High-Risk Auto Insurance in New York

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From the Big Apple to Albany, the Finger Lakes region to the Catskills, and all the way to Niagara Falls, New Yorkers must always carry an active and adequate car insurance policy while taking to the state’s roads. However, those with a history of making poor choices behind the wheel may have a tough time finding an affordable New York car insurance policy.

Those with a poor driving record or insurance history may require a high-risk auto insurance policy. That’s just a fancy way of saying they may be rejected by standard insurers and require a policy from a specialized, non-standard insurer. Let’s check out some information about high-risk insurance in New York, who needs it, and how to find it. 

What’s High-Risk Auto Insurance in New York?

Auto insurance in New York can be challenging to find for drivers of all ages and backgrounds, especially if you’re considered high-risk. High-risk insurance in the Empire State is what insurers call a policy for drivers with a poor driving record, lousy insurance history, or a higher-than-average likelihood of filing claims. A driver may be considered high risk for several reasons, not all associated with making risky choices behind the wheel. While it’s most likely for a bad driver to require high-risk insurance, drivers with poor credit or who’ve been the victim of several accidents may need it, too. 

Insurers consider several unique factors about each driver before they go forward with binding a policy and again when determining a policyholder’s premiums. If a driver is at a higher-than-average risk of filing a claim, an insurer may charge them higher-than-average premiums or decide not to bind a policy with them at all. Insurers heavily consider one’s driving record and insurance history when determining a driver’s risk. Still, they also assess certain “non-driving” factors, like one’s age, gender, and ZIP code, among several other factors

For example, drivers in densely populated ZIP codes are often considered high-risk because they’re statistically more likely to get into accidents and file claims. Thus, drivers in New York City may pay higher premiums or may require high-risk insurance if they’re rejected by traditional insurers. 

It’s important to note here that high-risk insurance isn’t actually a type of policy or coverage drivers can add to their policies; it’s just a name some insurance companies give to those at high risk of filing a claim. Those who require a policy from a specialized insurer will get a regular insurance policy, it’s just that some insurers specialize in binding policies for those deemed high-risk by standard insurers. 

In New York, driving without insurance, having several at-fault accidents on your record, or having a DUI are the most common ways to require high-risk insurance. Typically, those who have previously had their licenses or registrations suspended or revoked or those with an SR-22 on file are the most likely to require high-risk insurance. 

Assigned Risk Auto Insurance in New York Explained

The New York Automobile Insurance Plan, otherwise known as the NYAIP, exists as a last resort for high-risk drivers who can’t find insurance with a standard insurer. Binding a policy with a traditional insurer, like State Farm, Progressive, or any of the top insurance companies in New York, is known as binding on the voluntary market. This is because drivers can voluntarily pick and choose which insurer offers the most suitable policy for their needs. 

The NYAIP and other insurance pools are what’s known as the involuntary auto insurance marketplace. Drivers who enroll in such pools will be assigned an insurer at random, and their assigned insurer is their only option for a policy. While many of the insurers in the NYAIP are standard insurers, some may be smaller companies with higher rates and fewer opportunities for discounts. 

While the NYAIP is a great idea for high-risk drivers, policies through the NYAIP can get quite pricey. The average cost of a full coverage policy in the Empire State is about $2,340 annually, which already posits the state as one of the most expensive in the country for auto insurance. That said, high-risk drivers typically pay about double or triple the average cost, so some policyholders may pay more than $5,000 in annual premiums. 

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What’s the New York State Auto Insurance High-Risk Pool?

The auto insurance pool in the Empire State is called the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP). The NYAIP is a pool in which high-risk drivers can enter to be randomly assigned an insurer. The NYAIP is usually a last resort for high-risk drivers if they can’t bind a policy with an insurer on the voluntary insurance market. 

Drivers shouldn’t enter the NYAIP unless they absolutely must, as policies in insurance pools are generally much more expensive than those on the voluntary market. High-risk drivers should exhaust their options on the voluntary market before deciding to enter the pool. High-risk drivers can expect to pay at least double the average cost of insurance in the state, if not more.

High-risk drivers still searching for a policy on the voluntary market may be able to cash in on some savings if they know where to look. First and foremost, the cheapest policy in the state will always be a minimum coverage that only meets the state’s auto insurance requirements but doesn’t exceed them. Drivers who aren’t comfortable sacrificing coverage for cost may be able to save on a full coverage policy, though.

Many insurers, especially standard insurers, offer discounts policyholders may stack to further reduce their premiums. For example, many insurers offer student discounts, multi-car discounts, and bundling discounts that policyholders may stack onto their premiums to reduce costs. Some insurers even offer programs that policyholders may enroll to reduce their premiums, like a usage-based driving or pay-per-mile program. A pay-per-mile program may be especially beneficial for those who use their vehicles predominately to commute to work and who drive far less than 12,000 miles annually. 

Some insurance companies also offer safe driving programs where policyholders can participate to get a discount for going accident-free in so many months or enrolling in a class, depending on the insurer. Such programs are especially good for high-risk drivers, as they help drivers improve their driving record over time and can help contribute to the natural lowering of one’s premiums. 

How To Find New York Auto Insurance Quotes

Whether you’re on the hunt for high-risk, short-term insurance in New York, a policy for you and your family, or if it’s time to renew and you’re curious about your options, the best way to select a policy that best suits your needs is to get and compare quotes online. Getting and comparing quotes from several insurers will ensure you make the best decision for your needs without breaking the bank.

Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place for quotes. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes. If you’d rather chat with a professional, one of our licensed agents will be happy to help you at 833-255-4117 or agent@clovered.com.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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