New York drivers in for steeper point surcharges

Traffic in New YorkThe cost of driving in New York can add up and it’s going to get higher. Starting next week drivers better hang up while behind the wheel or they’ll face a steeper penalty on their record. Driving while talking on the phone has been illegal for many years but only now has the point count gone from 1 point to 2. The state requirement allows 11 points over an 18 month time period before you’ll lose your license.

Experts agree, since car insurance rates are based on the amount of points on your driving record, this new law will cause rates to increase. Already, the New York resident pays an estimated $2,200 to $3,200 a year, approximately 85% higher than the national average of $1,500. 

Other items that have caused rates to increase in the past have been car theft and vandalism but a new report reflects a decline in this activity. Many are hoping these new statistics will help with a rate decrease but there are also other factors involved. Unfortunately, the traffic concentration has been driving up the amount of collisions within the city – this making for higher rates in the short term.  

All in all, New Yorkers may pay the highest in insurance premiums along with steep parking fees, but they still remain the lowest in fatality rates involving traffic collisions. According to a new report by the Department of Transportation, showing 269 traffic deaths in 2010, higher than last year’s figures, but still leading among U.S. drivers.

The same report shows London, Paris and Tokyo have recorded an even lower traffic fatality rate than New York.

For right now, the best ways to keep your car insurance down is to…keep a clean record and shop around every year.

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