New York City Car Insurance Guide (Coverage + Costs)
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020
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|New York Statistics||Details|
|City Density||28,429 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Insurance in New York||$5,066.55|
|Cheapest Car Insurance Company||Geico|
|Road Conditions||Poor – 46%
Mediocre – 23%
Fair – 13%
Good – 18%
It can be difficult to find the right insurance policy. Even if you spend hours reviewing and comparing providers online, you may still be left with an overwhelming list of choices.
After hours of research, you’re left to choose which one has the best rates for you while providing the most robust coverage. How do you know which factors affect your insurance rates in New York?
Luckily, finding the right car insurance for you doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You’ll find all the necessary research and data to help guide your purchase below, including some other interesting information about insuring your vehicle in New York.
You can start your journey toward affordable insurance today. Enter your ZIP code in our tool above to get started.
The Cost of Car Insurance in New York
To help you understand all the details regarding your car insurance in New York, we’ve broken down insurance premiums by company, age, gender, ZIP code, and much more.
Below you’ll find all of the necessary information to help you choose the right insurance plan for your needs.
Does gender and age affect my car insurance in New York?
While insurance rates are determined by a wide variety of factors, two of the biggest drivers of insurance premiums are your age and your gender. The chart below demonstrates the difference between rates based on gender:
According to DataUSA, the average age in New York is 36.9, which is slightly lower than the New York state average of 38.7 years. This means that most drivers won’t have to worry about the higher rates that most insurance companies charge their youngest customers.
|Driver Demographics||Average Annual Car Insurance Rates|
|Married 60-year-old female||$4,681.38|
|Married 60-year-old male||$4,722.65|
|Married 35-year-old male||$4,988.73|
|Married 35-year-old female||$5,144.36|
|Single 25-year-old female||$5,384.78|
|Single 25-year-old male||$5,699.13|
|Single 17-year-old female||$12,988.41|
|Single 17-year-old male||$16,247.58|
The table above provides the average annual rates for car insurance in New York based on age, gender, and marital status.
Like most states, 17-year-old drivers in New York are charged the highest rates, with men being rated higher than women, while 60-year-old drivers of both genders are charged the lowest rates. Based on age difference alone, there’s an $11,524.93 difference in rates between 17-year-old males and 60-year-old males.
The chart above also shows that your marital status can and does affect the rates car insurance providers charge for your premium.
Insurance companies rate people this way because married drivers are more likely to be emotionally and financially stable, making them more responsible behind the wheel and a lower insurance risk. This isn’t necessarily true on an individual case-by-case basis, but statistically, this is true for married people as a whole.
For more information about how your age and gender can impact your insurance premium, check out the video below:
Your age, gender, and marital status aren’t the only factors that go into your rate, however. Continue reading below to find out what other information insurance companies use to calculate your premium.
What are the cheapest ZIP codes in New York?
While the city you live in plays a part in your rates at the state level, your ZIP code within the city of New York can also influence your rates, as well.
|ZIP Code||Average Annual Rate|
The cost of coverage in your ZIP code varies based on things such as crime levels, street parking, and weather patterns, so moving from one neighborhood to another can significantly change your insurance premiums if it puts you in a different ZIP code.
Given that New York City neighborhoods are so different and distinct, there can be an extreme difference in insurance costs from ZIP code to ZIP code.
New York has almost 200 ZIP codes, with a price difference of $5,000 a year from the cheapest ZIP code to the most expensive, so it’s vital to understand how your ZIP code affects your rates.
What’s the best car insurance company in New York?
If you’re afraid that being rated by age, gender, and ZIP code will make your insurance too expensive, don’t panic. While these factors can and do affect your premium, every insurance carrier has its own unique process for setting their rates.
To help you find the best insurance available to you, we’ve broken down rates in New York City by some of the many other factors that can affect your premiums. A little bit of patience and a fair amount of research can help you find the company offering the best rates for you.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
While your insurance rates are determined by your age, marital status, and ZIP code, there can still be a significant cost difference, sometimes upwards of thousands of dollars between companies, as evidenced by the chart below.
|Group||Single 17-Year-Old Female||Single 17-Year-Old Male||Single 25-Year-Old Female||Single 25-Year-Old Male||Married 35-Year-Old Female||Married 35-Year-Old Male||Married 60-Year-Old Female||Married 60-Year-Old Male||Average|
In the table above, you can see that rates for a 17-year-old male can be anywhere from $8,724 to $26,711, which is proof that just because you’re in a higher rating bracket doesn’t mean there is no way to save money on your insurance.
Because of the massive difference in rates from company to company, you should choose your insurance carrier based on the rates they charge for your particular demographic instead of choosing a company because they are generally cheaper than their competition.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in 2015, New Yorkers drove an average of 127,230,000 miles across the state. The table below shows the rate for drivers in New York based on their commute.
6,000 Annual Miles
12,000 Annual Miles
As you can see in the table above, not every carrier charges higher rates based on the length of your commute, but many do. Depending on which insurance company you choose, you could save hundreds of dollars with a shorter commute.
So if you can reduce your weekly commute by working from home or making other schedule changes, it could be to your financial benefit to do so. If you are considering switching jobs or relocating in such a way that it increases your commute, consider carefully how that might impact your insurance rates before you make the change.
If you have a longer commute than average, you might be able to save money on your insurance by choosing a company that doesn’t rate by distance.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
The table below shows the average rates for car insurance in New York based on your coverage levels. If you’re concerned about insurance prices, choosing lower levels of coverage can keep your premiums affordable.
