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New York residents who want to register a motor vehicle need to first purchase an auto insurance policy that meets all of the state laws. They will only receive registration and have the legal rights to drive once they have submitted and shown proof of insurance. It is extremely important for you to know how laws surrounding New York car insurance works, as this will help you remain on the good side of the law. It will also protect you from serious legal liabilities as well as severe violations and penalties.


Average cost of car insurance in New York

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $1,181.86 for car insurance in New York each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$791.14 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$354.69 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$155.65 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in New York

Our case study found that a young driver can project these yearly averages for their auto insurance premiums:

  • $1305.2 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $2231.2 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $2838.4 for premium full coverage3.

Individual quotes will still depend on many other factors, especially since insurance companies use every possible variable to determine the risk of a driver. So when new drivers and teens have completed their driver’s education and have also taken a defensive driving course, they can qualify for discounts that can save them a lot of money.

Female Drivers in New York

A female driver in New York can expect to pay an average of:

  • $836 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1301.6 for basic full coverage and
  • $1645.2 for premium full coverage.

Upgrading to a more comprehensive coverage is always a smart idea, because this will provide better protection. Besides, as our methodology4 (more information below) revealed, the premiums women pay for are hundreds of dollars less than the premiums of young drivers.

Senior Drivers in New York

Our case study revealed that of all three types of drivers, senior drivers can spend the lowest for Basic Full and Premium Full coverages. Motorists who belong in this category can expect yearly premium averages of:

  • $856.8 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1154 for basic full coverage and
  • $1456.8 for premium full coverage.

In general, the bigger the city you reside in, the better premiums you’ll have. Regardless of this trend though, the cities of Norwich and Fulton, each with an estimated population of 6,968 and 11,552 (2015, latest data5), offer possibly some of the lowest, at only around $22 a month.

Minimum car insurance requirements

You need to take full responsibility as a New York driver. One of the most critical steps in doing so is to ensure you always have the proper amount of the required coverage types in NY. The state requires all drivers to purchase three types of coverage: liability insurance, no-fault insurance, and uninsured motorist insurance.

The liability insurance coverage portion of your policy should meet all of the five required minimums. These include the following: $25,000/person injury coverage; $50,000/accident injury coverage (when the accident results in multiple injury victims); $50,000 for a death of one person; $100,000 for multiple fatalities; and $10,000/accident property damage coverage.

As one of the no-fault states in the country, New York auto insurance regulations also require all drivers to purchase the no-fault coverage. This will cover some of the expenses that result from an accident, regardless of who caused it. The minimum for this is $50,000/person.

As for your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, make sure you purchase the minimums, which comprise of a $25,000/person bodily injury coverage and a $50,000/accident bodily injury coverage (when more than one person gets hurt in the accident).

Collision, comprehensive, medical and funeral services, as well as towing and labor are the optional coverage types you can get in New York.

Violations and Penalties 

Insisting on driving your car even without insurance in the state will result in you paying a hefty price, and not just in terms of money.

Aside from having to pay for a fine ranging anywhere from $150 to $1,500, you may also have to pay the $750 penalty once the authorities convict you of the violation. You may also have to surrender to an imprisonment term of up to 15 days. Suspension of your registration as well as your license will also take place. Additional fees also apply (a daily fine multiplied with the number of days without an insurance in effect).

Driving safety in New York

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that 90% of motorists and front-seat passengers in New York wear seatbelts, as opposed to the 86% national average.

In a 2015 study from the National Highway Safety Administration, it showed that 1,121 driving casualties occurred in the state during this year. 311 of them (28%) were caused by alcohol impaired driving.

The CDC has then given NY an overall vehicle occupant death rate of 3.1 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

The law is the law, and as a responsible resident of New York, make sure that you maintain all of the car insurance coverage requirements of the state. This will protect you, your passengers, and other people you can potentially hurt while driving.

licensed drivers in New York, 2014
privately insured vehicles in New York

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source:
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