Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in New York (2024)

Auto insurance coverage can cost more in New York if you’re classified as a high-risk driver, but it’s still possible to find a suitable policy.

Jess Ullrich
Written byJess Ullrich
Jess Ullrich
Jess UllrichInsurance Writer
  • 10+ years writing insurance and personal finance topics

  • Former associate finance editor for Investopedia

Jess is a subject matter expert in insurance, banking, and other personal finance topics. Her byline has appeared in numerous top web media, including Investopedia.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Updated June 12, 2024

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If you have recent driving infractions in New York, your insurance company may consider you a high-risk driver. As a result, your insurance premiums could increase or your insurer could even cancel your policy. 

Regardless, New York state requires all drivers to have liability insurance, so you’ll need at least a minimum amount of coverage to stay road-worthy. Here’s what to know about insurance if you’re a high-risk driver in New York:

Quick Facts
  • Insurance rates are generally higher for drivers with speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUIs. 

  • Unlike most other states, New York doesn’t require high-risk drivers to have an SR-22 as proof of coverage.

  • New York requires a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage, $50,000 per two people ($25,000 for one), and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.[1]

Factors that determine high-risk status in New York

Several things could lead to your insurer deeming you a high-risk driver in New York. 

Some common scenarios include multiple traffic infractions, such as speeding tickets, DUIs, or reckless driving,” says John Espenschied, insurance expert and owner of Insurance Brokers Group in St. Louis, Missouri. 

“Additionally, drivers with little or no experience behind the wheel may also be considered high-risk, since they're statistically more likely to get into an accident. Finally, if you have a history of at-fault accidents, your insurer may consider you to be at higher risk than drivers with a clean driving record.” 

Here’s what to know about potential risk factors: 

  • Traffic violations and tickets: Driving violations like speeding tickets, reckless driving, or other potentially dangerous actions can be considered high-risk.

  • Accidents and claims: Your insurer may also classify you as high-risk if you have several accidents and insurance claims on your record.

  • Credit score and financial history: Poor credit and damaging items on your credit reports can also work against you.

  • Age and driving experience: In general, young drivers are considered higher risk because they lack experience on the road. Older drivers may see their rates rise if they continue driving at age 70 and beyond.

  • Vehicle type and usage: In general, luxury vehicles and electric cars may be more expensive to insure, as their parts can be more costly to replace. Also, the more you drive a vehicle of any type, the higher the risk you’ll be involved in an accident.

Important Information

New York drivers who can’t find an insurance company to cover them may find themselves in the New York Automobile Insurance Plan. The NYAIP assigns drivers to insurance companies involuntarily, requiring the companies to provide coverage. But NYAIP rates are generally higher.

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Best New York auto insurance companies for high-risk drivers by violation

While insurance for high-risk drivers is more expensive in general, the cost you pay can vary depending on the violation.

Best car insurance for New York high-risk drivers with an at-fault accident

On average, drivers in New York with clean records pay around $460 per month for liability-only coverage. An at-fault accident can bump your premiums for liability insurance up to $635 per month on average. 

If you do have an at-fault accident on your record, Travelers and Safeco offer the lowest average monthly premiums for both liability and full coverage. Here’s a breakdown of average monthly premium costs by insurer.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Travelers$233$2834.2
NationwideN/A$4464.1
Progressive$519$6744
Safeco$309$4123.8
Liberty Mutual$592$6623.7
Bristol West$965$1,1372.1
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Best car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in New York with a DUI

Premiums increase even more for drivers with a DUI in New York. Again, Travelers and Safeco offer the most affordable coverage on average, with liability-only premiums around $324 and $420 per month, respectively. 

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Travelers$324$3944.2
NationwideN/A$6214.1
Progressive$722$9374
Safeco$430$5733.8
Liberty Mutual$824$9213.7
Bristol West$1,343$1,5822.1
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Learn More: How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

Learn More: How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

Best auto insurance for New York high-risk drivers with speeding tickets

While your insurance costs will likely go up after a speeding ticket in New York, certain insurers offer more affordable coverage than others. Travelers and Safeco offer the cheapest policies on average for both liability-only and full-coverage policies.