However, you could be missing out on vital insurance coverage you need to keep yourself financially secure, so choose your coverage levels wisely. For example, choosing to go without comprehensive coverage could leave you with nothing if your car is stolen, so if you park on the street or live in an area with high auto theft rates, you might want to make sure you have plenty of coverage.
The difference in premiums between the highest and lowest levels of coverage is sometimes a very small amount, often as little as $400 or $500 a year, which means that choosing full coverage might not cost as much as you would think.
Consider your budget carefully, of course, but it’s possible to get higher coverage levels without going broke.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
While you might not have thought much about it before, your credit history can play an important role in determining your insurance premium.
Some states prevent insurance companies from using your credit history to determine your rates, but New York isn’t one of them. This could change in the future, though, so be sure to stay abreast of any changes in the law when it comes to insurance.
The table below shows how your credit history can affect your insurance rates.
Most of the insurance companies above charge at least $1,000 difference between a good credit rating and a poor credit rating, with more than a $5,000 difference in rates for some companies. Nationwide, however, does not change their rate based on your credit history, so people with poor credit should consider getting a quote from them when choosing an insurance policy.
While some of these numbers can seem expensive and overwhelming, this means that improving your credit score is a simple way to help reduce your insurance premiums in the future.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
While some people may be surprised that your credit rate can affect your insurance rates, nobody should be surprised to hear that your driving record is one of the determining factors for your annual premium.
|Group||Clean Record||With One Accident||With One DUI||With One Speeding Violation||Average|
Each company is different, so some companies, like Allstate, won’t change your rates at all for a single accident, while others will increase your rates by $1,000 or more a year.
On the other side of the equation, many companies may significantly increase your rates if you have a DUI, but others may only raise your rates by a few hundred dollars.
Check out the video below for more information about how your driving record impacts your rates:
Choosing the right company could save you thousands of dollars a year, which is why it’s so important to shop around when getting quotes for your car insurance.
What are some car insurance factors in New York?
There are a number of vital factors that affect your insurance coverage and rates in New York City. Below are some of the most recent reports to help you determine just how much money you should be spending on your car insurance.
New York Metro Report
The data our researchers gathered from the Brookings Institution’s annual Metro Monitor Report is below. The Metro Monitor breaks down the economic performance of the 100 largest metropolitan regions in the country, giving you an idea of how your major metropolitan area is doing economically.
The Metro Monitor tracks several factors by region, including growth and prosperity, and charts the rate of change over the previous one, five, and 10 years, breaking the data down into composite scores. New York’s ratings are grouped together with Newark and Jersey City, giving you the information for the whole area rather than just New York City itself.
- Percentage change in jobs at young firms – +3.3 percent
- Percentage change in jobs – +1.6 percent
- Percentage change in Gross Metropolitan Product – +3.4 percent
- Percentage change in standard of living – +3.2 percent
- Percentage change in productivity – +1.7 percent
- Percentage change in average annual wage – +1.7 percent
These statistics show an increase in job growth and an increase in the standard of living in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area. While the city still ranks among the top 40 best performing metro areas for prosperity and job growth, New York and the surrounding cities are fighting inflation and other issues, just like the rest of the country.
Median Household Income in New York
When you consider how much money drivers spend on their insurance each year, it’s a good idea to know exactly how much of your income is devoted to your insurance premiums. The income information below is based on statistics from DataUSA.
|Annual Wages by Location||2018||2017||2016|
|New York City||$63,799.00||$60,879.00||$58,856.00|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$78,478.00||$75,368.00||$71,897.00|
|New York State||$67,844.00||$64,894.00||$62,909.00|
New York City residents have an average annual income of about $63,799, which is on par with the average national income of $61,937. When you consider the cost of living in New York City, this doesn’t seem like very much money, especially when you factor in the cost of insuring a vehicle in the city.
People in New York saw a 4.8 percent increase in income growth between 2017 and 2018, but what does that mean for your car insurance premiums? The average cost of car insurance in New York is $7,482.13, which means that about 13.26 percent of the typical driver’s income is devoted to their car insurance premiums.
To determine the percentage of your income spent on your car insurance, take the amount of your premium divided by your income (either gross or net) then multiply by 100.
For example, if a driver is earning $40,000 and paying $2,000 for insurance annually, they spend 5 percent of their gross income on their car insurance each year.
As a driver gets older, their insurance rates will change, but other factors such as their ZIP code and marital status will also affect their rates, which means they may not be able to predict with any certainty whether their rates will increase or decrease over time.
Use our calculator below to determine the percentage of income you’re spending on your car insurance.
Homeownership in New York
Depending on which company you choose, owning a home can significantly reduce your car insurance rates.
While these two things may not seem like they are connected, the concept behind this rating factor is that someone who’s responsible enough (and financially stable enough) to own a home is more likely to be able to pay their insurance premiums than someone who isn’t.
Additionally, many insurance companies offer a multi-line discount to their customers. This means that owning a home and signing up for homeowner’s insurance through the same company you use to insure your vehicle can potentially reduce your rates.
Theoretically, having commitments like a mortgage or a spouse makes people more likely to drive safely than they otherwise might, which is another factor insurance companies consider when determining your rates.
In 2018, 32.8 percent of housing units in New York City were owner-occupied, which was significantly lower than the national average of 63.9 percent.
