New York Auto Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]
New York requires 25/50/10 for bodily injury and property damage coverage. The average cost of auto insurance in NY is $113.39/mo.
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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
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|New York Statistics||Details|
|Miles of Roadway||114,807|
|Most popular vehicle||Rogue|
|Uninsured % / Underinsured %||6.1%|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding: 308
|Full Coverage Average Premiums||Liability: $804.51
New York is a state that is abundant in its population, and it is considered the fourth largest state. Almost 40 million people call the state of New York their home and 8 million of those people reside in “The Big Apple”: New York City. New York City holds the honor of being the most populous city in the United States.
New York has earned its nickname, “The Empire State”, as it is truly an empire unto itself. In this empire, drivers go to and from work and need to keep the topic of auto insurance on their minds.
To help keep auto insurance on your mind, or to refresh your memory, this comprehensive guide will tell you what to know when buying auto insurance in the State of New York. Head through the tunnels and down the roads with us. Don’t worry…you won’t get lost.
If you want to start comparing rates and saving money, start today by entering your zip code.
New York Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates
New York, New York.
Get in a New York state of mind and start spreading the news about such things as car culture, the minimum coverage you need in New York, and more.
New York Minimum Coverage
We get it: insurance can be tempting to put on the back burner.
But bring it up to the front, and let it simmer.
An organization known as the Insurance Information Institute came up with a list of top 10 states where the highest and lowest percentage of the population were insured.
Good news for you New Yorkers, as New York ranks number two on the list of the lowest amount of the population insured. This leaves 6.1 percent of the population uninsured and driving without auto insurance. While this amount is still low, it is important if you own a car in New York to have auto insurance.
At the minimum, you need liability insurance, which covers you if you are in an accident and there is bodily injuries or property damage.
New York is one of twelve states that is a no-fault state. This means that after a car accident, your auto insurance coverage–either Med Pay or Personal Injury Protection–pays for your medical treatment and other out of pocket costs up to your policy limit.
The mandatory amount of insurance a driver must carry in New York is as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person with $50,000 of bodily injury per accident.
- $50,000 for death per person and $100,000 for the death per accident.
- $10,000 for property damage.
- $50,000 in no-fault (personal injury protection) coverage. This is required.
- Uninsured motorist coverage subject to the same minimum liability limits.
This minimum liability coverage is known as 25/50/10.
If stopped by a police officer, you must show your proof of insurance. New York is a state that allows you to show electronic proof of insurance. For convenience, you can show the officer a digital card through your insurance app on your phone, if offered by your insurance company. Double-check with your insurance company to see if this is something they provide.
Something to know: New York does not accept out-of-state vehicle insurance coverage. According to the DMV: “If your vehicle is registered in New York, it must have New York State auto liability insurance coverage. ”
Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in New York
The easiest way to satisfy the New York Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law is by purchasing an auto insurance policy.
However, there are also other ways to make sure this policy is completely satisfied:
- Surety bond.
- Register as a self-insurer (if you own 25 cars or more).
- Cash/Security Deposit with the DMV in the amount of $150,000 or more.
Premiums as Percentage of Income in New York
We all have a job to do, and a paycheck and, hopefully, disposable income.
It is important to know what the term disposable personal income means.
Disposable personal income is the amount of money you have left to spend after you have taken care of your necessary expenses and after paying your taxes.
Over the course of three years, from 2012 to 2014, New York in terms of disposable income has stayed steadily in the range of $45,000 to $47,000. This is far above the countrywide average of $39,000 to $40,000 from the years 2012-2014.
The American Consumer Credit Counseling suggests that you save 20 percent of every paycheck if you can.
Use the calculator, Calculator Pro, above to find out how much DPI you would have each month, and then times that amount by 20 percent to know how much you would need to save.
Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates in NY (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)
|Core Auto Insurance Coverage in New York||Cost|
The above table illustrates data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the average insurance costs in New York as of the year 2015.
