Are you overwhelmed by the dozens of auto insurance company choices in New York? You’re not the only one! Drivers have so many options available that it can easily become a real hassle to find lower rates.
Consumers need to price shop coverage occasionally because insurance rates tend to go up over time. Even if you think you had the best price last year there is a good chance you can find better rates now. So just ignore everything you know about auto insurance because you’re about to learn the best way to lower your annual insurance bill.
Choosing the best insurance company for you in New York is not that difficult. If you are paying for car insurance now, you stand a good chance to be able to reduce your rates substantially using these techniques. New York vehicle owners just need to know the most efficient way to get comparison quotes online.
You have some control over your rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that play a part in calculating the rates you pay for auto insurance. Understanding what impacts premium levels helps enable you to make changes that could result in big savings.
Shown below are a partial list of the pieces that factor into premiums.
- Car features impact rates – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can help lower your rates. Theft prevention devices like vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems all hinder auto theft.
- Safer cars are cheaper to insure – Safer cars are cheaper to insure. Safer cars protect occupants better and fewer injuries means lower claim amounts and more competitive rates for policyholders.
- High credit ratings translate to low rates – A driver’s credit score is a important factor in calculating your auto insurance rates. Drivers who have excellent credit tend to be better drivers and file fewer claims than drivers who have lower credit ratings. If your credit score is low, you could be paying less to insure your by improving your credit score.
- Pay less if you’re married – Having a spouse actually saves money when buying auto insurance. Marriage means you’re more responsible and it’s statistically proven that married drivers get in fewer accidents.
- One company can mean more discounts – The majority of auto insurance companies will award you with lower prices to people who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can be ten or even up to twenty percent in some cases. If you currently are using one company, you may still want to comparison shop to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible.
- Increase deductibles and save – Coverage for physical damage, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, protects your car from damage. A few examples of covered claims are a windshield shattered by a rock, collision with an animal, and burglary. Physical damage deductibles are the amount of money you are required to spend if you file a covered claim. The more expense you have to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
- Protect yourself with liability coverage – Liability coverage will protect you if a court rules you are at fault for damages from an accident. It provides legal defense which can be incredibly expensive. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap when compared with rates for comp and collision, so do not skimp.
How to Compare Auto Insurance Costs in New York, New York
There are multiple methods you can shop for auto insurance but there is one way that is less time-consuming than others. You could spend your day driving to insurance agencies in New York, or you could save time and use online quotes to get the quickest rates.
All the larger companies enroll in a system where insurance shoppers complete one form, and every company can provide price quotes for coverage. This eliminates the need for repetitive form submissions for every auto insurance company.
To access this free quoting program, click here to start a free quote.
One minor caviat to pricing coverage this way is you are unable to specify the insurers to get pricing from. So if you prefer to pick specific insurance companies to compare, we put together a list of the cheapest auto insurance companies in New York. Click here to view list.
Which method you use is up to you, but compare identical information with every price quote. If you compare higher or lower deductibles then you won’t be able to determine the best price in New York.
Can switching companies really save?
New York drivers can’t get away from ads that promise big savings from companies such as Allstate, Geico and Progressive. They all seem to make the same claim of big savings if you switch your policy.
How can each company say the same thing? It’s all in the numbers.
Different companies have a preferred profile for the type of customer that earns them a profit. A good example of a profitable customer might be profiled as a mature driver, has no driving citations, and has great credit. Any new insured that hits that “sweet spot” will get very good rates and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who are not a match for the “perfect” profile must pay higher prices and this can result in the customer not buying. The ads state “drivers who switch” not “people who quote” save that kind of money. That’s why companies can truthfully advertise the way they do. This illustrates why it is so important to get as many quotes as possible. It’s just too difficult to predict the company that will provide you with the cheapest rates.
Do you qualify for discounts?
Car insurance companies don’t always list all available discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so the following is a list of both the well known and the more hidden discounts you could be receiving. If you aren’t receiving every discount you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Good Student – A discount for being a good student can earn a discount of 20% or more. The good student discount can last until age 25.
- Low Mileage Discounts – Keeping the miles down can earn a substantially lower rate.
- Military Rewards – Having a deployed family member may qualify for rate reductions.
- Accident Forgiveness – A handful of insurance companies will allow you to have one accident before your rates go up so long as you haven’t had any claims for a particular time prior to the accident.
- Anti-lock Brake Discount – Vehicles equipped with ABS or steering control prevent accidents and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- No Accidents – Claim-free drivers pay less when compared to bad drivers.
- Student Driver Training – Cut your cost by having your teen driver successfully complete driver’s ed class in high school.
- Theft Prevention System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems help deter theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – By paying your policy upfront instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save up to 5%.
It’s important to understand that most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. So when the math indicates having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, you’re out of luck.
To see a list of insurance companies who offer auto insurance discounts in New York, follow this link.
Don’t assume everyone needs the same coverage
When buying the right insurance coverage, there really is no best way to insure your cars. Everyone’s situation is unique.
Here are some questions about coverages that may help highlight whether you would benefit from professional advice.
- Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver in New York?
- Do I need PIP (personal injury protection) coverage in New York?
- Does having multiple vehicles earn me a discount?
- What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
- Are my tools covered if they get stolen from my vehicle?
- Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
- Am I covered by my spouse’s policy after a separation?
If you can’t answer these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, complete this form. It only takes a few minutes and can provide invaluable advice.
Even more information is available at the New York Department of Financial Services website. New York consumers can view agent and company licensing information, find disaster information, and read enforcement actions against agents and companies.
Summing up your auto insurance search
Insureds switch companies for a variety of reasons including extreme rates for teen drivers, delays in responding to claim requests, high prices or even high rates after DUI convictions. It doesn’t matter what your reason, finding a new auto insurance company is not as difficult as it may seem.
When you buy insurance online, do not buy poor coverage just to save money. There have been many cases where an insured cut collision coverage to discover at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. Your aim should be to buy the best coverage you can find at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.
You just read some good ideas how you can shop for auto insurance online. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the best prices are with some of the smallest insurance companies.