The average property value in New York was $645,100 in 2018, with more than $3,000 in annual property taxes.
Education in New York
New York has some of the best colleges and universities in the world, including New York University, Columbia University, and Julliard.
The student population of New York has more women than men, with 226,240 male students and 324,250 female students. The most popular majors in New York are General Business Administration and Management, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and General Psychology.
The median tuition costs in New York City are $12,450 for private colleges and $6,530 for in-state students at public colleges and $13,920 for out-of-state students in public colleges. It isn’t just tuition that is pricey for students, however, as evidenced by the video below:
When thinking about college, consider that many insurance companies give discounts to students who maintain a certain grade point average. If you or your child are in college, it might be worth it for you to ask your insurance company about good student discounts that might apply to you.
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs in New York
Have you ever wondered how factors such as race and ethnicity affect wages, even (or especially) in a huge city like New York? Most people wonder about how their race or ethnicity affects their paycheck from time to time, whether they’re concerned about being underpaid or afraid that they might be earning more than they’re worth.
The table below reveals the most recent stats from DataUSA regarding wages for managerial jobs in New York, along with the percentage of income going to car insurance for those individuals.
|Race or Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers' Average Annual Income||Percentage of Income Spent on Car Insurance|
|Two or More Races||$110,064||6.70%|
Depending on your wages, the percentage of income you spend on insurance could be more than half of your annual earnings for entry-level positions. The chart above is only for managerial positions, so people in other jobs that are paid less will spend significantly more of their income on car insurance.
Unfortunately, the highest-earning demographic in managerial roles still spend more than 5 percent of their income on their auto insurance, so the large majority of people are still paying a significant amount for insurance coverage in New York.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs in New York
While there are some people who might consider the concept controversial, the gender wage gap is real, and there are plenty of statistics to prove it.
In 2018, full-time male workers in New York earned approximately 1.28 times more than female workers, with the highest discrepancy in higher-paid, managerial positions.
- Female average salary – $63,914
- Male average salary – $81,735
These numbers indicate an average wage gap of $17,821 between the genders.
This is an average across multiple positions and industries, but there’s a clear difference in salaries between the genders for the same position, so even if male and female employees are doing the exact same job, the data shows that men are still the higher earners.
Because of this, women are likely to spend a higher portion of their income on car insurance, even if they have a lower rate based on gender.
Poverty by Age and Gender in New York
As you can see from the chart below, there are more women than men living in poverty in New York, with the highest rates of poverty shown in women between the ages of 25 and 34.
|New York Percentage of Males and Females Living in Poverty by Age||Male||Female|
|Less than 5 years||4.51%||4.3%|
Following the information above, the difference in poverty levels between the genders is almost the same up until the age of 18, at which point the gap widens and stays several percentage points apart after that.
According to DataUSA, 19.6 percent of people in New York live below the poverty line, which is considerably higher than the nationwide average of 13.4 percent.
Given what we saw in the previous section on salary, and given that women are paid less than men, it makes sense that more women would be in poverty than men.
In most of the country, people living in poverty are likely to spend much more of their income on car insurance, making it more likely they don’t carry collision and comprehensive coverage or other types of insurance that could protect them financially.
In New York, the public transit systems allow most of the city to get around without a car, allowing the poorest in the city to avoid the added costs of car insurance.
Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in New York
Poverty statistics can be broken down in a number of ways, including by race and ethnic group. In New York City, the number of people in poverty by ethnic group was:
- Hispanic – 670,913 people
- White/Caucasian – 516,242 people
- African-American – 456,091 people
DataUSA’s statistics reveal that Hispanic ethnic groups are the most common demographic living below the poverty line, followed by Caucasians second, and African-Americans third.
Employment by Occupations in New York
The higher-than-average poverty rates in New York are easy to understand when you consider their higher-than-average population. New York has the highest population of any city in the country, with almost nine million people living in the city. Combined with the fact that the city’s employment rate fell 2.21 percent between 2017 and 2018, the poverty rates are understandable.
The most common occupations in New York are office and administrative support occupations, employing 443,985 people, management occupations, employing 410,283 people, and sales and related occupations, which employs 367,917 people.
In comparison to other areas, New York has a higher than expected number of people employed in arts and entertainment occupations.
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Driving in New York
Anyone who has ever driven in New York can tell you what a challenge it can be to get around the city. At any time, there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles commuting through the city, often translating to more traffic and more accidents.
Below is a comprehensive guide to getting around in New York.
What are the major roads in New York?
Driving in New York doesn’t have to be a hassle. A little knowledge of the city, including major highways, local traffic laws, and weather conditions, can go a long way to improving your commute.
For a preview of what it is like to drive in New York, check out the video below:
Take advantage of your local resources and find out more about driving in New York below.
New York has 31 highways that cover 1,730.34 miles across the state. The active interstates in New York are as follows:
A New York City resident may not recognize their local highways by the interstate names above. For example, I-87 passes through New York City, but New Yorkers will know it as the Major Deegan Expressway. The FDR expressway is also known as New York State Route 907L.