The national average insurance costs are as follows:
- Liability: $516.39
- Collision: $299.73
- Comprehensive: $138.87
- Full Coverage: $954.99
New York runs above the national insurance costs in every category, possibly because New York is a no-fault state. It is also one of the most expensive states when it comes to full coverage auto insurance, coming in at number four behind the state of Michigan.
Remember, New York, like every other state, has minimum requirements for insurance coverage.
If possible, the insurance experts suggest purchasing more than the minimum amount required.
The data in the table below is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This is in regards to the average costs of additional liability loss ratios in New York.
|Additional Liability Coverage in New York||Loss Ratio - 2012||Loss Ratio - 2013||Loss Ratio - 2014|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||66.08%||68.92%||66.66%|
|Medical Payments (Med Pay)||49.41%||53.61%||64.49%|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage||53.69%||53.84%||47.49%|
The term loss ratio means there is a certain percentage of claims that an insurance company is paying out. If the loss ratio is over 100 percent, the company is losing money. If the loss ratio is too low, the company is not paying claims.
The loss ratios for 2012-2014 are low, which could mean insurance companies are not paying out all claims. However, this could be due to the fact that Personal Injury Protection insurance is required in New York, and the insurance company is paying out from that first.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is also required in New York and you must have, in terms of liability, at least the minimum amount of 25/50/10. This protects you and your passengers if the other driver is at fault and has no insurance.
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
Adding additional coverage to your policy at a reasonable price is easy.
There are powerful and cheap extras you can add to your insurance policy.
Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in New York:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Auto Insurance
- Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
- Classic Auto Insurance
- Pay-as-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
New York Automobile Insurance Plan
While there is no government-mandated low-cost auto insurance plan for the state of New York, in 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that changed New York’s auto insurance law. This is called Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage.
For example, if you have $100,000 in coverage, if you have Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage, the coverage protects not just the other driver, but you as well.
This type of coverage is worth looking into.
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Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in NY
In the battle of the sexes, males tend to pay more when it comes to auto insurance.
At least that is the myth. But what does the data say?
|Company||Married 35-year old female annual rate||Married 35-year old male annual rate||Married 60-year old female annual rate||Married 60-year old male annual rate||Single 17-year old female annual rate||Single 17-year old male annual rate||Single 25-year old female annual rate||Single 25-year old male annual rate|
The data shows that single males do end up paying more than single females, but married males pay a little less or the same amount as married females.
So the myth is true, in part.
All Zip Codes – Cheapest Rates by Zip Code
So many zip codes, and so many rates.
|25 Most Expensive Zip Codes in New York||City||Average Annual Rate by Zip Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|11225||BROOKLYN||$10,427.03||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,586.05||GEICO||$5,780.57||USAA||$7,853.79|
|11216||BROOKLYN||$10,399.95||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,586.05||GEICO||$5,780.57||Progressive||$7,438.55|
|11221||BROOKLYN||$10,399.36||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,617.80||GEICO||$5,780.57||Progressive||$7,402.08|
|11208||BROOKLYN||$10,105.99||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,613.31||GEICO||$5,780.57||Progressive||$7,844.91|
|11206||BROOKLYN||$9,964.09||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,642.66||GEICO||$5,780.57||Progressive||$6,585.30|
|11226||BROOKLYN||$9,920.06||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,144.66||GEICO||$5,300.14||Progressive||$8,159.70|
|11237||BROOKLYN||$9,602.92||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,621.22||GEICO||$4,510.55||Progressive||$7,437.15|
|11238||BROOKLYN||$9,569.83||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,586.05||GEICO||$4,187.43||Progressive||$7,438.55|
|11241||BROOKLYN||$9,410.20||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$10,797.26||GEICO||$3,457.75||Progressive||$7,489.08|
|11243||BROOKLYN||$9,410.20||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$10,797.26||GEICO||$3,457.75||Progressive||$7,489.08|
|11205||BROOKLYN||$9,370.09||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$11,180.76||GEICO||$4,510.55||Progressive||$6,126.60|
|11242||BROOKLYN||$9,364.53||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$10,797.26||GEICO||$3,457.75||Progressive||$7,489.08|
You can see above that Brooklyn zip codes cost, on average, the most in New York.
