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New interactive online rate calculator lets consumers compare companies, coverages

Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills today announced that the 2006 Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance is now available online and in hard-copy form. Superintendent Mills also announced the Department has added a new, consumer-friendly online interactive auto insurance sample premium calculator to its website.

"The new online premium calculators and the Consumer Guide are both very exciting tools for consumers. As auto rates continue their unprecedented decline in New York State, judicious comparison shopping can mean even more savings for New York motorists," Superintendent Mills said. "The Consumer Guide offers an excellent overview of typical auto insurance premiums in different parts of the state, and by using our calculator, consumers can quickly and easily compare sample premiums for different companies for mandatory and common optional coverages."

The 2006 Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance is aimed at ensuring that drivers are getting the most for their premium dollar. The Guide outlines mandatory coverages, such as bodily injury liability and personal injury protection, as well as optional coverages, like comprehensive (i.e., fire and theft), available in New York State and offers practical money-saving tips. Sample auto insurance premiums from various New York territories as of July 1, 2006 are also included in the text so drivers can make meaningful comparisons.

New this year is the interactive premium calculator. Available on the Department’s website at the Consumer Auto Resource Center (, it provides personalized sample premiums from 29 different insurers licensed in New York State as well as the state’s assigned risk plan. Premiums shown cover both the basic policy required by law and various additions consumers may choose.

Using the calculator is easy. A visitor to the Insurance Department’s website would begin by selecting the most representative of the listed driver types, e.g., an adult male, age 35. They would then pick their place of residence, e.g., Manhattan or Elmira, and a list of insurance companies and sample premiums would be displayed. Users could add or increase coverages, compare different companies, and with one click visit those companies’ websites.

"With so many state-licensed auto insurers competing for your business, drivers owe it to themselves and their families to shop around for the best coverage at the best price," Superintendent Mills stated. "The premium calculator is a great place to start joining the overwhelming majority of New York drivers who will be saving money on their auto insurance this year."

Besides listing sample auto insurance premiums and offering drivers valuable consumer advice, the Guide also features a list of state-licensed auto insurers and their telephone numbers, and information on the extent to which auto insurers can use an applicant driver’s credit data. It explains the various factors influencing the cost of individual auto insurance, and shows how to file a complaint with the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau.

The publication is available online through the Department's Web site: A hard-copy version of the Guide can be acquired free of charge by those without Internet access by calling 1-800-342-3736.

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