Best cheap car insurance in Buffalo

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As New York’s second-largest city, Buffalo has over 250,000 residents, 40% of whom own at least one car. Most workers in Buffalo drive alone, with about 68% commuting an average of 19 minutes to work. Car insurance in the city is not typically cheap, with average rates at $1,127 for minimum coverage and $2,292 for full coverage. These rates are significantly higher than the national average of $565 for minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage.

However, there are ways for Buffalo residents to find affordable car insurance. To help find the best cheap car insurance in the city, we reviewed third party ratings and got sample quotes from the most popular insurance companies to compare coverage options and discounts. Here are the best companies with the cheapest car insurance in Buffalo, NY.

Best car insurance companies in Buffalo

After doing some research, we found that these insurance providers are some of the best available in Buffalo, based on customer service rankings, pricing and coverage options.

Insurance Company J.D. Power Score Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Allstate 876 / 1000 $1,411 $2,343
GEICO 871 / 1000 $828 $1,815
NYCM 837 / 1000 $1,185 $2,252
State Farm 881 / 1000 $1,893 $3,017
USAA 890 / 1000 $1,012 $2,214

Allstate

Allstate ranks second in market share among car insurers in New York at 13.8%. The company ranks above average in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with 875 points and just below average on the 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. As for the New York region, Allstate also performs just below average with 833 points.

Allstate’s auto coverage includes all the basics, like collision, comprehensive and liability, and it also offers a variety of add-on coverages for more protection.

GEICO

GEICO surpasses Allstate for market share in New York as the #1 insurer, at a rate of 32.3 percent. This provider offers a wide range of discounts on its auto policies and also happens to have the cheapest car insurance rates on our “best of” list for Buffalo residents.

GEICO performed just below average on the Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with 871 points and has the #2 spot on the Insurance Shopping Study with 867 points. As for the New York region, GEICO trails behind USAA and State Farm for third place with 837 points for Auto Insurance Satisfaction.

New York Central Mutual

As a regional insurer, New York Central Mutual did not make the Auto Claims Satisfaction or Insurance Shopping Study rankings. However, the company does have 2.7% of the market share as New York’s eighth-largest insurer. Those in the New York Region give NYCM Insurance high marks, ranking the company third in the region with 837 points, putting this central New York insurer on the list for Buffalo’s best car insurance company.

The provider offers a breadth of coverage options, and although their full coverage policies are relatively expensive, they offer several discounts to help keep costs down.

State Farm

State Farm may have the highest rates on the list, but that doesn’t stop it from being the third-largest insurer in New York with 12.1% of the market share. State Farm performed above average in all three J.D. Power studies, second only to USAA in the New York region with 851 points.

Like the other companies on our list, State Farm offers multiple insurance products with the option to tailor coverages and stackable discounts to reduce your car insurance costs further.

USAA

USAA offers competitive rates in the Buffalo area and holds 3.1% of the market share in New York. Though only available to military, veterans and their families, USAA takes the #1 slot in all three of the J.D. Power studies, including in the New York region. With the second cheapest car insurance rates on our list, USAA is one of Buffalo’s best options for qualifying drivers. Some of its special discounts that are tailored to active service members can’t be found elsewhere.

Cheapest car insurance in Buffalo

New York drivers have some of the highest car insurance rates in the country, with typical rates more than double the average cost of car insurance nationally.

The table below shows the cheapest car insurance rates from the most popular carriers in the Buffalo region. Progressive is by far the most inexpensive, with GEICO in second place, followed by Erie. Even with the cheapest rates, these car insurance providers don’t skimp on coverage options and discounts. Each offers a wide range of discounts and available coverage limits to keep Buffalo drivers fully protected while still offering some of the best rates in New York.

These popular carriers also provide mobile apps and claim filing options, plus unique driving programs, like Progressive’s Snapshot and Allstate’s Drivewise. These usage-based programs allow safe drivers to prove their roadworthiness and save money at the same time.

Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Progressive $600 $999
Geico $828 $1,815
Erie $892 $1,622
USAA $1,012 $2,214
Allstate $1,411 $2,343

Buffalo insurance requirements

Most states require minimum liability coverages for all cars on the road, and New York is no exception. Any Buffalo driver must carry a minimum of:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 for all persons’ injuries
  • $10,000 for property damage

The minimums are quite low and are unlikely to cover you or your vehicle fully, so many drivers will be better off purchasing higher coverage limits to protect themselves financially. If you have a car with a high book value or have a loan or lease, full coverage insurance will provide the best protection, but many providers also offer more customizable packages.

Car insurance discounts in Buffalo

One way to keep the cost of car insurance down in Buffalo is to take advantage of as many discounts as possible. Here are some of the typical discounts available to drivers in New York who want cheaper car insurance:

  • Accident prevention course: If you take a New York-approved accident prevention course, you may qualify for an auto insurance discount. Not all car insurance companies offer this, so be sure to ask when you’re shopping for quotes in Buffalo.
  • Anti-theft measures: Having an alarm system or electronic-tracking device installed in your car may also save you money on your car insurance. VIN-etched window glass may also be considered discountable with some carriers.
  • Raising deductibles: Increasing your deductibles can also lower your premiums. Just make sure you can afford to pay a higher amount if you need to use the coverage. If your car is older and doesn’t have much value, consider removing comprehensive and collision coverage for even more savings.
  • Safety features: Having automatic seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes and other safety features can also help lower car insurance premiums. Plus, you’ll be safer and have less risk of injury if involved in an accident.

Typically, bundling multiple policies with one insurance provider will give you the most savings on your premium.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company is one that offers all the coverages and limits you need. Every Buffalo driver has unique car insurance needs, so it’s best to get several quotes to compare coverages and rates to find the best company with the cheapest rates.

How much does car insurance in Buffalo cost?

Buffalo drivers pay on average $1,127 for liability-only and $2,292 for full coverage car insurance. Your rate will vary based on your age, gender, zip code, coverage needs and driving history.

How much car insurance do I need in Buffalo?

Most people will do better with higher liability limits than the state minimums, even if it costs a bit more. If you have a higher-value car or have a lease or loan, it usually makes sense to pay more for full coverage and the protection that comes with it. Don’t forget about extras like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and gap insurance. Speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine the exact coverage you need.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.