Buffalo, NY Car Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

Buying cheap Buffalo car insurance over the internet can be impossible for beginners to comparison shopping online. With so many choices of insurers available, how can anyone have a chance to compare every company to locate the lowest rates?

Tips to Get Lower Buffalo Rates

An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that come into play when calculating the rates you pay for car insurance. Having a good understanding of what impacts premium levels helps enable you to make changes that can help you get big savings.

The list below includes some of the items that factor into your rates.

  • Increase deductibles and save – Insurance for physical damage to your car, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, is used to repair damage to your car. Some instances where coverage would apply would be colliding with a building, damage from fire, and windstorm damage. Deductibles for physical damage are how much you are required to spend before your car insurance pays a claim. The more expense you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the less your car insurance will be.
  • Consolidate policies to earn discounts – Some car insurance companies will give a discount to policyholders who have multiple policies with them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Even with this discount, it’s in your best interest to compare rates to make sure you are getting the best deal.
  • Lower rates with optional equipment – Owning a car with an alarm system can save you a little every year. Theft prevention devices such as vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems can help prevent your car from being stolen.
  • Frequent car insurance claims increase rates – Insurance companies in New York generally give cheaper rates to insureds who are claim-free. If you frequently file small claims, you can look forward to either higher rates or even cancellation. Auto insurance is intended to be relied upon for the large, substantial claims.

Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts

The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, but there could be available discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Some trigger automatically at the time of quoting, but less common discounts must be asked about before they will apply. If you aren’t receiving every discount available, you are throwing money away.

  • Military Discounts – Being on active duty in the military could be rewarded with lower premiums.
  • Save with a New Car – Putting insurance coverage on a new car can be considerably cheaper compared to insuring an older model.
  • Anti-theft Discount – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Memberships – Belonging to a qualifying organization may earn a discount on your policy.
  • Air Bag Discount – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may earn rate discounts of more than 20%.
  • Defensive Driving Course – Taking part in a defensive driving course could cut 5% off your bill and easily recoup the cost of the course.
  • Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time instead of paying each month you could save up to 5%.

A little note about advertised discounts, many deductions do not apply to the entire cost. A few only apply to individual premiums such as medical payments or collision. Just because you may think having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, you won’t be that lucky. But all discounts will reduce your premiums.

To see a list of insurance companies offering car insurance discounts in Buffalo, follow this link.

Price shop online but buy from a local Buffalo agent

A small number of people would prefer to sit down with an agent and there is nothing wrong with that. Agents can answer important questions and help you file claims. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is you can get the best rates and still choose a local agent. Buying from local agencies is important especially in Buffalo.

Upon completion of this short form, your insurance data gets sent to insurance agents in Buffalo who will battle for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to even leave your home because quoted prices will be sent immediately to your email address. Now that’s easy!

Not all insurance agencies are the same

When looking for an insurance agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies from which to choose. Agents are classified as either captive or independent. Either one can write coverage properly, but it’s worth learning the difference between them because it can impact your agent selection.

Independent Agents

Independent agents are not locked into one company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. If you are not satisfied with one company, your agent can switch companies without you having to go to a different agency. When comparison shopping, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from at least one independent agent to get the best comparison. They also have the ability to place coverage with lesser-known insurance companies which can save you money.

Shown below is a short list of independent agencies in Buffalo who can help you get comparison quotes.

  • Overdorf Associates Agency Inc – 445 Abbott Rd – Buffalo, NY 14220 – (716) 822-9990
  • Frederick Meka Insurance – 1926 Clinton St – Buffalo, NY 14206 – (716) 822-6874
  • Genesee Agency – 1560 Harlem Rd # 2 – Buffalo, NY 14206 – (716) 891-8514
  • Mcmahon Agency Inc – 156 Kenmore Ave – Buffalo, NY 14226 – (716) 837-3943
  • John Obstarczyk Insurance – 16 Lake Ave – Buffalo, NY 14219 – (716) 823-1801
Captive Insurance Agents

These agents can only place business with one company and some examples include AAA, State Farm, Farmers Insurance and Allstate. These agents are unable to place coverage with different providers so keep that in mind. Captive agents are trained well in insurance sales which can be an advantage. Consumers sometimes choose to use a captive agent mainly due to the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.Buffalo NY car insurance

Shown below are captive agencies in Buffalo willing to provide rate quotes.

  • Liberty Mutual – 1100 Southwestern Blvd – Buffalo, NY 14224 – (716) 677-2734
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 43 Aspinwood Pl – Buffalo, NY 14223 – (716) 876-4545
  • State Farm Insurance – 1335 Hertel Ave – Buffalo, NY 14216 – (716) 873-3771
  • Allstate Insurance Co – 1461 Kensington Ave – Buffalo, NY 14215 – (716) 833-2247

To view a full list of car insurance agents in Buffalo, view this link.

Picking an insurance agent should depend on more than just the price. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?
  • What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
  • Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
  • How are claims handled?
  • Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
  • If your car is in the repair shop, do you have coverage for a rental car?

After getting reasonable responses to any questions you have as well as a affordable price, most likely you have located an auto insurance agent that will service your policy.

Is there truth in advertising?

New York consumers constantly see and hear ads for car insurance savings by Allstate, GEICO and Progressive. All the companies have a common claim of big savings after switching to their company.

How do they all make almost identical claims? This is how they do it.

All companies have a preferred profile for the driver they prefer to insure. For example, a preferred risk might be over the age of 40, has no prior claims, and has excellent credit. A propective insured who meets those qualifications will get the preferred rates and as a result will probably save when switching.

Potential insureds who fall outside the requirements will be charged higher rates and this can result in the customer not buying. The ad wording is “customers that switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that kind of money. That’s why companies can truthfully claim big savings.

That is why it is so important to get a wide range of price quotes. You cannot predict the company that will give you the biggest savings.

Tailor your coverage to you

When choosing proper insurance coverage, there is no single plan that fits everyone. Everyone’s situation is unique.

Here are some questions about coverages that might point out if your insurance needs would benefit from professional advice.

Buffalo auto insurance

  • Is my cargo covered for damage or theft?
  • What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
  • Do I pay less if my vehicle is kept in my garage?
  • Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
  • Does my vehicle qualify for pleasure use?
  • I have good health insurance, so how much medical payments coverage do I need?
  • How can I get high-risk coverage after a DUI?
  • Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
  • Who is covered by my policy?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form. It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can provide invaluable advice.

Additional information is available on the New York Department of Financial Services website found here. Consumers can view a list of available companies, get help finding coverage, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.

More related Buffalo car insurance information:

A little work can save a LOT of money

Drivers who switch companies do it for a variety of reasons including delays in responding to claim requests, questionable increases in premium, denial of a claim or not issuing a premium refund. Regardless of your reason, finding a new car insurance company is pretty easy and you might even save some money in the process.

Budget-conscious car insurance is possible from both online companies in addition to many Buffalo insurance agents, and you need to comparison shop both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some companies do not provide the ability to get a quote online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.

You just learned many ways to shop for car insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more times you quote, the higher the chance of saving money. Consumers could even find that the lowest premiums are with a small local company.