There is no one size fits all policy when it comes to buying car insurance in NY. There are, though, a few things everyone should know before diving in and buying that first policy in order to make sure that you’re getting the right NY car insurance coverage to meet your needs. These tips for buying auto insurance in NY will help you get the right coverage for the right price.
Tips For First Time Car Insurance Buyers
Determine What Coverage is Necessary
This will be different for different people depending on your comfort level, the cost and type of your car, and how you’ve purchased the vehicle. For instance, your needs will be different if you paid cash for your car than if you’ve financed your vehicle. You have many coverage options to consider including the following.
- Liability Coverage – All drivers in New York must meet specific legal requirements for liability coverage. This coverage provides protection, up to the limit of your plan, from the financial fallout of accidents in which you are determined to be at fault. Liability protection covers damage you cause to other vehicles or properties in these accidents but provides no coverage or protection for your own vehicle.
- Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive insurance coverage provides protection for things like tree limbs falling on your car, vandalism, and other non-collision types of damage to your car.
- Collision Coverage – Collision insurance provides for repairs to your vehicle in the aftermath of a collision with objects or other vehicles.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Driver – There are times when, despite state laws requiring minimal liability coverage, the other driver has failed to meet these requirements or the costs of repairs, medical expenses, etc. exceed the value of the minimal coverage. In these events, uninsured and underinsured driver coverage will make up the difference so you can get the repairs and medical care you need without facing undue hardship.
Consider Optional Coverages
There are a variety of different types of optional or add-on coverage you might be interested in considering with your car insurance. This includes things like towing, roadside assistance, and even rental car coverage. These all have strengths and weaknesses and may be worth discussing with your agent to determine if they are the right choices for you.
Choose a Deductible You Can Live With
Your deductible is the amount of risk you take on in the insurance transaction. The higher your deductible, the greater your personal risk, but the lower your insurance premiums will be. Lower deductibles reduce your risks, but raise your premiums. You must find the right balance according to how much money you can afford to invest in repairs and such in the event of an accident.
Utilize an Independent Insurance Agency
Working with an independent agency means your agent can shop multiple insurance providers to find the best combination of coverage and cost to meet your needs. When you work with an agent that only deals with a single insurer, you are limited in the coverage that is available and the costs you’ll pay for that coverage. You may even find that if you have a tricky driving record, you may have trouble getting insurance at all with a single provider.
Inform Insurance Agency of Security Features
Features on your car like etched VIN numbers, anti-lock brakes, security systems, and on-board GPS tracking can help you negotiate for lower rates with insurance companies because they are investments in the security and recoverability of your vehicle. Make sure you inform your agent of these features when you’re exploring your coverage options.
Ask About Bundling
Another great way to save money on monthly premiums is by bundling policies. This means you purchase your auto insurance and home, renters, boat, or other policies from the same provider and they reward your loyalty by offering discounts on one or more of the insurance products you purchase from them.
Educate Yourself About Available Discounts
The more you know the better prepared you will be to get the best possible prices. Some companies offer auto insurance discounts for things like good driving records, taking driving education courses, and even for driving few miles in the course of a day, week, or average month (ideal for people who live in New York City and do little driving but own a car for when traveling outside the city).
Understand Your Car Insurance Policy
Get to know your policy before you buy it. That way, you’ll be prepared when accidents occur by knowing what is and isn’t covered and how to proceed.
It may not seem like a lot at first glance, but knowing these things about car insurance can save you a great deal of time, money, and worry.