Consumers Guide to Finding a New York, NY Insurance Agent

When buying auto insurance in New York, picking a good New York insurance agent is not as easy as just randomly choosing from the yellow pages. Consumers require a professional licensed agent, but also the lowest rates for auto insurance in New York.

There is such a variety of car insurance agents to pick from, and even though it’s nice to have a selection, it can be more challenging to find the lowest cost provider.

Do I just need basic coverages?

When it comes to buying coverage, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Everyone’s situation is a little different.

For instance, these questions might help in determining whether you would benefit from professional advice.

  • What should my uninsured motorist coverage limits be in New York?
  • Do no-fault laws apply in New York?
  • Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
  • How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
  • Will I lose any money if I cancel my policy before it expires?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • What can I do if my company denied a claim?
  • Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
  • When should my teen driver be added to my policy?
  • What if I total my vehicle and owe more than it’s worth?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent.

Buying car insurance locally

Insurance agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help file insurance claims. One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is you may find the lowest rates but also keep your business local.

After completing this simple form, your coverage information is instantly submitted to participating agents in New York who will compete to get your business. You don’t have to drive around due to the fact that quote results will go to your email. How cool is that?! You can find better rates AND an agent nearby.

Deciding on a car insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the price. These questions are important to ask:

  • Can glass repairs be made at your home?
  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
  • What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?

Not all auto insurance agents are the same

When researching local New York agents, there are two types of insurance agents to choose from. Agents can either be captive or independent (non-captive).

Captive Insurance Agents

These agents work for only one company such as State Farm or Allstate. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so it’s a take it or leave it situation. Captives are very knowledgeable on the products they sell which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums. Some people will only buy insurance from these agents partially due to high brand loyalty and the convenience of having all coverages with one company.

Below are captive agents in New York willing to provide rate quotes.

  • Liberty Mutual Insurance – 1133 Avenue Of The Americas – New York, NY 10036 – (212) 391-7500
  • Allstate Insurance Co – 1001 Columbus Ave – New York, NY 10025 – (212) 666-3000
  • American Family Celebration – 275 7th Ave – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 206-1066
Independent Agents (or Brokers)

These agents are not required to write business for one company but instead can place your coverage with lots of companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To move your coverage to a new company, they simply move the coverage in-house and you don’t have to find a new agent.

When comparison shopping, we recommend you contact several independent insurance agents to get the best comparison.Most can insure with lesser-known insurance companies which can be an advantage.

The following are independent insurance agencies in New York willing to provide price quote information.

  • Financial Guaranty Insurance – 125 Park Ave – New York, NY 10017 – (212) 312-3000
  • Heffner Agency Inc – 110 William St – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 349-5200
  • E and W Blanksteen Agency – 170 Broadway – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 732-9435
  • CNA Insurance – 127 John St – New York, NY 10038 – (212) 363-5151
  • Manhattan Agency – 601 W 26th St # 1515 – New York, NY 10001 – (212) 949-9200

To view a complete directory of insurance agents in New York, visit this link.

After getting acceptable answers to your questions and a good coverage price, you may have just found a car insurance agent that meets your needs to adequately provide auto insurance.

Alternatives to local agents

Licensed agents serve a purpose, but you also have the option of buying New York car insurance direct from companies online. A few companies, such as Farmers Insurance and State Farm, that sell primarily through agents also allow consumers to buy online, so keep that in mind if finding the best price is important.

If you’re uneasy about not having an agent to talk to when shopping online, that should not be a issue. Car insurance companies provide options for answering any questions you have.

The only method to determine whether prices are lower online or from agents is to make apples-to-apples comparisons of both. You may actually get a different price from insurance agents and online quoting for the exact same company. But you can’t find out which has the best rates without quoting identical coverages using both methods.

Does buying online save money? It’s hard to say exactly because there are so many things that influence the price you pay. It’s a logical assumption that buying direct lowers rates due to not having any agent compensation. For most online online companies, however, advertising and marketing take a lot of money and this drives up their premium costs.

For more reading

Even more information is available at the New York Department of Financial Services website. Visitors are able to view a list of available companies, find out industry alerts, and view agent and company licensing information.

The articles below may also help you learn more about auto insurance in New York

A tidy conclusion

Insureds change insurance companies for many reasons like extreme rates for teen drivers, an unsatisfactory settlement offer, not issuing a premium refund or even lack of trust in their agent. It doesn’t matter what your reason, switching auto insurance companies can be easy and end up saving you some money.

Best insurance agents in New York

While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are a lot of situations where someone dropped physical damage coverage to discover at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage for the lowest price while not skimping on critical coverages.