I-278, I-95, and I-695 are just a few of the other highways that pass through New York City. There are dozens of toll roads that run through the city, however, so you need to be aware of what it will cost you to just to drive in certain areas of the city.
|Bridge/Tunnel||E-ZPass Tag||Cash||Video – Tolls by Mail|
|Atlantic Beach Toll Bridge||Not allowed||$2.00||Not allowed|
|Bayonne Bridge||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||Not allowed||$15.00|
|Bear Mountain Bridge||$1.25||$1.50||Not allowed|
|Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge||$2.29||Not allowed||$4.75|
|The Bronx–Whitestone Bridge||$6.12||Not allowed||$9.50|
|George Washington Bridge||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||$15.00||Not allowed|
|Goethals Bridge||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||Not allowed||$15.00|
|Henry Hudson Bridge||$2.80||Not allowed||$7.00|
|Holland Tunnel||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||$15.00||Not allowed|
|Hugh L Carey (Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel)||$6.12||Not allowed||$9.50|
|Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge||$1.25||$1.50||Not allowed|
|Lewiston-Queenston Bridge||Not allowed||$3.75||Not allowed|
|Lincoln Tunnel||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||$15.00||Not allowed|
|Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge||$2.29||Not allowed||$4.75|
|Newburgh-Beacon Bridge||$1.25||$1.50||Not allowed|
|Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge||Not allowed||$2.75||Not allowed|
|Outerbridge Crossing||$10.50 Off-peak/ $12.50 peak||Not allowed||$15.00|
|Peace Bridge||$3.75||$3.75||Not allowed|
|Prospect Mountain Vet. Memorial Highway||Not allowed||$10.00||Not allowed|
|Queens Midtown Tunnel||$6.12||Not allowed||$9.50|
|Rainbow Bridge||$3.75||$3.75||Not allowed|
|Rip Van Winkle Bridge||$1.25||$1.50||Not allowed|
|Seaway International Bridge (Cornwall-Massena)||$3.50 ($3.15 with Seaway transit card)||$3.50||Not allowed|
|Tappan Zee / Mario M. Cuomo Bridge||$4.75||Not allowed||$5.00|
|Thousand Islands Bridge||$3.00||$3.00||Not allowed|
|Throgs Neck Bridge||$6.12||Not allowed||$9.50|
|Triborough (Robert F. Kennedy Bridge)||$6.12||Not allowed||$9.50|
|Verrazano-Narrows Bridge||$12.24||Not allowed||$19.00|
|Whirlpool Rapids Bridge||$3.75||$3.75||Not allowed|
|Whiteface Mountain Vet. Memorial Highway||Not allowed||$15.00||Not allowed|
If you live in a part of New York that requires you to travel by toll road, keep those additional costs in mind when figuring out the cost of owning a car in the city.
Popular Road Trips/Sites
New York has hundreds of thousands of entertaining things to do, from restaurants and museums to night clubs and historical sites. There is something new and exciting happening in New York every single day, as evidenced by the video below:
If that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this weekend, consider some of these options as well:
- The Best Museums in New York City – Museums are one of the things that NYC does best, so spending a few days exploring the American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Guggenheim. There are dozens of options included on this list, enough to keep you busy for months.
- Eat At Some Of The Best Restaurants – New York is known for having some of the finest dining options in the world, but it can be pricey to dine in these fabulous places. This list gives you some of the most affordable Michelin restaurants in the city, as well as a few hacks to help keep your bill low.
- Small Town Road Trips in New York – If you are looking to get out of the city for a bit, check out some of the picturesque small towns all over the state.
- Stand in Three States at Once – Head to Port Jervis for the opportunity to see where the Delaware and Neversink rivers converge, and while you are there take a moment to find the monument that shows where New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey meet. If you stand in the right position, you could be standing in all three states at once.
- Apple Orchards Across the State – One of the most fabulous things about living or traveling in New York is apple picking in the fall. If you absolutely love apples you can even make a weekend out of it, traveling to multiple orchards for the best apples in the state.
These are just a few of the attractions you can visit in and around NYC. New York is practically bursting with places to go, so there is no shortage of things to do with your time in the Empire State.
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A study by the National Transportation Research Group recorded the pavement conditions and extra vehicle operating costs in urban areas with populations of 500,000 or more.
The numbers for New York also include Newark and all of Connecticut, reflecting the following road conditions:
- Poor share – 46 percent
- Mediocre share – 23 percent
- Fair share – 13 percent
- Good share – 18 percent
- Vehicle operating costs – $719
Check out the video below for more information about road conditions in New York:
The New York City Department of Transportation provides frequent updates on any roadway projects both in and around the city of New York to improve road conditions for drivers. Watching the local news or checking their websites often are both excellent ways of keeping yourself informed about road work in the area.
Does New York use speeding or red-light cameras?
Unsurprisingly, hundreds of people die and tens of thousands of people are injured each year by drivers running red lights across the nation.
In 2017, 890 people in the country were killed in a crash where at least one of the drivers ran a red light. More than 50 percent of those killed were victims, people who were hit by the red-light runner, including pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers in the other vehicle. Nationwide, an estimated 132,000 people were injured in accidents involving a red-light violation.
Many states have installed cameras to catch people running a red light, but just how helpful are red-light cameras, actually?
A recent IIHS study comparing large cities with red-light cameras to those without red-light cameras found that cities who use the devices reduced the fatal red-light running crash rate by 21 percent and the rate of all other types of crashes at intersections by 14 percent.
New York has posted the following red-light camera facts on its website:
- The Department of Transportation will review images from the cameras for potential violations and send out notices of violation to vehicle owners.
- The owner of the car is responsible for the ticket, even if someone else was driving.
