Car Insurance For High-Risk Drivers In New York

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


New York is the third-most expensive state for car insurance, but if you’re a high-risk driver, you might pay higher rates than the state’s annual average of $2,566 a year. Various driving offenses, including speeding tickets or a history of car accidents, raise premium rates for New York motorists.

Let’s examine what designates high-risk drivers in New York, average high-risk car insurance rates, and what car insurance companies offer this insurance product. We also cover how to save on high-risk car insurance even if you don’t have a perfect driving record in the Empire State. 

Who are the high-risk drivers in New York? 

Insurance companies base car insurance premiums on drivers’ age, location, vehicle, and other factors, but one of the essential elements is their driving record. When an insurance carrier determines a customer’s auto insurance rate, they view their risk level or the likelihood they will file a claim or let their insurance lapse. 

A New York driver viewed as low-risk has an overall low risk of claims, and their insurance premium reflects this. On the other hand, a high-risk driver in New York often has missed payments, accidents, and other blemishes in their driving history. A high-risk motorist can have trouble finding car insurance in New York or may face very high rates. 

The New York car insurance requirements mandate:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person/$50,000 per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person/$50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage
  • $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage per person

What driving offenses label you a high-risk driver in New York?

If you have serious driving violations, you may be a high-risk driver in New York. If you drive under the influence, speed excessively, or operate a car while uninsured, these infractions can lead to a high-risk driver designation. You may also be a high-risk motorist if any of the following apply:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction
  • Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) conviction
  • History of at-fault accidents
  • Repeat car insurance claims
  • Involved in a hit-and-run
  • Street racing ticket
  • Multiple speeding tickets
  • Poor credit scores
  • Insurance lapses
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while uninsured
  • Driving without a driver’s license or with a suspended driver’s license
  • Drivers with an SR-22 (New York doesn’t require SR-22, but drivers moving to the state may need one)

High-risk drivers often have trouble finding affordable car insurance coverage because they have a higher risk for claims than good drivers. A high-risk driver may also be an individual with an expensive high-value car over $150,000, which would require costly repairs after a car accident. 

Some high-risk drivers are high-risk without a history of moving violations. Instead, their age impacts car insurance rates. Teen drivers and drivers over 65 also have a higher risk for insurance claims. Teen drivers’ risk gradually lowers as they age and maintain a good driving record. A driver over 65 may reduce their risk slightly with a defensive driving class

Average insurance cost for high-risk drivers in New York 

New Yorkers pay an annual average cost of $3,443, or $287 a month, for full coverage car insurance. The state’s insurance rates have increased by nearly 15% over the last six years, and New Yorkers pay double the national average rate. 

Car insurance premiums vary by the driver’s location, age, driving record, vehicle, deductible, and coverage options. A poor driving record often equals much higher car insurance rates for New York drivers.

Rates increases vary by driving violation. You may face a rate increase of only 1% to 10% for a speeding ticket,  but a driver with a DUI conviction could see rates increase by over 50%. The precise rate increase depends on the carrier and the severity of the moving violation.

Best companies for high-risk car insurance in New York

Both national and regional insurance providers offer high-risk car insurance, also known as nonstandard auto insurance, in New York. To find affordable nonstandard car insurance, you should compare rate quotes from multiple providers. 

USAA limits its car insurance to military members and their families, and you may receive a great rate if you’re a member. The carrier is known for its overall affordable high-risk insurance. If you don’t qualify for USAA, Progressive is one of the best insurance companies for high-risk drivers in New York, offering lower average rate increases than other companies and having the cheapest overall rates. 

The carrier also offers affordable rates for drivers with a DUI conviction in New York. Regional provider Erie is also good for high-risk drivers with a history of accidents at a price slightly lower than Progressive. 

Finding high-risk insurance after denied coverage 

If you can’t find car insurance in the voluntary market, you can find insurance with the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP), insurance of last resort. The NYAIP is an assigned-risk insurance program and randomly assigns you to a participating insurer. The NYAIP rates will be higher than traditional insurance, so you should exhaust all possibilities before you turn to the program.

How to get lower high-risk insurance rates in New York

There are several ways you can lower your insurance rates as a high-risk driver in New York. You can:

  • Shop around for multiple car insurance quotes
  • Drive an older car, which is cheaper to insure
  • Check your eligibility for a good student discount if you’re a teen driver
  • Don’t file a car insurance claim unless necessary
  • Practice regular and safe driving 
  • Take a defensive driving course if 65 or older
  • Ask if your insurance carrier offers usage-based pricing
  • Earn good credit with on-time payments

If you live in New York City, you might get rid of your vehicle altogether, especially as the car insurance rates are some of the highest in the country, and NYC features ample public transportation options. 


Does New York request SR-22 insurance for high-risk drivers?

No. New York is one of the few states that doesn’t require SR-22 insurance after a violation. If you move to New York from a state with an SR-22 requirement, you will need to hold the SR-22 on file for as long as your previous state requires. 

How much car insurance do I need in New York?

New York’s car insurance laws require a minimum policy of $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident, with the same rates for underinsured motorist coverage. The state also requires $10,000 in property damage per accident and $50,000 in personal injury protection per person. If you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender may require more than the minimum liability insurance coverage. 

Does your insurance increase after a speeding ticket in New York?

A single speeding ticket doesn’t automatically make you a high-risk driver in New York. Your insurer will likely consider you high-risk if you have several speeding tickets or one speeding ticket and a history of car accidents. Your insurance rates may increase up to 10%. The premium rate increase varies by carrier and other factors. 

What is the average cost of insurance for high-risk drivers in NY?

High-risk drivers in New York pay much higher insurance rates than other drivers. While the average cost for full coverage in New York is $2,566, a DUI conviction equals an annual full coverage cost of $5,306, or 200% higher than the state average. The average cost for a high-risk driver depends on the driver’s moving violations. 

Affordable insurance for high-risk drivers in New York

New Yorkers pay incredibly high car insurance rates compared to the rest of the nation, even with clean driving records. If you’re frustrated with your ability to find affordable high-risk car insurance, don’t worry. 

You may save hundreds simply by comparing various quotes from insurance carriers in New York. We make it easy to find and compare insurance quotes on our website. Start your rate comparison here now.