|25 Least Expensive Zip Codes in New York||City||Average Annual Rate by Zip Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|14814||BIG FLATS||$2,757.47||Liberty Mutual||$3,932.34||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,756.70||Progressive||$2,084.94|
|14870||PAINTED POST||$2,761.36||Liberty Mutual||$3,958.87||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,814.79||Progressive||$2,367.49|
|14871||PINE CITY||$2,789.24||Liberty Mutual||$3,958.87||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,756.70||Progressive||$2,297.44|
|14816||BREESPORT||$2,873.78||Liberty Mutual||$3,932.34||State Farm||$3,505.38||GEICO||$1,756.70||Nationwide||$2,385.41|
|13612||BLACK RIVER||$2,881.46||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
|13606||ADAMS CENTER||$2,884.39||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
|13685||SACKETS HARBOR||$2,886.18||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
|13656||LA FARGEVILLE||$2,887.98||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
|13640||WELLESLEY ISLAND||$2,888.38||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
|13607||ALEXANDRIA BAY||$2,888.77||Liberty Mutual||$4,420.81||Allstate||$3,496.52||GEICO||$1,921.00||USAA||$2,165.68|
All Cities – Cheapest Rates by City
|10 Most Expensive Cities in New York||Average Annual Rate by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|Brooklyn||$9,347.06||Liberty Mutual||$17,558.88||State Farm||$10,797.26||GEICO||$3,940.28||Progressive||$6,859.27|
|Saint Albans||$9,000.94||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||Travelers||$10,495.31||GEICO||$5,686.55||USAA||$7,089.23|
|Rosedale||$8,885.68||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||State Farm||$9,995.10||GEICO||$5,287.14||USAA||$7,089.23|
|South Ozone Park||$8,881.66||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||Travelers||$10,607.53||GEICO||$5,686.55||USAA||$7,089.23|
|Springfield Gardens||$8,874.63||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||State Farm||$9,906.69||GEICO||$5,287.14||USAA||$7,089.23|
|South Richmond Hill||$8,831.46||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||Travelers||$10,607.53||GEICO||$5,287.14||USAA||$7,089.23|
|Arverne||$8,802.18||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||State Farm||$9,799.24||GEICO||$5,287.14||USAA||$7,089.23|
|Howard Beach||$8,739.15||Liberty Mutual||$12,883.56||Travelers||$9,817.66||GEICO||$5,287.14||USAA||$7,089.23|
Interesting enough: the most expensive city is Brooklyn.
What are the ten least expensive cities?
|10 Least Expensive Cities in New York||Average Annual Rate by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|Big Flats||$2,757.50||Liberty Mutual||$3,932.34||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,756.70||Progressive||$2,070.62|
|Coopers Plains||$2,761.36||Liberty Mutual||$3,958.87||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,814.79||Progressive||$2,367.49|
|Pine City||$2,789.24||Liberty Mutual||$3,958.87||Allstate||$3,194.85||GEICO||$1,756.70||Progressive||$2,297.44|
|Breesport||$2,873.77||Liberty Mutual||$3,932.34||State Farm||$3,505.38||GEICO||$1,756.70||Nationwide||$2,385.41|
Elmira makes the list of least expensive cities.
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Best New York Auto Insurance Companies
When the word “best” comes to mind, maybe you look at a company’s financial rating. Maybe you look at customer ratings. Maybe you look at how cheap, or expensive, certain companies are.
One component to consider is which company has the largest market share in the region.
Keeping in mind your definition of “best”, read on to find what is the best auto insurance company in New York.
The Largest Companies’ Financial Ratings
The A.M. Best Financial Rating is put out every year, and it measures how a company is doing financially.
Companies with Best Ratings
J.D. Power and Associates gave a study to auto insurance customers in multiple U.S. Regions in 2018 asking auto insurance customers: how would you rank auto insurance companies?
In the New York Region, New York Central Mutual has a rank of 852 on a 1,000 point scale, which means customers consider it “among the best”. MetLife is a close second, with a rank of 834 on a 1,000 point scale. This means customers consider MetLife “better than most”.
