Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in Brooklyn?
If you are moving to Brooklyn and trying to get car insurance, you might notice something when shopping for a policy – they’re much more expensive than insurance policies in the rest of the country. It can be frustrating, but there are a few key reasons why car insurance is more expensive in New York. Insurance companies base your premiums off of how risky they consider you to insure. There are certain factors that make Brooklyn a riskier place to have a car, which contribute to the high insurance rates. Here are a few key reasons why car insurance is so expensive in Brooklyn.
High Traffic Density
Brooklyn has some of the highest volumes of traffic in the entire country. Its roads are congested, which can make commute times much longer. With such high-density traffic comes a higher risk for an accident. Even if you are an incredibly safe, by-the-book driver, there is still a much bigger chance of someone else hitting you on the road. Since the number of claims in Brooklyn and the New York metro area, in general, is so high, insurance companies have driven their rates up to compensate.
Higher Potential for Vandalism
Brooklyn is extremely high in population density, with thousands of people crammed into just a few square miles. There also aren’t very many covered parking spots available, and the covered garages that are conveniently located can be too expensive for many drivers’ budgets. This means that many Brooklynites park their cars on the street. When your car is so exposed in a dense area like Brooklyn, the chances of it being vandalized are much higher. Although the crime rate per person isn’t necessarily higher in New York, the huge population means that vandals are more likely to be in your vicinity. With so many people on the street, there’s also a much higher chance of your car being damaged by accident. Life in New York City is incredibly unpredictable, and insurance companies will charge you higher premiums to compensate.
New York frequently experiences inclement weather throughout the year. With global climate change becoming increasingly prevalent, storms have also been happening more often, and they have been more severe than they were in the past. If you park your car outside, which most Brooklynites do, this means your car is at risk of being damaged. In particular, hail and ice storms present a big threat to your automobile, but even rain and snow can problematic. Recently, New York has been experiencing floods as well, with the most significant being Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In addition to being a threat to parked cars, these storms can increase the probability of a car accident. Inclement weather leads to poor visibility as well as ice and water on the road that can cause cars to slip.
There are also a few factors that have been affecting insurance prices nationwide that also apply to Brooklyn. One of the biggest causes of car accidents in the last decade or so is distracted driving as a result of cell phone use. As smartphones get more advanced, drivers are trying to multitask on the road, which almost inevitably leads to an increase in accidents. Although laws against distracted driving have helped somewhat, insurers still consider this an added risk, which is why rates have gone up slightly around the country.
Bad Road Conditions
Poor road conditions also increase the chances of an accident, and although road conditions have been declining in many cities around the US, the problem is particularly bad in big cities like New York. Potholes and narrow, uneven roads can put a lot of stress on your car and potentially lead to damage, and this is another problem that presents a risk for insurers.
How can I keep my premiums down?
Although your car insurance will almost always be more expensive living in Brooklyn, there are things you can do to keep them as low as possible. The first is to drive safely – most insurance companies offer lower premiums for drivers who have a good record. In New York, you can actually get a discount on your premiums by taking a DMV-approved safe driving class, so it’s worth taking the time to do that.
Another way to keep your insurance costs down is to drive less. There are many insurance companies that are now offering pay per mile insurance policies, and even if you opt for a traditional policy, the insurance company will factor the average distance you drive into the premium cost. In Brooklyn, there is excellent public transportation available with the subway and buses, so you may be able to get around without a car. You also may want to consider using a bike or walking in the warmer months. The less you drive, the less of a risk you are to your insurance company, so this is a good way to keep your insurance costs down.