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Best 5 Car Insurance Companies in New York 2020
Insurance policies are based on a lot of personalized information, so there’s no way to say one company is the best for every driver. Each provider has its own formula for calculating rates and each one weighs your data — such as the make and model of your car, your driving history and where you live — differently. The only way to know which company best suits your needs is to compare a bevy of quotes. Aim to obtain at least five.
Online quotes should take about five minutes each, and most of the information you’ll need is stuff you know, such as your name, date of birth and your ZIP code. If you can’t remember the details of any recent accidents or you don’t know your average annual mileage, you should look that up beforehand. If you prefer to get your quotes over the phone, expect to add 10 or 15 minutes to the process.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in New York
J.D. Power is one of the best-known customer satisfaction reporting agencies in the world, and A.M. Best is the leading resource for rating a company’s long-term stability and ability to meet its future financial obligations. These factors are just as important as a low price. You want a company that makes the claims process easy and efficient and when it’s time to pay out, has the resources to do so and doesn’t drag its feet. That’s a headache that no one wants or deserves.
New York’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires its drivers to carry $25,000 of coverage for the bodily injury of someone in an accident and $50,000 for the death of one person in an accident. Drivers also must have coverage for accidents with two or more people: $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death, plus $10,000 of property damage coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is required as well, with a minimum of $25,000/$50,000.
Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
A lot of car insurance companies don’t just consider your risk as a driver when they calculate your premium; they also consider your loyalty. You might be thinking about those loyalty discounts you may have on your policy, but you’ll start doubting their value once you learn about a practice called price optimization. It’s when a company uses big data to analyze your personal data (things like your shopping habits, how long you’ve been with your cellphone carrier, and even your social media posts) to determine how likely you are to leave them for a better deal. About half of all large insurance companies use this tactic. Essentially, it means that loyal customers are going to get taken advantage of. If a company thinks you’re not going to shop around, it will gradually raise your rates over time.
To prevent paying more than you have to, get into the habit of shopping for a new policy with other car insurance companies every year or two. First off, it shows the insurers you’re interested in finding the best deal and forces them to offer a more competitive rate. Second, your insurer really doesn’t want to lose your business, so even if it has to charge you less to keep you from switching to another provider, it’s a win for the insurer.
In the past few years, 15 states have banned price optimization because they believe it unfairly discriminates against certain consumers, especially those who are loyal to a certain provider. Unfortunately, New York has yet to make an official statement on the matter, but it is investigating the practice. Until there’s action on the state level, your best line of defense is to get online, use insurers’ quote tools and see what’s out there. Even if you like the company you’re with, it’s likely to lower your rate to match or beat a quote from the competition. And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that your rates are likely to drop as you age, as your credit score gets better and as your car ages. The dip in your riskiness as a driver should mean your rates will decrease over time.
There are dozens of factors affecting your insurance premiums, including where you live. Premiums in Rochester, New York, for example, are less than half the price of premiums in New York City. But fortunately, there is plenty you can do to lower your rate that doesn’t include moving to a different part of the state. For example, if you limit your driving to a few days a week, that could earn you a low-mileage discount. Young drivers and bad-credit drivers often face high premiums, but if you shop around instead of picking the first insurer you find, you can save, especially if you find a discount for being a good driver or a good student.
Try to purchase more than the minimum coverage if you can. Even with New York’s no-fault policy, you can still be sued if you do serious damage, so higher coverage limits are always better. The only way to find your best car insurance policy is to get quotes and compare them. Check your quotes and see how much you can save.