Companies with Most Complaints in New York
The State of New York Department of Financial Services publishes an Automobile Insurance Complaint Ranking every year.
According to the New York Law Journal, the list ranks all 159 companies “actively doing business in New York state”. There is a chart that lists the Top 84 (the 84 companies that have the fewest complaints), but this section specifically focuses on the companies with the most complaints.
The information was published in 2018 and pertains to the year 2017. This is the most recent information.
Peerless has the highest complaint ratio, but Country-Wide has the most complaints.
Cheapest Companies in New York
|Company||Average Annual Rate|
If your definition of “best” relates to the cheapest price, Geico has the cheapest annual price for insurance in New York.
Commute Rates by Companies
|Company||10 Mile Commute||25 Mile Commute|
Whether you have a 10-mile commute or a 25-mile commute, all of the companies listed in the table above are reasonable when it comes to commute rates. If you are paying more for a commute, you are not paying too much more.
However, commute times don’t affect your rates as much as some other factors.
Coverage Level Rates by Companies
|Company||Annual Rate with Low Coverage||Annual Rate with Medium Coverage||Annual Rate with High Coverage|
For a low amount of coverage, Geico has the cheapest annual rates; they have cheap rates no matter what kind of coverage you need.
Credit History Rates by Companies
|Company||Annual Rate with Poor Credit||Annual Rate with Fair Credit||Annual Rate with Good Credit|
Geico understands if you have poor credit and offers the cheapest annual rates in regards to those with poor credit. For those with fair and good credit, Geico also offers you the best rates.
Driving Record Rates by Companies
Geico is coming out on top in a lot of categories when it comes to best rates, and this category is no exception. No matter whether you have a speeding violation, a DUI, or an accident, they offer you the cheapest rates.
|Company||Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding Violation|
If you have a clean driving record, Geico also offers you the cheapest rates.
The companies that are not as forgiving when it comes to rates: Liberty Mutual, straight across the board, has the most expensive rates for driving record violations of any sort. They are also the least forgiving when it comes to you having a DUI on your record.
Liberty Mutual is also the most expensive company for those who have a clean driving record.
Largest Auto Insurance Companies in New York
|Company||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$1,843,730||13.90%|
|State Farm Group||$1,758,370||13.26%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$731,396||5.52%|
|NYCM Insurance Group||$327,366||2.47%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||$302,854||2.28%|
|Amtrust NGH Group||$291,750||2.20%|
Number of Insurers by State
Domestic and foreign comes down to whether you want to put your stock in something local or something available nationwide.
Domestic means that the insurer is a local company only available in the state of New York while foreign means a company that is available in multiple states.
There are 173 domestic insurers and 709 foreign insurers in New York.
New York Laws
Jerry Seinfeld does try his best to follow the law and to get others to as well, as seen here when he hints about how his girlfriend needs to do the right thing.
Make sure that you are doing the right thing as well and following the laws for the state of New York when it comes to auto insurance.
Auto Insurance Laws
Before these sections begin, you can read up on the laws, and then you can read further to get the laws of New York in further detail.
We will talk about how state laws are determined and about such things as windshield coverage, insurance fraud, and more.
How State Laws for Insurance are Determined
When it comes to insurance laws for the state of New York, they can be admittedly confusing.
The laws for insurance of any kind is determined by the State of New York and the Department of Financial Services.
Windshield & Glass Repair Laws
New Yorkers may have an insurance policy with no deductible for glass. Also, according to Car Windshields, “Aftermarket parts may be used if they are ‘equal or exceed the comparable OEM crash part in terms of fit, form, finish quality and performance’, and if used must appear on the estimate.”
If you are deemed “high risk” by any auto insurance company and you cannot get auto insurance through the normal channels, the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP) is the route you will want to take.
Be warned though: this should be an absolute last resort, as the coverage is the most expensive. The average NYAIP premium, in 2012, was $2,283.
Fact: As of 2019, over 90,000 New York residents have high-risk auto insurance.