- Red-light camera tickets won’t earn any points on your driving record.
- The camera is automatically activated when the light turns red by sensors picking up the vehicle passing the crosswalk line.
- People caught violating the law will be sent a notice in the mail with the picture of your car driving through the red light.
- You can view the evidence against you by logging on to the website printed on the violation notice.
- Multiple red-light camera violations issued at different locations on the same day can and will each be enforced.
Keep in mind that New York has both red-light cameras and speed cameras, so you could be fined for running a red light or speeding based on evidence collected by cameras around the city.
What type of vehicles are in New York?
Every city has its own unique trends when it comes to vehicle ownership, and New York is no different. These trends are interesting, but it is also important to understand speed traps, vehicle theft rates, and other car-related statistics in your city.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
The video below details which car brands have been the biggest sellers over time:
According to yourmechanic.com, 31 percent of the cars owned by drivers in New York are American cars, and people in New York are less likely than people in southern states to choose a vehicle with a V-8 engine.
The BMW 328i is the most unusually popular vehicle owned by city residents, so don’t be surprised if you see a few of those roaming the streets of New York.
How Many Cars per Household
New York is a bit different than most cities, with the average household in New York having no vehicle at all. In 2018, there were 1,810,000 households with no car, which means there is a significant number of people who get by with only bikes, walking, and public transportation.
This is far more than the 172,000 households who have three cars and the 1,340,000 households that have only one vehicle.
There are 57,500 households that have four cars and 17,700 households with five or more, and the number of households that have two vehicles is 564,000.
Households Without a Car
Almost two million New York residents don’t have a car at all, which makes sense in a city with such fantastic public transportation options. This means that 45.6 percent of New York residents don’t have a car, but how does this compare with other cities?
The data below (from 2015 and 2016) shows just what percentage of people in other parts of the state are getting by with their feet, bicycles, and rideshare apps.
|Buffalo, New York||30.00%||28.20%||1.03||1.08|
|Rochester, New York||26.80%||26.50%||1.1||1.14|
|Syracuse, New York||26.40%||29.20%||1.09||1.08|
|Yonkers, New York||24.60%||23.50%||1.26||1.25|
This shows that many New York cities have similar percentages of people without a vehicle, but other states have very different numbers. For example, in Dallas, only 10 percent of residents live without a car.
Speed Traps in New York
When a driver is speeding and a police officer appears out of a hidden spot, often between buildings or behind trees and foliage, to issue a ticket, that’s considered a speed trap.
Speed traps are where a police officer conceals themselves and their car or motorcycle, using radar guns to track the speed of passing vehicles. Theoretically, speed traps are supposed to encourage drivers to go the speed limit, but they also allow the city to bring in significant amounts of revenue.
New York and various smaller sections of the city managed to make five of the top 10 worst speed trap cities in the state.
Vehicle Theft in New York
If your vehicle is stolen, replacing it would be covered under your comprehensive coverage. It’s great that your vehicle can be replaced, but the possibility of getting another car doesn’t stop all of the sad and angry feelings that go along with having your car stolen.
Surprisingly, vehicle theft isn’t just a concern for people with new, expensive cars — the most commonly stolen vehicles in New York are often older family sedans or minivans.
|Rank||Make/Model||Year of Vehicle||Thefts|
|6||Ford Econoline E350||2011||339|
|10||Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||2015||263|
This means that the people most likely to have their cars stolen are also the most likely to avoid buying comprehensive coverage in the first place.
Choosing not to purchase comprehensive coverage can help keep your insurance costs low, but remember that a liability-only policy won’t protect you in case of car theft.
If your car is one of the ones on the chart of most commonly stolen vehicles above, you may want to think carefully about buying comprehensive coverage.
Below is a chart of the 2018 FBI crime statistics in New York City:
(New York Population – 8,523,171)
|Motor Vehicle Theft||5,534|
According to Neighborhood Scout, these are the safest neighborhoods in New York City:
- W. 218th Street/Broadway
- Madison Avenue/E. 50th Street
- Main Street/East Road
- Randalls Island Park/Wards Island Park
- Madison Avenue/E. 96th Street
- Madison Avenue/E. 90th Street
- East Road/West Road
- W. Thames Street/Battery Place
- E. 60th Street/1st Avenue
- W. 70th Street/West End Avenue
Below is a table showing the annual crime rate in New York:
|New York Annual Crimes||Violent||Property||Total|
|Number of Crimes||7,790||30,363||38,153|
|Crime Rate per 1,000 People||4.78||18.64||23.43|
It is important to remember that New York has the highest population of any city in the country when looking at the crime rate. While 7,790 violent crimes seems like a huge number, given the number of people in the city per capita, the crime rate is actually much lower than many smaller cities in America.
How is traffic in New York?
Another important factor to consider when thinking about driving and car insurance is the local traffic in New York. How many people are on the roads and at what times of day? Is there a way to avoid traffic congestion?
Below are detailed accounts of traffic congestion, busiest roads, transportation options, and much more.
Traffic Congestion in New York
New York is a huge city, which means there is a ton of information available on local traffic congestion. We are using the Inrix scorecard to find the information for New York City.
According to Inrix, New York is the 40th-most congested city in the world. This may seem like a low ranking to New Yorkers who are stuck battling traffic every day, but there are a number of cities with worse traffic conditions.
|New York Traffic Stats||Details|
|Hours Spent in Congestion||133|
|Inner City Travel Time – Minutes||7|
|Inner City Last Mile Speed||9|
|Cost of Congestion (Per Driver)||$1,859.00|
Because of the excellent public transportation options in New York, the city has much less traffic than other major cities like Boston and Washington D.C.