Travelers offers liability-only coverage for around $218 per month and full coverage for $265 per month, while Safeco offers liability-only coverage for $289 per month and full coverage for $386 per month.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Travelers$218$2654.2
NationwideN/A$4184.1
Progressive$486$6314
Safeco$289$3863.8
Liberty Mutual$555$6203.7
Bristol West$905$1,0652.1
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest New York car insurance companies for high-risk drivers with poor credit

Your credit score may also affect the cost of your auto insurance in New York state. In general, insurers may regard drivers with poor credit as more of a financial risk. That’s because if you have a history of missed payments, the insurer may have concerns about your ability to pay your monthly premiums on time or at all.[2]

Despite this, certain insurers still offer relatively affordable coverage to people with poor credit.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Travelers$253
Safeco$335
Progressive$563
Erie$612
USAA$637
Liberty Mutual$642
State Farm$873
Allstate$916
Geico$1,003
Bristol West$1,046
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

How to find affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers in New York

If you’re a high-risk driver looking for affordable car insurance in New York, it’s difficult but not impossible to find. 

The most important thing to do is to shop around for the best rates,” says Espenschied. “Not all insurers treat high-risk drivers the same way, so it's essential to get quotes from multiple providers.”

Here are some strategies that might help you find a reasonably budget-friendly policy:[3]

  • Comparison shop. Using an online insurance comparison tool can help you compare quotes from different insurers quickly and easily. Simply enter some basic information and you’ll receive multiple quotes in a matter of minutes.

  • Seek discounts. Many auto insurance companies offer discounts for drivers. While these discounts could be harder to come by if you’re considered a high-risk driver, they’re still worth researching. Common discounts may include bundling discounts and low-mileage discounts.

  • Work with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents don’t have a financial stake in one auto insurance company versus another, so they’ll be able to offer impartial guidance that can help you find the right coverage.

Check Out: High-Deductible Car Insurance – What to Know

Check Out: High-Deductible Car Insurance – What to Know

How to improve your driving record and lower your car insurance rates in New York

You can also take certain actions to improve your driving record and reduce the cost of your car insurance, including:

  • Drive safely. Staying safe on the road is an effective way to improve your record. Avoid speeding and driving after drinking. Be mindful of stop signs and red lights, and pay attention to the rules of the road.

  • Take a defensive driving course. New York operates on a points system for drivers. The more points you have on your license, the more of a high-risk driver you become. If you’ve accumulated multiple points on your license, a state-approved defensive driving course could help reduce that point total and potentially lower your insurance costs.[4]

  • Seek legal assistance for infractions. If you have recent driving infractions that require you to go to court, you might consider seeking legal assistance. Getting advice from a legal professional may help you as you proceed with your case.

  • Improve your credit score. Better credit may also lead to lower insurance costs. To help improve your credit, ensure your bills are paid on time and in full each month, pay down debt as much as possible, and avoid opening too many new credit accounts.

New York high-risk drivers insurance FAQs

You may still have questions about obtaining coverage in New York. Here are some of the most common inquiries from drivers with multiple driving infractions. 

  • What is considered a high-risk driver in New York?

    You may be considered a high-risk driver in New York if you have at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other moving violations. People with poor credit and teenage drivers may also be considered higher-risk than people with good credit or more experience on the road.  

  • How do auto insurance companies calculate risk in New York?

    The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles operates on a points system. Under this system, the more infractions you have, the more points on your license. If you reach a certain number of points, your license may be suspended.

    Insurance companies in New York may also use a similar point system to calculate risk, or they may look at other factors like your credit score, age, financial history, and more when you apply for coverage.

  • What is the cheapest insurance company for New York high-risk drivers?

    On average, Travelers offers the cheapest coverage for high-risk drivers in New York. Policies through Safeco are also fairly affordable, while Bristol West offers the most expensive coverage, on average.

  • How much does high-risk auto insurance cost in New York?

    The cost of high-risk auto insurance in New York varies widely by insurer. For instance, if you have a DUI, you might pay just $324 a month for liability coverage through Travelers, while you might pay $1,343 a month for a similar policy with Bristol West. Full coverage through Travelers costs around $394 with a DUI, compared to $1,582 with Bristol West.

  • How long does reckless driving affect insurance in New York?

    Reckless driving may stay on your record for a few years or permanently, depending on the severity of your infraction. The state also has a points system in place, and drivers accumulate points for committing infractions on the road. If you receive 11 points within 1.5 years, your license may be suspended.

    If you’re concerned about your points total, you may be able to take a state-approved defensive driving course to have up to four points removed from your license.

Sources

  1. New York Department of Motor Vehicles. "New York State Insurance Requirements."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Credit and insurance scores."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs."
  4. New York Department of Motor Vehicles. "How to Keep Your License."
Jess Ullrich
Jess UllrichInsurance Writer

Jess is a personal finance writer who's been creating financial and business content for over a decade. Her work is published on Investopedia, MoneyWise, NextAdvisor, The HuffPost, and more. Prior to freelancing full-time, Jess was an editor at Investopedia, The Balance, and FinanceBuzz. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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