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New York does not have a government-mandated low-cost auto insurance program, so it is up to you to ask your insurance provider if they provide any kind of discounts.
Automobile Insurance Fraud in New York
Insurance fraud is a crime in New York, but it does not stop people from trying.
Penal Code Section 176.00 outlines insurance fraud and its penalties, as well as Article 176. Penalties in New York are measured in degrees:
Degrees of Insurance Fraud explained. From the Find Laws website.
The penalties for insurance fraud in New York are as follows:
Penalties for Insurance Fraud. From the Find Laws website.
If you feel you have been the victim of insurance fraud, file a complaint. The state of New York is on your side.
The Statute of Limitations in New York
A statute is definitely different from a statue. It has nothing to do with a sculpture of any kind.
The statute of limitations is an amount of time you or the other party have to file charges and make your case. It protects you and the other party by giving each of you a set amount of time to file charges. Once that time limit passes, no one can file charges.
In New York, the statute of limitations is three years for a personal injury case and a property damage case.
New York Specific Laws
There are some interesting and strange driving laws in New York. For instance, do not change clothes in your car in Sag Harbor, New York.
Also, in Syracuse, New York, if you are warming up your car, you need to be in the car.
Google “Weird New York Driving Laws” and see if you can find more!
New York’s Vehicle Licensing Laws
If you own a car in New York, your friends might be grateful that they do not have to take public transportation, but you will still need a license.
Read on to find out the vehicle licensing laws for the state of New York.
New York REAL ID
Starting October 1, 2020, federal agencies will endorse what is known as the REAL ID Act, which requires you to have a REAL ID U.S. Passport or another federally approved ID to board flights or enter federal buildings.
The New York REAL ID has a star in the upper right-hand corner, like most other REAL IDs.
Which license or ID is right for you?
Empire State welcomes you.
To find out more information about New York and the REAL ID act, go to the New York DMV to learn more.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
When you get insurance in New York, your insurer must file your coverage electronically with the New York DMV.
You must have liability coverage for the entire time you are driving your vehicle. It is a bad idea to let your insurance lapse, for if you do, the penalties are steep. If your insurance lapses for a certain amount of days, you are charged per day.
- For 1-30 days: $8 per day.
- For 31-60 days: $10 per day.
- For 61-90 days: $12 per day.
After 90 days, if you cannot pay the penalty fees, the DMV will suspend your registration and your license.
Note: The total cost of a lapse in insurance and a conviction for driving without insurance can cost you up to $2,400.
Teen Driver Laws
You are now of the age where you can learn to drive. Congratulations! But you cannot just jump into a car and start driving. Like most states, New York has a graduated license law.
What is interesting about New York is that unlike other states, depending on the part of the state you live in, your driving privileges will be different.
Map of the different regions of New York. From the New York DMV site.
Here are the restrictions for New York City:
- In New York City, you must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or driver education instructor to be able to drive.
- In New York City, the vehicle you learn on must have dual controls for both driver and supervisor.
- Your vehicle can only be operated from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Here are the restrictions for Nassau and Suffolk counties:
- The permit/license holder can only drive from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- You can only drive under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or driver education instructor who’s at least 21 years old.
There are some general restrictions, no matter what area of New York you live in:
- If you are under 16, even if you have a learner’s permit from another state, you cannot drive in New York.
- If you are 16 or older, you must have a learner permit, a junior learner permit, or a junior driver license to drive.
- Permit holders cannot carry more than one non-family member under 21 years old.
- All occupants MUST wear seatbelts.
All restrictions lift when you complete a driver’s education course and the license requirements once you apply for an unrestricted license at 17 years old. Regardless, the unrestricted license will be issued automatically once you are 18 years old.
Interesting fact: All minor’s driver licenses require parental consent, and a parent can withdraw consent for a license at any time.
Older Driver License Renewal Procedures
The rules for older drivers and license renewal are straightforward, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Older Population License Renewal: you can renew every eight years.
- Proof of vision required: every renewal.
- Mail or online renewal permitted: every renewal, no restrictions.
The Empire State welcomes you.
Once you move to New York, you must exchange your out-of-state license and register your car within 30 days of moving to New York.
Your license must:
- have a picture.
- be valid or be expired for less than 24 months.
- have been issued at least six months before you apply for a New York license.
Unfortunately, you cannot exchange your license if:
- It has been suspended or revoked.
- If it is lost or stolen.
- If it is a hardship or “employment only” license.
- If it is non-renewable or non-transferable.
Your license is valid for five years from the day it was issued.
New residents cannot do this online. You must do this in person at the New York DMV.
License Renewal Procedures
You can renew your license every eight years.
You can renew either online or by going to the New York DMV.
Rules of the Road
The rules of the road are there for a reason: to keep you safe.
Find out more about the rules of the road in New York.
Fault vs. No-Fault
Remember, New York is a no-fault state. This means that after a car accident, your auto insurance coverage–either Med Pay or Personal Injury Protection–pays for your medical treatment and other out of pocket costs up to your policy limit.
Seat Belts and Car Seat Laws
You need to make sure that not only you but also all your passengers are safe in your car.
Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers ages six and older in the front seat. Violation of this is a secondary offense, meaning that the officer cannot stop you strictly for not wearing a seat belt.
Any child younger than seven years old must be in a rear-facing seat; children between eight to seventeen years old must be in an adult belt. If the child is younger than two years old, they must be in a rear-facing child restraint; children seven years and younger need to be in a child safety seat.
Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is illegal in New York but there are certain exceptions. You can ride in the cargo area:
- If the trip is five miles or less.
- If the trip is five miles or more and if one-third or less of the passengers are standing.
- If the trip is five miles or more and if suitable seats are securely attached and there are side rails and a tailgate.
- If the trip is five miles or more and if there are less than five persons 17 years old or younger in the cargo area or if at least one person 18 or older is in the cargo area.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws
In New York, the laws are as follows according to AAA:
Drivers traveling in the same direction must exercise due care, include moving from a lane immediately adjacent, and reducing speed, to avoid colliding with a vehicle parked, stopped, or standing on the shoulder or any portion of the highway when the vehicle is an authorized emergency response, tow truck, or maintenance vehicle with its lights flashing.
There is no keep right law. You only need to slow down to let faster traffic pass.
It is true racing is popular in New York, but that does not mean you can be a speed demon on the roads.
In New York, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour on rural interstates, urban interstates, and other limited access roads. It is 55 miles per hour on all other roads.
In New York–New York City especially–there is a cap on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.
Despite this, the number of Uber and Lyft drivers is still growing.
If you still wish to be a driver for Uber and Lyft, know you must be licensed by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Maybe Uber and Lyft is not your thing. You are lucky, especially if you live in New York City because you have a multitude of transportation options.
Automation on the Road
New York is one of several states testing the deployment of self-driving cars.
These tests require an operator to be licensed, in the vehicle, and to have liability insurance worth $5,000,000.
Laws exist to help keep us safe, and the safety laws in New York are no exception.
Read on to find out the laws about DUI, marijuana, and distracted driving.
Driving under the influence is a crime in the state of New York. According to the New York DMV, the level of impairment depends on five conditions:
- the amount of alcohol you drink.
- the amount of food you eat before or while you drink alcohol.
- the length of time you drink alcohol.
- your body weight.
- your gender.
There are several types of alcohol and drug-related violations in New York (again, according to the New York DMV):
- Driving While Intoxicated: .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher or other evidence of intoxication.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: .18 BAC or higher.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol: more than .05 BAC but less than .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug other than Alcohol
- Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
- Chemical Test Refusal: a driver who refuses to take a chemical test.
- Zero Tolerance Law: a driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.
If you are caught drinking and driving, the penalties are harsh.
Why are the penalties in New York so harsh?
One third of the fatalities in New York involve impaired or intoxicated drivers and pedestrians.
Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws
The New York State Medical Marijuana Program, along with the New York State Department of Financial Services, issues guidance to health insurers regarding medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana is legal in New York if, according to CBD Education, you have one of the following conditions:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Pain
- HIV / AIDS
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal Cord Damage Causing Spasticity
Recreational marijuana is not legal in New York, but as of 2019, a new legal marijuana bill has been introduced.
Distracted Driving Laws
New York is making sure to do its part to cut down on the number of deaths due to distracted driving with the SafeNY campaign.
A lot can happen in a few seconds as you look down at your phone, as this video from the New York DMV shows.
The use of smartphones of any kind, for any reason, is banned while driving in the state of New York. This law is primarily enforced.
Driving in New York
You may have heard that traffic in New York and driving in said traffic is a nightmare.
Help to make your driving experience less of one by reading about the various aspects of driving in New York.
Vehicle Theft in New York
|Type of Vehicle||Model Year||Number Stolen|
|Ford Econoline E350||2011||339|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||2015||263|
The information listed above is as of 2015 from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Thieves must like the 1997 Honda Accord in New York because that was the most common type of vehicle stolen.
|Addison Town and Village||0|
|Alexandria Bay Village||0|
|Amity Town and Belmont Village||0|
|Ballston Spa Village||1|
|Blooming Grove Town||8|
|Briarcliff Manor Village||0|
|Camillus Town and Village||8|
|Cape Vincent Village||0|
|Cayuga Heights Village||0|
|Central Square Village||0|
|Centre Island Village||1|
|Dobbs Ferry Village||1|
|East Aurora-Aurora Town||2|
|East Fishkill Town||10|
|East Greenbush Town||7|
|East Hampton Town||4|
|East Hampton Village||2|
|East Rochester Village||2|
|Elmira Heights Village||0|
|Floral Park Village||4|
|Fort Edward Village||0|
|Fort Plain Village||1|
|Garden City Village||6|
|Glen Park Village||0|
|Great Neck Estates Village||0|
|Green Island Village||4|
|Greenwood Lake Village||5|
|Hoosick Falls Village||1|
|Hudson Falls Village||2|
|Huntington Bay Village||0|
|Hyde Park Town||1|
|Johnson City Village||22|
|Kings Point Village||2|
|Lake Placid Village||4|
|Lake Success Village||0|
|Le Roy Village||0|
|Lewiston Town and Village||12|
|Lloyd Harbor Village||1|
|Macedon Town and Village||3|
|Mount Hope Town||2|
|Mount Morris Village||3|
|Mount Pleasant Town||0|
|New Berlin Town||0|
|New Castle Town||1|
|New Hartford Town and Village||5|
|New Paltz Town and Village||1|
|New Windsor Town||7|
|New York Mills Village||1|
|North Castle Town||2|
|North Greenbush Town||9|
|North Syracuse Village||3|
|Nunda Town and Village||0|
|Ocean Beach Village||2|
|Old Brookville Village||2|
|Old Westbury Village||1|
|Orchard Park Town||5|
|Oyster Bay Cove Village||1|
|Pelham Manor Village||13|
|Penn Yan Village||0|
|Pine Plains Town||0|
|Port Byron Village||0|
|Port Chester Village||18|
|Port Dickinson Village||2|
|Pound Ridge Town||1|
|Red Hook Village||0|
|Rockville Centre Village||8|
|Rouses Point Village||0|
|Rye Brook Village4||5|
|Sackets Harbor Village||0|
|Sag Harbor Village||0|
|Sands Point Village||0|
|Saranac Lake Village||1|
|Seneca Falls Town||5|
|Shelter Island Town||0|
|Sleepy Hollow Village||1|
|Sodus Point Village||0|
|South Glens Falls Village||4|
|South Nyack Village||0|
|Spring Valley Village||13|
|St. Johnsville Village||1|
|Stony Point Town||5|
|Tupper Lake Village||3|
|Wappingers Falls Village||0|
|Waterford Town and Village4||3|
|Watkins Glen Village||0|
|Webster Town and Village||12|
|West Carthage Village||1|
|Westhampton Beach Village||0|
|West Seneca Town||15|
The information listed above is as of 2016 from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
It comes as no surprise that New York City has had the most cars stolen, but what is surprising is that a LOT of towns have had no cars stolen.