It’s important to remember that traffic congestion isn’t just a nuisance. It contributes to your overall commute time and increases the number of accidents on the road. Both the commute time and the number of accidents in a ZIP code can raise your insurance premiums, so these are important factors to consider when choosing an insurance policy.
Minor changes, such as leaving for work a little earlier or carpooling, can be a relatively simple way to reduce your time in traffic. In New York, you can also take public transit to work to further reduce your time spent behind the wheel. This can help reduce your insurance premiums.
The average commute time in New York is 40 minutes, which comes in well above the national average of 25.5 minutes.
There are 7.95 percent of commuters in New York with what is referred to as a super commute, which means they are traveling 90 minutes or more each way to work.
The numbers don’t specify if that is a driving commute or if they are including bikes and public transit in their calculations.
At the other end of the spectrum, 0.9 percent of commuters in New York are lucky enough to have a commute of fewer than five minutes each way.
In 2018, a stunning 22.5 percent of people in New York drove to work alone, which unfortunately means the majority of cars on the road during rush hour only have one person in them.
Another 4.25 percent of commuters in New York carpooled to work, while another 4.5 percent of people work at home, which means their commute is completely virtual.
Luckily, 55.9 percent of people in the city use public transportation to get to and from work, while another 9.6 percent of people walked to and from work each day.
The huge number of people who walk or use public transit in New York means citizens in the city have a much smaller carbon footprint than people in smaller cities who are forced to rely only on their vehicles.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the busiest highways in the New York area are:
|New Jersey||New York-Newark||I-95||14|
|New Jersey||New York-Newark||I-287||13|
|New Jersey||New York-Newark||I-78||12|
All of these highways are built to handle large amounts of traffic and they deal with millions of drivers every day, so if you need to take one of these highways you need to be ready for significant congestion.
How safe are New York streets and roads?
Because of the high population of the city, we want to see how many accidents are happening on the streets of New York. Let’s start by looking at the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regarding all crashes in New York City’s counties.
|New York Counties – All Fatalities||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
Queens County and Kings County had the most fatal crashes in New York City in 2018. The charts below will tell you exactly what kind of accidents are happening in NYC.
|Bronx County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Single Vehicle Crash||23||26||36||28||18|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related||18||20||24||14||18|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||12||8||12||14||11|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||11||9||9||8||7|
A little more than 38 percent of fatalities in Kings County were caused by single vehicle crashes.
|Kings County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Single Vehicle Crash||57||56||43||37||37|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related||52||39||32||33||34|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||17||14||15||14||17|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||11||11||9||9||4|
The total number of car crash fatalities in New York County dropped more than 36 percent from 2017 to 2018.
|New York County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Single Vehicle Crash||30||21||44||30||20|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related||27||17||35||24||16|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||8||5||7||10||7|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||3||2||2||7||3|
In Queens County, crash fatalities increased by almost 22 percent from 2017 to 2018.
|Queens County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Single Vehicle Crash||67||54||45||34||50|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related||37||34||28||34||47|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||20||22||20||20||19|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||29||27||18||9||12|
Richmond County saw the greatest drop in crash fatalities with 75 percent fewer deaths in 2018.
|Richmond Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Single Vehicle Crash||6||19||12||7||4|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||4||6||2||4||3|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related||7||12||13||8||3|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||3||9||3||4||2|
The number of speeding fatalities dropped in the majority of counties in 2018, which is excellent news for everyone living in the city. This means that the speed cameras that have been installed around the city are doing their job.
Now that we know what causes these crashes, we want to look at the person-type behind these fatalities.
|Person Type Fatalities by County||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Bronx – Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities||7||5||7||9||4|
|Bronx – Pedestrian Fatalities||15||22||28||21||16|
|Bronx – Pedalcyclist Fatalities||1||2||3||1||2|
|Kings – Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities||13||7||5||7||3|
|Kings – Pedestrian Fatalities||44||46||34||25||34|
|Kings – Pedalcyclist Fatalities||6||4||9||10||3|
|New York – Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities||2||4||4||7||2|
|New York – Pedestrian Fatalities||24||20||39||17||18|
|New York – Pedalcyclist Fatalities||5||1||3||8||2|
|Queens – Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities||21||26||19||12||10|
|Queens – Pedestrian Fatalities||37||34||29||28||40|
|Queens – Pedalcyclist Fatalities||8||5||5||3||2|
|Richmond – Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities||2||11||5||5||2|
|Richmond – Pedestrian Fatalities||6||9||7||4||4|
|Richmond – Pedalcyclist Fatalities||0||1||1||0||0|
Queens County and Kings County had the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2018. Richmond County had the lowest number of fatalities in almost every category.
Now that we have the statistics for the most dangerous counties in the city, let’s talk about the most dangerous roads in New York state.
|New York State Road Type||2017 Fatal Crashes|
|Freeway and Expressway||32|
|Total Fatal Crashes||999|
A majority of fatal crashes occur on interstates and arterial roads.
An arterial road is a high-capacity urban road. An arterial road may be categorized either as a highway or a minor arterial road based on the level of traffic in the region or county.
A high number of crashes occur on arterial roads because of the increased traffic. The more drivers there are, the more likely it is that someone will be in an accident.
