Perplexed by the crazy number of auto insurance company choices in New York? Many other consumers are too. Drivers have so many options that it can easily become a ton of work to compare prices.
Consumers should take time to do rate comparisons every six months because insurance rates fluctuate regularly. Despite the fact that you may have had the best deal on your last policy you will most likely find a better rate today. Ignore everything you know about auto insurance because you’re about to find out the easiest way to lower your rates without sacrificing coverage.
Discounts can save BIG
Car insurance companies don’t always publicize all available discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so here is a list some of the more common and the more hidden savings tricks you should be using.
- Resident Student – Children living away from home attending college and do not have a car can receive lower rates.
- Life Insurance Discount – Select insurance companies reward you with better rates if you take out a life insurance policy as well.
- New Vehicle Savings – Buying coverage on a new vehicle can save up to 30% since new cars are generally safer.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Cars that have air bags or automatic seat belts may earn rate discounts of 20% or more.
- Theft Prevention System – Anti-theft and alarm systems help deter theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
Keep in mind that some of the credits will not apply the the whole policy. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as comp or med pay. Even though it may seem like adding up those discounts means a free policy, it just doesn’t work that way.
How to Lower your Auto Insurance Rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the different types of things that help determine auto insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively determines base rates allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with lower auto insurance prices.
The following are a partial list of the pieces companies use to determine rates.
- Better credit means lower rates – A driver’s credit history is a important factor in your rate calculation. If your credit history is not that good, you could save money insuring your by repairing your credit. Consumers who have high credit scores tend to be less risk to insure than those with lower credit scores.
- Don’t sacrifice liability coverage – Liability coverage will protect you in the event that a court rules you are at fault for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. It provides for a legal defense which can be incredibly expensive. Liability is cheap when compared with rates for comp and collision, so drivers should carry high limits.
- How your age affects price – Mature drivers tend to be more responsible, tend to cause fewer accidents and are safer drivers. Teenage drivers are known to be less responsible in a vehicle therefore auto insurance rates are much higher.
- More miles equals more premium – The more you drive every year the more you will pay for auto insurance. Almost all companies price each vehicle’s coverage based on their usage. Vehicles used primarily for pleasure use get more affordable rates compared to those used for work or business. Double check that your auto insurance policy shows the correct driver usage.
- Traffic citations inflate rates – A bad driving record has a big impact on rates. Even one speeding ticket can boost insurance rates twenty percent or more. Careful drivers tend to pay less for car insurance than people who have multiple driving citations. If you have severe violations such as reckless driving, hit and run or driving under the influence may find they need to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) with the DMV in their state in order to drive a vehicle legally.
- Rural vs Urban Areas – Choosing to live in a small town can be a good thing when it comes to auto insurance. Less people living in that area means fewer accidents as well as less vandalism and auto theft. Drivers in populated New York areas have to deal with much more traffic to deal with and much longer commute distances. More time on the road means more change of being in an accident.
But I prefer to buy car insurance from an agent
A small number of people would prefer to get advice from a local agent and that is just fine! The best thing about price shopping on the web is you may find the lowest rates but still work with a licensed agent.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this quick form, your insurance coverage information is immediately sent to agents in your area who will return price quotes for your business. You won’t need to leave your computer because quoted prices will be sent to the email address you provide. Now that’s easy! You’ll get the best rates and work with a local agent.
Picking an provider needs to be determined by more than just the bottom line cost. Here are some questions to ask:
- What insurance companies do they work with?
- Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
- What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
- How are claims handled?
- Is the agent and/or agency licensed to do business in New York?
How to choose the best car insurance agent in New York
When researching local New York agents, there are a couple of different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. New York agents are categorized either captive or independent (non-captive).
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive insurance agents have only one company to place business with and some examples include Farmers Insurance or State Farm. They usually cannot place coverage with different providers so it’s a take it or leave it situation. Captives are trained well on their products and sales techniques which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums. Some consumers prefer to buy from captive agents mostly because of high brand loyalty and solid financial strength.
Listed below are New York captive agencies willing to provide rate quotes.
- Liberty Mutual Insurance – 1133 Avenue Of The Americas – New York, NY 10036 – (212) 391-7500
- Allstate Insurance Co – 230 Lexington Ave # 1a – New York, NY 10016 – (212) 686-1200
- American Family Celebration – 275 7th Ave – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 206-1066
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Independent insurance agents do not work for one specific company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, the agent simply finds a different carrier and you don’t have to find a new agent.
When comparing rates, it’s recommended you contact at a minimum one independent agency to have the most options to choose from.Many can place coverage with lesser-known insurance companies who may have lower rates.
Shown below are New York independent insurance agents that are able to give price quotes.
- Hudson Insurance Group – 17 State St # 29 – New York, NY 10004 – (212) 978-2800
- Hanlon Agency – 116 John St # 510 – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 267-5146
- Heffner Agency Inc – 110 William St – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 349-5200
- Bruce Wilcox Agency – 675 3rd Ave – New York, NY 10017 – (212) 490-7979
- Globe Link Insurance Corp – 43 W 33rd St – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 268-2700
For a complete listing of insurance agents in New York, view this link.
Upon getting acceptable answers to any questions you have and a good coverage price, you may have just found an auto insurance agent that will properly insure your vehicles.
Don’t listen to company ads
Companies like 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm constantly bombard you with ads on television and other media. All the ads have a common claim that you’ll save big if you switch your policy. How can each company claim to save you money? It’s all in the numbers.
Insurance companies are able to cherry pick for the type of customer they prefer to insure. A good example of a profitable customer could be over the age of 50, has no prior claims, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters is entitled to the best price and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who fall outside this ideal profile will have to pay higher premiums and ends up with business not being written. Company advertisements say “customers who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save money. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings. Because of the profiling, you absolutely need to get quotes from several different companies. Because you never know which company will have the lowest rates.
Online resources for education
Additional detailed information can be read at the New York Department of Financial Services website. Consumers can find disaster information, find a variety of consumer forms, and get help finding coverage.
In the end, you save
Low-cost auto insurance can be bought online and with local New York insurance agents, and you need to price shop both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers do not offer you the ability to get quotes online and usually these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.
People change insurance companies for a number of reasons such as not issuing a premium refund, extreme rates for teen drivers, high prices and even delays in paying claims. It doesn’t matter what your reason, choosing a new company is actually quite simple.
When shopping online for auto insurance, make sure you don’t reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are a lot of situations where consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits only to regret at claim time that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. Your strategy should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.