Car Insurance Comparison: New York vs. California

Planning a move from New York to California? Remember to update your car insurance.

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Comparing auto insurance in New York and California

If you're relocating from New York to California, chances are you're focused on the big-picture concerns and major expenses: finding a reliable moving company, finding a new apartment or house in your new locale, and arranging your interstate move.

Amidst the stress of a big move, it’s easy to overlook the details. Car insurance is just a detail, but it's crucial. To ensure you stay street legal and find a good deal, plan to update your policy — or find a new policy altogether — when you move from one state to another.

Check out our guide to auto insurance in New York vs. California and make your interstate move painless. We'll cover the following topics:


  1. Insurance cost comparison
  2. Rates by coverage level
  3. Affordable companies by state
  4. Rates in major cities
  5. Additional resources


New York vs. California car insurance — average rates

Expect to pay less for auto insurance in California than you did in New York. The average annual auto insurance rate in California is $482 less than the average rate in New York. The exact cost may vary, depending on your coverage level, driving and insurance history, and your auto insurance company.


CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN NEW YORK VS. CALIFORNIA
StateAverage Annual Price
New York$2,188
California$1,707


Average car insurance costs by coverage tier

How much you shell out for auto insurance depends on your chosen coverage level and how much you’re willing to invest each month to protect your car.

If you choose your state’s minimum liability auto insurance coverage, you will have medical payment, bodily injury, and property damage liability coverages, in addition to uninsured and underinsured driver coverage and personal injury protection in some states.


CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR BASIC LIABILITY COVERAGE IN NEW YORK vs. CALIFORNIA
StateTime PeriodPremium
New YorkAnnual$887
CaliforniaAnnual$573
New York6-Month$443
California6-Month$286
New YorkMonthly$74
CaliforniaMonthly$48


Electing full-coverage auto insurance will cost substantially more, but you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive and collision coverages, along with extras like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. The main benefit of full coverage car insurance is that it protects you and your vehicle better than does basic coverage. If you are willing to spend more up front to protect your investment, full coverage could be the way to go.


CAR INSURANCE RATES FOR FULL COVERAGE IN NEW YORK vs. CALIFORNIA
StateTime PeriodCost
New YorkAnnual$1,786
CaliforniaAnnual$1,626
New York6-Month$893
California6-Month$813
New YorkMonthly$149
CaliforniaMonthly$135


Affordable auto insurance companies in New York and California

A major contributor to your auto insurance costs is the insurer you choose. Insurance companies set rates in a number of ways, resulting in major price variations. Location also plays a role: some car insurance companies only sell policies in certain states, while bigger insurance companies' rates differ by state.

When moving across state lines, it's critical to find the best cheap auto insurance company offering policies in your new state. Get started below by viewing the five cheapest car insurance companies in New York and California.


CHEAP CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN NEW YORK
Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rate
USAA$1,175
Erie$1,230
Utica National$1,519
Progressive$1,527
Travelers$1,544


See additional cheap auto insurance companies in New York.


AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN CALIFORNIA
Car Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rate
USAA$1,132
Wawanesa$1,169
Century National$1,202
CSAA$1,210
Nationwide$1,238


See more cheap auto insurance companies in California.


Car insurance rates by city in New York and California

Though car insurance is legislated at the state level, insurers assign rates by ZIP code to adjust for local factors such as population density and number of insurance claims. The exact location to which you relocate will play a big part in deciding how much you pay for auto insurance.

The below tables show car insurance rates in major cities in California and New York.


CAR INSURANCE COSTS BY CITY IN NEW YORK
CityAverage Annual Rate
New York$2,681
Buffalo$1,518
Rochester$1,046
Yonkers$1,939
Syracuse$1,108


See a longer list of New York cities here.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES BY CITY IN CALIFORNIA
CityAverage Annual Rate
Los Angeles$2,125
San Diego$1,354
San Jose$1,409
San Francisco$1,728
Fresno$1,487


Is your new home not listed above? View rates in smaller California cities here.


More resources:moving from New York to California

When you relocate from New York to California, you’ll encounter new rules of the road, different SR-22 or FR-44 requirements, and more. Ensure your move goes off without a hitch with The Zebra's data on your new home:

Kristine Lee
Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.