Online Auto Insurance Quantifies Impact of Location on NY Premiums

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The site looked at more than 350 sample quotes provided by state regulators to find and compare the averages for 13 downstate regions.

A new analysis of regulator-provided premium data shows that drivers in certain parts of downstate New York could be paying up to two-and-a-half times as much for coverage as drivers in other areas solely because of their location, according to

To quantify the extent to which a policyholder’s address plays in setting premiums, the site analyzed more than 350 sample quotes contained in a 2010 car insurance comparison published on the New York Department of Financial Services website. The site looked only at quotes generated for the 13 regions the DFS classified as “downstate.”


The analysis found that rates for a minimum policy bought by a 35-year-old married male were lowest in Middletown and highest in Kings County. And the disparity was quite large. The average insurance quote for the sample profile in Kings County was $1,766, while the average for Middletown—about an hour and 45 minutes away by car—was only $692.

Middletown was about 40 percent below the downstate average of $1,140, while Kings was about 55 percent above.

The full rankings for the 13 geographic areas are attached to the copy of this release hosted on PR Web.

Territorial rating—the use of a person’s address to help set premiums—is allowed across the country, with varying levels of regulation on how insurers cut up a region into territories. In this practice, insurers look at the claims history of the area where a policyholder regularly garages the insured vehicle. By analyzing how often other motorists in the surrounding area file claims and how large those claims tend to be, insurers can tweak rates to better reflect the risk of the insured driver.

Generally, this tends to leave densely populated urban areas with higher premiums than more diffuse rural areas, a fact that is reflected in the results of the premium analysis.

To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, readers can go to where visitors will find informative resource pages and a rate-comparison generator that can help shoppers quickly evaluate their options.


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Benjamin Zitney
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