Another factor to consider in highway fatalities is highway and railroad crashes, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (US DOT) statistics.
|County||Calendar Year||Highway User Speed||Highway||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non-Suicide Fatality||Non-Suicide Injury|
|Queens||2015||10||Maspeth Avenue||Truck-trailer||Freight Train||0||1|
|Bronx||2016||10||Avenue C||Pick-up truck||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
Most of the railroads in New York are below ground or go over the city on a bridge as part of the subway system, but the counties in the chart above have had fatalities with railroads, so it pays to be cautious.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Another important thing to take into consideration when choosing car insurance in New York is how drivers in the city compare to the rest of the nation.
According to Allstate’s Best Drivers in America Report, New York is ranked as the 111th-safest city to drive in as of 2019. This may not seem like a very impressive number, but Dallas ranked 172 and Philadelphia ranked 190 and they both have much smaller populations than New York City.
The average time between claims in New York is 8.82 years, which means residents are doing an excellent job of avoiding accidents.
With so few New York residents owning cars, most residents use public transit, taxi cabs, or walk where they need to go. It is surprising that anyone in the city would use a rideshare service, but these services are clearly meeting a need in the city. Some of the most popular rideshare apps in the city are listed below:
- Carmel – This is generally the cheapest option.
- Juno Bliss – Typically the second cheapest option.
- Lyft – This app is typically comparable to Uber.
- Uber – Probably the most famous rideshare app, Uber is similar to Lyft.
- Curb – Typically your most expensive option.
Keep in mind that luxury apps like Curb and the luxury options within other apps like Uber are significantly more expensive, so you will need to check rates with RideGuru or other sites before booking a ride.
E-star Repair Shops
If you are in need of a car repair, Esurance marks reputable shops on its E-star repair program so that drivers can find the best repair shops in their area.
|Auto Care East Inc.||243 E. 94th St.
New York, NY 10128
|Auto Pro Collision Inc.||65 Grasmere Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10305
|Barron Body Works, Inc.||381 Sagamore Ave, Mineola, NY 11501|
|Delta Collision||529 E. 84th St. Brooklyn, NY 11236|
|Fort Lee Road Auto Body||237 Fort Lee Rd.
Teaneck, NJ 07666
|Ray Mees Auto Coach, Inc.||7718 Tonnelle Ave. North Bergen, NJ 07047|
|Russell's Auto Body||64 W. 22nd St. # 66
Bayonne, NJ 07002
|S.O.S. Auto Body, Inc.||95-20 98th St.
Ozone Park, NY 11416
|Sea Breeze Autobody Repairs Inc.||8729 18th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11214
|Sernio's Auto Body Inc.||896 Communipaw Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07304
When you are in New York, you are never far from an E-star repair shop.
What is the weather like in New York?
Any New York resident can tell you that winters in the city are extraordinarily cold while the summers are hot and humid, meaning you will need both short sleeve shirts and a bulky winter coat to survive in NYC.
Below is a table reflecting New York’s average temperatures according to U.S. Climate Data:
|New York, New York, Weather||Details|
|Annual High Temperature||62.3°|
|Annual Low Temperature||48°|
|Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall)||46.23 inches|
|Days per Year With Precipitation (rainfall)||121 days|
|Annual Hours of Sunshine||2,677 hours|
|Average Annual Snowfall||-|
It may seem odd to read about weather and natural disasters in an article about car insurance, but these things affect your insurance rates and the likelihood that you will file a claim.
The city has actually had 17 natural disasters, which is a higher number of natural disasters than the U.S. average. With a higher rate of natural disasters, it may be prudent to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Liability insurance pays for the damages you cause to other people and their vehicles and collision coverage pays for damages to your car if you are in an accident, but comprehensive is the coverage you need to protect yourself from damages caused by issues like weather, vandalism, and theft.
Is public transit available in New York?
New York has some of the best and most efficient public transportation options in the country. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) provides both buses and subways in New York.
The basic fare costs for MetroCards (bus and train combination tickets) are listed below:
- Base Pay-Per-Ride fare – $2.75
- Single Ride Fare – $3
- 30-Day Unlimited Ride – $127
- 7-Day Unlimited Ride – $33
- Express Bus – $6.75
- Express Bus Plus 7-Day – $62
These are just a few of the ticket options riders have in NYC. There are also discounts for seniors, people with disabilities, Medicare members, and children/family packages.
Is alternate Transportation available in New York?
New York has bikes and scooters for rental in various places all around the city.
Lime requires an app to use it and, once you unlock your bike or scooter, you pay per minute for your ride. If you plan on renting for more than a short time the cost can add up. Because of this, it may be worth it to invest in your own bike or scooter if you plan on using one every day.
Is parking easy in New York?
In a word, no. Parking is a thorn in the side of most New Yorkers with vehicles, though there are parking garages on almost every block for those who are willing and able to pay for it.
If you don’t want to pay for space in a garage, you can take the chance that you will find free or metered street parking, which is very rarely available. If you find metered parking you can always pay with the ParkNYC app from your phone. If you don’t want to do it that way you can physically pay at the meter with debit, credit, or change.
So what will you be paying? In lower Manhattan, the rates are higher, in part to increase parking turnover and in part because all real estate, even parking spaces, are more expensive downtown.
There are plenty of parking garages in the city, so shop around to find which one has the best hourly rates. There will also be satellite parking available at local airports, hotels, and colleges if you need to leave your car.
