be.
- Really shop around: The first step to ensuring your car insurance rates won’t break the bank is to see what’s out there. Don’t just stop with our list of the top six; continue on from there and gather as many quotes as you can. When you have exhausted all options, you’ll have a clearer idea of which provider has the rates and services ideal for your needs.
- Compare discounts: While shopping for quotes, put together a list of the available discounts from each provider. And remember that a provider with the most discounts does not necessarily indicate the most savings. Some providers might offer more items in their list of discounts, but some of these might not apply to you.
- Opt for higher deductibles: Paying for higher deductibles could reduce other coverage costs in your policy.
- Consider easy ways to save: Some providers, such as Progressive, will offer a discount just for starting the quote process or signing up. There are even providers that will offer discounts for opting into automatic payments and renewal.
- Bundle: Sometimes referred to as a “multi-policy discount,” this option advertised by most of our top picks offers discounts for bundling other insurance policies along with auto. For example, you could be eligible for a discount by bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners policy. While focusing solely on this might limit your options, it’s still worth considering.
- Invest in safety features: Some providers will offer additional discounts for safety features like anti-lock brakes and air bags.
- Drive safely: Not only is safer driving key to a longer life, it can also help you keep those insurance rates low. Any time you’re caught speeding or involved in a moving violation is a red flag to insurance companies that you’re at high risk of filing a claim. This leads to higher rates to compensate for the financial risk you pose. By being a better driver, you alleviate the concerns of the insurance provider, and you might be eligible for discounts as a result.
How We Found the Best Auto Insurance Companies in New York
When we set out to learn more about the top auto insurance providers in the Empire State, we went about it in much the same way we found the best nationwide auto insurance providers. To begin, we found the six largest auto insurance providers in New York by market share. We then evaluated each company based on its website tools, educational offerings, and customer service. For example, was the quote process a breeze or needlessly difficult?
We also evaluated the overall claims process and company reputation by examining J.D. Power scores and Consumer Reports ratings and analyzed each provider’s financial stability — after all, it’s vital that a company is solvent enough to pay out in the event that you have to make a claim. Where we deviated from our review of national providers was in our J.D. Power score threshold; we were a little more lenient and required that a provider have at least 800 out of 1,000.
We also put each company through its paces by nabbing sample insurance quotes, using a 2012 Subaru Outback with 65,000 miles with a 30-year-old female driver. We worked with Quadrant Information Services to get these quotes using rate data insurers are required to file with state Departments of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes.