Insurance provides financial coverage for you, your business, and your property. Essential policies like health, auto, home, life, and business insurance help you avoid making out-of-pocket payments during financial crises. However, getting adequate coverage in New York is not cheap.
New York insurance companies, regulated by the Department of Financial Services, use several factors like location, age, and credit history to determine how much you will pay for an insurance policy. Rather than sacrifice your financial protection and remove necessary coverage, you can save money on insurance in New York using the steps below:
The Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Insurance in New York are:
- Discuss your needs with a licensed insurance agent: A professional insurance agent, licensed by the NY Department of Financial Services (DFS), can provide information on different ways to save on insurance. Note that you don't have to pay for the insurance agent's services since they receive commissions or salaries from the companies they work for. Use the Insurance License Search provided by the DFS to find credible insurance agents in New York.
- Understand your insurance policy: Understanding the details of the policy document and what is covered and excluded in the policy will help you avoid paying too much (over-insuring). With the help of an insurance agent, you can determine whether you need to increase your deductible and pay a lower premium or remove unnecessary coverages.
- Bundle multiple policies to get a discount: By combining various coverages or purchasing group insurance, you can get more financial protection for less money. Maintaining various insurance policies with the same provider typically yields discounts.
- Shop around and compare multiple insurance quotes: Get insurance estimates from different New York insurance providers with a wide range of product portfolios through independent agents and insurers. This will help you explore your possibilities from every angle.
- Include only insurance coverages you need: Choose only necessary insurance coverage to save money. Contact an insurance agent who can help assess your insurance needs and make recommendations on the coverage you need and the ones you should drop. For instance, you may not need to purchase separate health insurance if your spouse already has an employer-sponsored health insurance policy because employer-sponsored health insurance typically covers the beneficiary’s spouse and children.
- Increase insurance deductible: Generally, a high deductible translates to a low premium. However, keep in mind that a high deductible also means less claim payout from your insurer. An insurance deductible is the money you are required to pay before your insurance policy comes into effect.
- Pay insurance premium in full: A full payment may earn you a discount from the insurance company. On the other hand, paying in installments is a flexible option, but it often includes additional charges.
- Reduce the amount of risk: Each individual has a unique risk profile, which is a major factor in deciding your premium. There is no one-fits-all solution to premium pricing. To save on insurance, it is important to find ways to reduce your risk profile. Persons with poor health can start maintaining healthy lifestyles to improve their well-being and reduce the risks associated with insuring them.
- Improve credit rating: Generally, good credit scores will help you save on insurance. A poor credit score, which may reveal a history of unpaid debts, is often seen as a red flag by insurance companies.
- Buy insurance through membership in state organizations: Membership-sponsored insurance or group insurance plans are often cheaper for members. You can join these group insurance at the workplace or community.
Save on Insurance - 101
Insurance companies in New York offer different insurance contracts to residents, who are required to pay annual premiums to keep the policy active. New York insurers often calculate insurance costs according to each individual's needs using major indicators. While some factors are unique to the type of insurance policy purchased, these major indicators are often used in every policy.
A common demographic factor like age is crucial in determining the cost of auto, home, life, and health insurance. While being older may qualify you for reductions in some insurance products, in others, insurance is less expensive for young people. Claims history is another factor used by insurers to determine premium costs. Many insurance providers view a long history of claims as a potential problem. The cost of all insurance premiums is location-dependent. Just as someone who lives in Manhattan is likely to pay a higher rent than someone who lives in Carthage, the cost of your insurance premiums is influenced by where you reside. Also, the coverage type and amount are significant insurance price determinants.
Note that it is not advisable to reduce your coverage limit or increase deductibles to get cheap insurance quotes. Instead, talk to your insurance agent for ideal ways to save on insurance. Rates vary considerably from one insurer to another. So, your premium may be higher simply because your insurance provider is expensive. In New York, there are several types of insurance, including unique ways to save money. Here are some options to explore with your licensed insurance agent.
How to Save on Health Insurance in New York
Health insurance in New York is a type of insurance contract that covers some or all of your medical bills. Currently, more than 6 million New York residents have purchased health insurance from the official marketplace, the NY State of Health Marketplace. Keep in mind that health insurance is also available from private insurance companies in New York. Here are the top 9 ways to save on health insurance in New York:
- Shop around for the best affordable healthcare coverage: You can find different healthcare plans in New York that suit your health needs. Subsidized government-sponsored health coverages like Medicaid, Medicare, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plan may be cheap, but each has its limitations. On the other hand, you can explore private health insurance packages from private insurers or your employers.
- Stay fit to earn discounts from insurers: Healthy living can result in renewal discounts. For instance, health insurers may request that you link your insurance app with any fitness monitoring apps you have. Hence if you log 10,000 steps per day for a few months, you may qualify for a discount during renewal as an incentive for making an effort to stay in shape. Therefore, ask your insurer whether they provide incentives for staying active and reaping the rewards of both cost-saving and excellent health.
- Use a tax-advantaged health plan: Health savings accounts (HSA) are an excellent example of tax-advantaged health plans in New York that can help you save money on health care. Individuals who purchase high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have access to health savings accounts (HSAs). You can pull funds from your HSA tax-free for approved medical expenses, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Although your employer might provide an HSA, you can also start one on your own and keep the funds.
- Manage medical costs: Understanding your financial limitations will help you choose only the important health treatments. You can also manage medical costs by taking advantage of free Medicaid services (if qualified by income) without copays or additional charges. Examples of these free services include yearly check-ups and some preventive services for women.
- Negotiate some medical expenses: Rather than accept every healthcare cost, you can speak to the physician to negotiate some expenses. Some healthcare providers may offer a flexible payment plan without any interest. You can ask for other affordable medical treatments to cut back on health insurance.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may earn you a discount from your health insurer. Insurers offer discounts to customers who maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid exposing themselves to health hazards. One of the best things you can do to limit your long-term healthcare costs is to establish a daily health and wellness routine that works for you.
- Opt for cost-effective prescription drugs: Buying a generic prescription drug covered by your health insurer instead of a brand-name drug is a good way to save on health insurance. However, make sure you ask your physician whether you can get a generic drug instead of the prescribed drug to save costs. You can also save with prescription discount cards in New York. With these cards, you can buy prescription drugs at lower prices rather than regular prices.
- Seek the help of a health insurance agent in New York: One of the best ways to find affordable health insurance is to compare different plans with a licensed insurance agent in New York. With a knowledgeable health insurance agent, you can find other healthcare plans provided by public agencies and private insurers. Use the NYS Provider & Health Plan Look-Up to find multiple health coverages and compare plans.
- Shop for health insurance coverage during the Open Enrollment period. If you miss the annual OE period, you can get Affordable Care Act coverage only if you have had a major life change and qualify for the Special Enrollment Period. (Note: For NY Health Insurance coverage in 2023, Open Enrollment is: November 16, 2022 - January 31, 2023)
How to Save Money on Car Insurance in New York
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) only registers vehicles with the required auto insurance minimum limit. According to the latest NY DMV data, more than 11 registered million vehicles have the state minimum limits, which include property damage liability and bodily injury liability. Getting the best car insurance quotes in New York is significantly influenced by your region's unique preferences and location-specific considerations. Usually, your vehicle type, driving history, demographics, and the coverages, limitations, and deductibles you select can affect your auto insurance costs. Here are some steps to take to save money on auto insurance in New York:
- Ask for car insurance discounts: Using available discounts is a good method to save money on auto insurance premiums. For instance, full-time students in New York may lower their car insurance premiums by qualifying for good student discounts, driver education discounts, or remote student discounts. Also, residents may be eligible for a discount if they have remained claims-free and have not received any moving violation tickets in several years.
- Enroll in a defensive driving course: Taking the New York DMV Point & Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) is one of the best ways to save on car insurance. The New York DMV authorized this defensive driving course to help policyholders save money on liability, no-fault, and collision auto insurance costs. After completing the course, motorists will get a discount, reducing their car insurance cost by 10% for three years.
- Install some vehicle protection features and/or an anti theft device: Let your NY car insurance policy provider know if you have vehicle protection features installed in your car in order to get a discount. Such features may include anti-theft devices, a security alarm system, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and VIN etching.
- Choose usage-based insurance: Your NY car insurance company may offer pay-per-mile insurance, which allows you to pay only when you drive. This means you may pay less insurance premiums for driving less. Typically, car insurance companies that offer this option use telematics devices to record your cumulative trip mileage and compute the car insurance premium based on the total distance traveled.
- Raise your deductible: Generally, choosing a higher deductible translates to lower premiums, but you will have to pay more before your auto insurer issues a claim payout. Note that this option is only advisable if you can afford high out-of-pocket payments.
- Remove unnecessary auto insurance coverages: Reviewing your auto insurance policy before renewal is one of the best ways to save money on car insurance. Less coverage typically means lower car insurance costs. For instance, an old car with a depreciated value may not need comprehensive coverage, especially if the cost of replacing the car is less than the deductible and the annual car insurance premium. Be careful not to remove important coverages in the pursuit of cost-savings - always consult a licensed professional before implementing a change.
- Low mileage discounts: New York drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, can typically get a discount on auto insurance policies. Driving less than 7,500 miles per year can lower the annual premium by up to 10%
- Avoid filing unnecessary claims: The more claims you file, the higher your car insurance premium. Get an estimate for repairing your insured car before calling your auto insurance company in New York. If the estimate is lesser or equal to the deductible, it is not worth filing a claim.
- Buy a car that does not cost much to insure: The type of car you often drive greatly impacts your car insurance rate. Hence, consider the cost of insuring a car before buying it to avoid paying a very high insurance premium.
- Safe driving habits lead to saving money: If your driving record does not have moving violations, tickets, and accidents - most NY insurers offer a safe driver discount.
- Paying the policy in full can lower your car insurance cost even further.
Consult with an insurance agent who can help you compare rates from multiple car insurance companies so you can pick the most affordable and suitable car insurance policy and save more money. A knowledgeable car insurance agent will be able to show you additional savings opportunities based on your particular auto policy needs.
How to Save on Home Insurance in New York
A home is a significant single investment for most residents. Hence, buying the best homeowner policy is the ideal way to protect your investment. Home insurance policies are of different types in New York, depending on the type of home and the ownership status. Residents who own single-family homes and condos protect their investments by purchasing affordable homeowners and condo insurance, respectively. Meanwhile, tenants get renters insurance to protect their personal possessions from financial losses. Also, landlords seeking financial protection for their building get landlord insurance in New York. Insurers consider several variables before deciding on an individual’s New York home insurance premium. Below are eight major ways to save money on home insurance in New York:
- Beef up your home's security: A report by the Insurance Information Institute (III) shows that having a burglar alarm, smoke detector, or deadbolt locks in your residence can reduce your premium by 5%. You can also save up to 15% or 20% by integrating a comprehensive sprinkler system with a constantly monitored burglar and fire alarm system.
- Understand rebuilding costs: The cost of rebuilding a house differs from the home's value. This is because although rebuilding costs only pertain to the home, the house's sales price also covers the land's value. The land isn't typically at risk from burglary, fire, hurricanes, or other perils, so you don't need to factor its value into your choice of coverage limits. Otherwise, you risk paying too much for coverage that you don't need.
- Request for available discounts: You may get significant discounts as a first-time home buyer, senior above 55 years, retiree, non-smoker, remote worker, or if you have your insurance bill paid automatically. This will help you save on premium costs. Frequently ask your insurer for any new deals you should be aware of.
- Remove unnecessary coverages: Make sure your homeowners or renters policy covers any significant purchases or home renovations and that you are not overpaying for coverage.
- Bundle home insurance with other insurance policies: Some NY property and casualty insurers offer discounts for customers who purchase different insurance products from them. For instance, a tenant who buys renters, car, and pet insurance from the same insurance provider may be eligible for a 5% - 25% discount from the company.
- Minimize the risk: Risk factors unique to your location can affect the premium costs of homeowners, landlords, condo, or tenant insurance. You can, however, save the cost of home insurance by taking certain steps to minimize these risks. Landlords may need to screen tenants properly before renting out the apartments. Homeowners and condo owners can also install different security features to reduce the rate of burglary and theft.
- Maintain a good credit score: A bad credit score, which shows a history of missed debt payments, will lead to a hike in home insurance costs. Making payments on time and low credit utilization are good habits that boost your credit ratings, which can translate to a lower insurance premium.
- Seek the help of an independent P&C insurance agent: Terminologies in insurance can be complicated and confusing. This may lead to costly errors on the policy documents or overinsuring your properties and personal possessions. An independent P&C insurance agent represents several insurance companies in New York, so they can simplify the purchase process. Interestingly, you are not required to pay extra fees to get assistance from home insurance agents.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance in New York
Life insurance in New York is a must-have for everyone with dependents, although it is not inexpensive. New York residents need life insurance to maintain the financial well-being of their dependents after their death. Life insurance premium rate is often determined by your individual preferences, age, wellness, and family medical records. While controlling some of these variables is possible, other factors are fixed. For instance, you can maintain an active lifestyle to minimize your life insurance rates, but you have little control over your family's medical history. Here are some ways to save on life insurance in New York:
- Understand the different types of life insurance provided by New York insurers. Two common life insurance policies in New York include: term life and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance offers protection for a predetermined time frame, such as 5, 10, 20, or 30 years. Since life insurers depend on mortality tables, some insurers set term life policies up to the oldest age listed in the New York Life Expectancy Table. On the other hand, whole life insurance, also known as permanent life insurance, offers protection for your entire lifespan. Generally, term life policies are cheaper, while indexed universal life insurance (a type of permanent life insurance) is more expensive.
- Buy life insurance at a younger age. Age is the most important factor used by life insurers to determine life insurance premium rates. Older persons have a higher death rate than young adults. As a result, life insurance premiums are higher for older persons and lower for young policyholders.
- Develop healthy lifestyle habits. Some lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also affect life insurance rates. Smoking and other unhealthy lifestyles often lead to early deaths, causing the insurer to pay out claims before they can gain more premiums. In New York, smoking kills more than 22,000 residents yearly. Also, research studies show that people who smoke die ten years earlier than non-smokers on average. So, smokers should expect to pay more for life insurance coverage. Some insurance companies offer discounts for former smokers who have stopped the habit for more than one year.
- Pay premiums in full. Most life insurance companies offer monthly, quarterly, and annual payment options. While it may be more flexible to pay monthly or quarterly, paying annually upfront often costs less than the other options. Many insurers include hidden charges in installment payments, making them more expensive in the long run.
- Buy only the life insurance policy you need: Keep in mind that the more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium will become. Understanding how much insurance you need will help you save money on life insurance. For instance, business owners may need to understand how group life and keyman life insurance work before deciding the adequate coverage for both policies. While group life pays death benefits to employees’ families, key man life insurance covers the company’s losses after the death of special personnel.
- Join a group life insurance program. Company owners often purchase employer-sponsored or group life insurance for their workers. These policies are usually inexpensive compared to other life insurance policies because business owners subsidize the rates. Generally, the premium payment for most group life insurance is automatic, thanks to payroll deductions. And so, individuals may consider group life to be both cheap and convenient.
- Explore different life insurance options from several insurers to help you find affordable rates. Shop around and compare rates and coverages from at least three different life insurers before settling for the most affordable policy that best suits your needs.
How to Save Money on Business Insurance in New York
Commercial or business insurance protects organizations from different risks and liabilities. Without a business insurance policy, business owners will be responsible for covering any damages, replacement costs, or liability claims made against them. Paying for unexpected damages can affect the company's yearly or monthly budget and reduce efficiency. Rather than choosing not to buy business insurance, you can use the techniques below to save money on commercial insurance in New York.
- Evaluate your business needs to avoid purchasing policies you don’t need. Businesses function differently depending on size, services, employees, and income structure. Generally, the type of coverage sufficient for a small business with less than ten workers differs from the coverage needed by a company with more than 100 employees. Based on the company’s size and structure, policies like workers’ compensation, disability benefits insurance, and commercial auto insurance may be mandatory, not just necessary.
- Review your business insurance policy annually to meet recent company changes. Evaluate your business regularly to see what needs coverage and what does not need it. Doing this will help you identify areas where you are overinsured and areas you are underinsured. It's also a good idea to review your insurance coverage yearly to ensure you comply with NY business insurance requirements.
- Buy a business owner's policy to get cheap business insurance quotes. A business owners policy (BOP) bundles major business coverages, such as general liability, property, and business interruption, into a single contract. Generally, BOP insurance is more affordable than buying bundled policies separately. However, you should review the policy document to determine what business policies are incorporated into the business owner's policy.
- Improve the company security architecture. Some insurance providers may offer discounts if you improve or update the business security systems. These may involve creating driver training programs for the company drivers or workers safety workshops for staff. You can also update the company’s cybersecurity framework to protect customer data and reduce business insurance costs.
- Minimize risks associated with your company. Commercial insurance companies use different risk parameters to determine the insurance premium. The higher the risk associated with your company, the higher your business insurance quotes. As such, it is important to consult an insurance agent who can help you assess the company's risk factors and how to reduce them.
- Ask for business insurance discounts. Some New York commercial insurance companies offer specialized policies for your business. You can also get discounts from the same company where you purchased auto or property insurance. Alternatively, many insurers may offer claims-free discounts if you have zero claim history.
- Work with a professional insurance agent in New York. Buying a business policy without professional help may lead to avoidable errors that can reflect on the commercial insurance quote. A DFS-licensed insurance agent can help you assess your company, shop for business insurance from multiple insurers, and avoid buying policies that you don’t need.
- Avoid premium financing. If a business cannot pay insurance premium in full, it typically finances it using third party premium financing. While some commercial insurers in New York may offer free in-house financing and monthly payments, using a third-party premium financing can cost over 10% in annual interest.
Can You Negotiate The Price of Insurance in New York?
No, you cannot negotiate insurance premium rates because the NY Department of Financial Services regulates insurance rates. Without a regulatory review by the NY DFS, insurance companies cannot alter their premium rates after offering the insurance quote. Although rates are not negotiable, there are methods to reduce your premiums and improve your payout.
To save money on insurance, the first step is to contact a New York-licensed insurance agent. There are two types of insurance agents: captive agents and independent agents. Captive agents represent one insurance company and can provide detailed information about insurance products offered by the company. With the help of a captive agent, you can get a discount by buying different insurance policies with one insurance provider. Independent agents, on the other hand, represent several insurance companies. As a result, an independent agent can help you buy affordable insurance policies by comparing different insurance quotes from several insurers. Some insurers only use Captive (staff) agents, so even a well connected Independent agent may not be able to quote their policies. This is why it is important to get quotes from multiple sources.