Road Fatalities in New York
When it comes to driving, accidents happen. Unfortunately, some of these accidents are fatal.
The following sections talk about the different kinds of fatal accidents in New York.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
New York does get a lot of snowstorms. But do snowstorms cause the majority of fatal accidents in the state?
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown|
In New York, most crashes tend to happen during the day under normal conditions. The second time crashes most occur is in the dark, but lighted conditions.
Fatalities (All Crashes) by County
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years, with data from the NHTSA.
Suffolk County, over the last five years, seems to have had the most fatalities.
Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban
This shows the fatalities over the course of 10 years.
For the most part, rural areas seem to have fewer fatalities than urban areas in New York.
Fatalities by Person Type
|Light Truck - Pickup||59||49||49||70||47|
|Light Truck - Utility||93||90||113||91||119|
|Light Truck - Van||41||26||41||33||33|
|Light Truck - Other||0||0||1||0||1|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||40||46||36||39||46|
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.
Light trucks (other) have the lowest amount of fatalities in this five-year timespan, whereas passenger cars have the highest rate in this five-year time span.
Fatalities by Crash Type
|Involving a Large Truck||118||98||126||106||121|
|Involving a Rollover||160||144||160||144||127|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||580||509||513||471||450|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||467||377||419||385||373|
This shows the fatalities by crash type over the course of five years.
A large number of crashes have to do with single-vehicle crashes and roadway departures in this five-year timespan.
Five-Year Trend for the Top 10 Counties
|New York County||45||39||28||48||38|
This shows the five-year trend for the top 10 counties of 2017 when it comes to fatalities.
Suffolk County ranks at number one on this list, and Onondaga County ranks the last on this list.
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
This shows the five-year trend of fatalities for speeding by county.
Not one county in New York has triple-digit deaths due to speeding.
Fatalities Involving Alcohol-Impaired Driving by County
The most fatalities in regards to alcohol-impaired driving is in Suffolk County over this five-year timespan.
Teen Drinking and Driving
The penalties for teen drinking and driving are harsh and covered in the chart presented under the DUI Laws section.
Make sure that you read that section. It is important to teach your teens to NEVER drink and drive!
EMS Response Time: Rural vs. Urban
|Time of Crash to EMS|
|EMS Notification to|
|EMS Arrival at Scene|
to Hospital Arrival
|Time of Crash to Hospital|
|Total Fatal Crashes|
|Rural||3 minutes||11 minutes||40 minutes||50 minutes||427|
|Urban||2 minutes||5 minutes||28 minutes||33 minutes||506|
If you live in New York, you most likely you live in a two-car household, drive alone to work, and spend a fair bit of time commuting.
The information that follows is from Data USA, in regards to the year 2017.
Most people in New York live in a two-car household. New Yorkers owning one car is the second most.
With an average commute time of 32.2 minutes, New York is above the national average of 25.2 minutes. Additionally, 5.8 percent of New York’s workforce has to commute for 90 minutes or more.
Most New Yorkers choose to go to work alone. But it is not surprising that taking public transportation is a close second.
Traffic Congestion in New York
What city in New York is known for traffic congestion?
If you guessed New York City, you are correct.
According to the TomTom Traffic Index, it ranks number 42 in the world for cities with the worst traffic congestion. The congestion level on both highways and non-highways is 36 percent, with the percentage rising during commutes: 55 percent for the morning commute and 69 percent for the evening commute.
Expect in the mornings to spend 17 extra minutes in your car while commuting, and expect to spend 21 extra minutes in your car while commuting in the evening.
Get a live taste of New York City traffic. Here is live traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. During commutes, you will see bumper to bumper traffic on the bridge.
We hope that this comprehensive guide to New York auto insurance has helped you. Keep in mind that New Yorkers were ranked the third-best drivers in a 2020 study, so hopefully your auto insurance reflects that accordingly!
Do not hesitate with your search for auto insurance either. Start comparison shopping auto insurance rates today.