No one in their right mind looks forward to paying for auto insurance, especially knowing the price is too high. Insurance companies such as Allstate, Progressive and GEICO continually hit you with advertising and it is challenging if not impossible to see past the corporate glitz and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.
You need to do rate comparisons on a regular basis because prices are constantly changing. Even if you got the best deal last year you may be paying too much now. Starting now, ignore everything you know about auto insurance because you’re about to learn the best methods to properly buy coverages and cut your premium.
If you have a current auto insurance policy or need new coverage, you can learn to get lower rates while maintaining coverages. Choosing the best insurance company for you in New York is easy if you know what you’re doing. New York consumers just need to understand the most efficient way to shop their coverage around over the internet.
Car insurance can cost a lot, but there are discounts available to help bring down the price. Most are applied at the time of quoting, but a few need to be asked for before they will apply. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are paying more than you should be.
Consumers should know that most discount credits are not given to the entire cost. The majority will only reduce specific coverage prices like liability and collision coverage. Just because it seems like you could get a free auto insurance policy, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous. Any amount of discount will cut your premiums.
Shopping for lower auto insurance rates can take hours if you aren’t aware of the best way to get rate quotes. You can spend countless hours driving to agents in New York, or you could save time and use the internet to get pricing more quickly.
Many companies are enrolled in a marketplace where insurance shoppers submit one quote, and each company then returns a price quote for coverage. This system prevents you from having to do repetitive form submissions for every auto insurance company.
To participate in this free quote system, click here to start a free quote.
The one disadvantage to using this type of form is you don’t know exactly which insurance companies to get pricing from. If you prefer to choose individual companies to compare, we put together a list of auto insurance companies in New York. View list of New York insurance companies.
It’s your choice how you get your quotes, but be sure to compare exactly the same information for every quote you compare. If your comparisons have differing limits then you won’t be able to determine the lowest rate in New York.
Some people would rather get advice from a local agent and that is just fine! Insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and help submit paperwork. One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find the best rates but also keep your business local. Buying from local agencies is important particularly in New York.
After completing this form (opens in new window), your insurance data is instantly submitted to local insurance agents who will return price quotes for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to drive around because quoted prices will be sent to the email address you provide.
If you’re trying to find a reliable agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies from which to choose. Insurance agencies in New York are categorized either captive or independent (non-captive). While both can properly insure your vehicles, but it’s good to learn the differences since it can impact the selection process.
These agents are not required to write business for one company so they have the ability to put coverage with any number of different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the agent simply finds a different carrier without you having to go to a different agency.
When searching for an agent, it’s a good idea to include at a minimum one independent agency for the best price selection.
Below is a short list of independent agencies in New York that are able to give price quotes.
David Chin General Insurance – 350 Broadway # 501 – New York, NY 10013 – (212) 219-2278
Manhattan Agency – 601 W 26th St # 1515 – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 949-9200
Hanlon Agency – 116 John St # 510 – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 267-5146
Athilon Structured Insurance – 2 Grand Central Tower – New York, NY 10017 – (212) 457-3153
National City Agency Inc – 40 Wall St # 13 – New York, NY 10005 – (212) 344-0008
Captive insurance agents work for only one company and examples are State Farm or Allstate. They generally cannot place coverage with different providers so they have to upsell other benefits. These agents are well schooled on their products and sales techniques which can be an advantage.
Below is a list of captive insurance agents in New York that can give you comparison quotes.
Allstate Insurance Co – 165 W End Ave – New York, NY 10023 – (212) 799-2900
Liberty Mutual Insurance – 1133 Avenue Of The Americas – New York, NY 10036 – (212) 391-7500
American Family Celebration – 275 7th Ave – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 206-1066
For a full directory of captive agents in New York, view this link.
Deciding on a car insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the price. Here are some questions to ask:
Once you have good answers to these questions and a low price estimate, you have narrowed it down to an insurance agent that is a good match to service your policy. But keep in mind once you purchase a policy you can cancel coverage at any time so don’t think you’re contractually obligated to a policy for the full term.
Consumers can’t ignore all the ads for car insurance savings from companies such as 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm. All the ads make the same claim about savings after switching your policy.
But how can every company make the same claim?
All the different companies have a preferred profile for the type of driver that earns them a profit. For example, a preferred risk could possibly be over the age of 40, is a homeowner, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Any new insured that hits that “sweet spot” gets the lowest rates and as a result will probably pay quite a bit less when switching companies.
Potential customers who fall outside the requirements must pay higher rates which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. This is how insurance companies can make those claims.
This illustrates why it’s extremely important to get as many quotes as possible. It is impossible to predict which auto insurance company will have the lowest rates.
Having a good grasp of your policy aids in choosing which coverages you need for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Shown next are typical coverage types found on most auto insurance policies.
Liability insurance can cover damage that occurs to other people or property by causing an accident. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. Your policy might show limits of 25/50/25 that translate to $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and property damage coverage for $25,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined limit which provides one coverage limit rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability can pay for things like repair bills for other people’s vehicles, loss of income and funeral expenses. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but you should buy as much as you can afford. New York state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/10,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance
This coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Due to the fact that many New York drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (New York limits are 25/50/10), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. So UM/UIM coverage is very important. Normally your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)
This pays to fix your vehicle from damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims such as theft, vandalism and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The maximum payout you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another car or object. A deductible applies then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.
Collision can pay for claims like damaging your car on a curb, driving through your garage door, sustaining damage from a pot hole, scraping a guard rail and sideswiping another vehicle. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. It’s also possible to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.
Insurance for medical payments
Med pay and PIP coverage provide coverage for expenses for EMT expenses, nursing services, dental work, chiropractic care and funeral costs. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to you and your occupants and will also cover if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is not an option in every state but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
When trying to cut insurance costs, do not buy poor coverage just to save money. There are many occasions where an insured dropped comprehensive coverage or liability limits only to discover later that they should have had better coverage. Your focus should be to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford while still protecting your assets.
In this article, we presented a lot of ways to shop for auto insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more rate quotes you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may even find the best price on auto insurance is with a small local company. These companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates compared to the large companies like Allstate and Progressive.
More information can be found on the website for the New York Department of Financial Services located here. Visitors are able to file complaints about a company, find out industry alerts, and read consumer alerts.