New Yorkers saw their car insurance rates grow faster than expected between 2011 and 2017. In this article, we discuss how much car insurance increased and how residents can save money on their auto insurance premiums.
Auto insurance rate hikes in New York by company
Auto insurance rates in New York increased 28% between 2011 and 2017, compared to a national increase of 25% during the same time period.
As in many others states, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and Farmers were among the worst offenders. American Family and USAA were only two of the major companies to actually decrease their rates one year within the same period.
To see how each of the Empire State's major auto insurers stacked up for rate increases, take a look at the graph below:
Rate hikes in New York versus other states
Across the U.S., New York had the 13th highest statewide increase. Around the Northeast, auto insurance rates in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania increased, too — but by less compared to New York.
The highest increases occurred between 2012 and 2015, when rates were consistently several percentage points above the national average. That may be due to Superstorm Sandy, which caused many losses for insurance companies.
New York increase per year
National increase per year
Difference from national increase
What to do if your rates go up
There are a few ways you can reduce your auto insurance bill even if your rates have gone up significantly in the past half-decade:
- Switch your auto insurance company.
- Get rid of unnecessary coverage.
- Look for car insurance discounts.
Switch your auto insurance company. Staying with your auto insurance company year after year is not always rewarding. As we showed above, some insurance companies will raise rates more than others — so unless you shop around, you won't know what's out there.
In New York, only 50% of households with auto insurance shopped for new insurance in the past three years.
We recommend comparing quotes from at least three insurance companies at least once a year. Geico, Erie and Progressive typically offer the lowest rates in New York, but other companies may offer better prices depending on your situation.
Get rid of unnecessary coverage. While you generally need a basic insurance policy — which varies in each state — you might not need every optional coverage. For example, you might not need collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth less than $3,000 and/or it's more than 10 years old.
Depending on the vehicle, collision and comprehensive insurance can cost $300 – $2,000 per year. Over five years, the cost of your insurance will likely exceed the value of your car, making it not worthwhile. You can determine the value of your car at Edmunds.com or KBB.com. Remember, too, that your car will depreciate over time. So even if it's worth $3,000 in 2020, by 2025 it can be worth significantly less.
Look for car insurance discounts. Applying for auto insurance discounts is another great way to save money on your premiums. Simple actions, like taking a defensive-driving course or installing anti-theft devices, can net you 5% to 10% off your premium.