How to Save Money on Auto Insurance in New York State

Your premiums are determined in part by a set of mathematical data that can include the use of your vehicle, your location, and its make and model. If you want to save money on your auto insurance policy here is where to start.
  • Verify that your mailing address and place where the vehicle is garaged is accurate
  • Make sure your vehicle or vehicles are properly classified
  • Check to insure you received the discounts you are eligible for
  • Verify that the make and model of your vehicle or vehicles are correctly stated
  • Make sure the age and birthdates of drivers are accurate
  • Re-check the dates of any accident or conviction are identified correctly
Check with your insurance agent or company to determine the discounts you may be eligible for. There are a variety of discounts available that may include:

Here is how some of these discounts work:

  • You might be able to reduce your premium by taking a New York DMV approved traffic safety or defensive driving course. These courses are available in a classroom and on the internet. An online course like the Improv Traffic School is approved for these discounts in the State of New York. Check with your auto insurance company to see if you can qualify for a discount by completing an accident prevention course like Improv Traffic School. It is fun, entertaining, easy, and can save you money. Auto insurance companies must apply this discount to the liability, collision and no-fault portions of your auto policy for 3 years if the primary driver of the vehicle has successfully completed an approved accident prevention course. Another positive in taking an online new york defensive driving course like the Improv Traffic School is that you can qualify for a 4 point reduction in your accumulated traffic points on your New York driver license. You will need to provide proof of successful completion of an accident prevention course to qualify. You should contact your local New York State DMV for more information on how this can greatly benefit your costs of driving in the state.
  • You may also qualify to save money on your car insurance if you have a vehicle that has automatic seat belts or air bags. These options can qualify you for a discount on no-fault and medical payment coverages. Odds are you qualify because all passenger cars made in 1990 or later are mandated by federal law to have at least one of these safety devices.
  • You will likely also save on your car insurance premiums if you have a vehicle with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that was installed at the factory. This qualifies you for discounts in New York on your liability coverage, on your collision coverage and on your no-fault and medical payments insurance coverage.
  • Your comprehensive part of your auto insurance premium may be reduced if you have one or more of the several anti-theft electronic devices now available. These devices include alarm systems or other installed devices that stop a car from being started. There are also discounts that are available for cars or vehicles that have an electronic-tracking device, or even for vehicles in which the auto glass has the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched into it.
  • Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) may also qualify your vehicle for a discount if they are factory installed. These lights can qualify your vehicle for discounts on the liability, collision, no-fault and medical payment provisions of your auto insurance policy.
  • You may have an insurer that gives a discount for cars that are involved in the Combat Auto Theft program (CAT). This allows for vehicles who display the official CAT decal to be stopped by officers between 1 and 5 am without cause. This program is one that is available in many parts of New York State and also requires the participation of your local police department. Since the four hours between 1 and 5 am are the prime auto theft time period, the CAT program can be effective in stopping auto theft in the state. Contact your area police and your auto insurance company to see if you may be eligible for this CAT program discount.
  • Many car insurance companies offer “Safe” or “Careful Driver” discounts. If you have been without an accident, conviction or violation for an extended period of time, be sure to ask your insurance provider about any available price reductions.
  • Many insurance companies are willing to offer discounts on their auto insurance policies if they are accompanied by the insured’s homeowner’s insurance policy. These “Multi-Policy” discounts can end up reducing both your auto and homeowner’s insurance premiums. Again, ask your insurance carriers (both homeowners and auto) if they offer such discounts.
  • Some New York insurance providers offer specific discounts to older drivers and retirees because they drive less often than younger drivers. If you or someone you know may qualify for these “senior discounts” make sure the auto insurance carrier is contacted.
  • Raising deductibles can significantly reduce your auto insurance premiums. Raising your physical damage deductible from zero to $250, from $250 to $500 or $500 to $1,000 can make a major impact. You may consider eliminating physical damage coverage completely on older vehicles. In New York your auto insurance carrier is required to give you, upon request, information on how much you can save on your premiums by increasing your deductibles.
You may already be getting some of these discounts from your auto insurance carrier, but it will certainly pay you to be aware of the ones that may also be available. Remember, New York law says that any savings or discounts you may be eligible for should be stated on the declarations page of your policy. Keep in mind however your insurance company will not automatically be aware of changes that could positively affect your auto insurance premiums. Be sure to let your provider know of changes that occur in your family. This includes changes in family members, when a young driver goes off to college 100 or more miles away and does not take the car, and when you continually have a good driving record with no claims. Many factors will ultimately determine your auto insurance premium. Be aware of your changing circumstances, let your current carrier know of those changes and of course compare. Saving money on your auto insurance in New York State is possible when armed with the proper information and options. Make sure you get all of the discounts you are qualified for and be pro-active in saving money on your automobile insurance.