Finally, the last thing we want to cover in parking is electric vehicle charging. The State of New York has a useful tool where you can search for charging stations across the U.S. To see what charging stations are near you, enter your location in the tool on the website.
How is the air quality in New York?
Air quality is a concern in any city, but New York and other large cities are likely to have lower air quality than other places.
|New York Air Quality Index||2016||2017||2018|
|Days With AQI||366||365||365|
|Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||28||17||24|
|Very Unhealthy Days||0||0||1|
In the table above, AQI stands for air quality index, which focuses on the health effects of breathing in polluted air.
An AQI of 0–50 is considered good, 51–100 is considered moderate, 101–150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151–200 is considered unhealthy, 201–300 is considered very unhealthy, and 301–500 is considered hazardous. All of the columns referencing AQI are based on these measurements.
NO2 stands for nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to smog levels and is primarily created by the burning of fossil fuels. The chart above lists the number of days where NO2 was present at unhealthy levels in New York.
O3 stands for ozone, which is a highly reactive gas produced by chemical plants, gasoline pumps, and other industries. The chart above lists the number of days where O3 was present at unhealthy levels in New York.
PM 2.5 stands for Particulate Matter, which is fine particles in the air, mostly from chemical plants, industry, and automobiles that contribute to hazy days and breathing problems. The chart above lists the number of days where PM 2.5 was present at unhealthy levels in New York.
Insurance discounts are often available for military members and veterans, but it can be hard to determine if a discount is worth switching providers for, or if a discount is even available. Given the large number of veterans living in New York, many New Yorkers could benefit from having a military discount.
According to DataUSA, the following service periods were the most common among New York veterans in 2017:
- Vietnam – 43,857 veterans
- Gulf War (2001–) – 26,928 veterans
- Korea – 15,763 veterans
- Gulf War (1990s) – 14,931 veterans
- World War II – 9,586 veterans
New York is home to a large number of veterans, with over 9,500 WWII veterans and over 43,800 Vietnam veterans living in NYC. Unsurprisingly, there are a few military bases around New York City, but there is only one under an hour away.
The Fort Hamilton Army Base is nearby, with a mission to provide the New York metropolitan area with military installation support for the Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.
The insurance companies currently offering discounts for military members are listed below:
- Geico – 15 percent
- Liberty Mutual – 4 percent
- Metlife – 15 percent
- Safe Auto – 25 percent
- The General
- USAA (also offers a military garaging discount)
A few of the providers offer significant discounts for military members. If you don’t see one of your desired providers on the above list, you should still ask if they offer a military discount or any other discounts that might apply to you, such as a good student discount or marriage discount.
Unique City Laws
The best way to avoid a ticket is to familiarize yourself with a city’s unique driving laws. If you are new to New York or just started driving, though, it can be overwhelming to learn new laws. Keep in mind that laws change all the time, so it is important to stay abreast of all the traffic laws in New York.
For example, the IIHS states that in New York, drivers must follow the distracted driving laws that ban texting and handheld devices for all drivers. New York has primary enforcement on these laws, which means an officer can pull over and ticket drivers who are using hand-held devices or texting.
New York has been discussing a ban on pedestrians using their phones while walking as well, so keep an eye on the local news to see if your cellphone needs to stay in your pocket.
When it comes to food trucks, you can’t just buy a cart and start selling food in New York City. Before you can operate a mobile food truck, you need to apply for permits and pass inspections.
According to city officials, food trucks need a mobile food vending license and pass health and safety courses. Their trucks must also meet vehicle regulations and be up to code. After all of that, they must still follow driving laws in the city.
When it comes to housing in New York, downsizing allows even more people to pack into the city limits. Before you jump on the tiny home wagon, though, make sure you know the state regulations. While you can’t just build a tiny home down anywhere in the city, careful planning around zoning regulations will allow you to have your tiny home.
Your tiny home will also need to be up to code, so make sure you and your contractor are familiar with New York’s laws on building tiny homes.
When it comes to parking, wrong direction parking is illegal and dangerous. If you see a spot open up on the other side of the street, you need to turn around to get it, not swerve into oncoming traffic to snag the spot, which means if your passenger side is not curbside, an officer will ticket your vehicle.
Also, be cautious of laws that are specific to that street. Know when buses, street sweepers, and other things may make it illegal to park in that space.
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New York Car Insurance FAQs
If you still have questions about living and driving in New York, below are some of the most frequently asked questions about car insurance and other important issues in the area.
What is the weather like in New York?
Winters in New York are no joke, so be prepared to bundle up in the winter months. If you are driving in the city, be cautious of slippery roads and pedestrians who might be unable to cross the road as quickly as they might have in warmer weather.
What if I get in an accident?
New York is a no-fault state, so it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. Your insurer will cover your accident costs, which is why it’s important to have good coverage.
If you don’t, you’ll have to pay out of pocket once your insurer’s coverage limits are met.
What are the insurance requirements in New York?
Your minimum insurance requirements are set by the state, so New York City residents will need the following liability limits:
- $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
What airport is best for people flying into or out of New York?
There are a number of airports in the city, and it can be hard to determine which one is best. Generally, we recommend picking the airport closest to you to cut down on commute time, but there are other factors to consider as well, such as TSA lines and snack options.
Hopefully, now that you’ve read our guide you are now ready to drive and live in New York.
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