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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

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Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

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Nathan Foster

Agency Trainer

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Nathan is an insurance professional with a focus on creating positive customer experiences with more than 10 years of industry experience.

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Kristine Lee

Manager, Content and Data

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

How much does car insurance cost in Buffalo?

Car insurance in Buffalo, New York, costs an average of $1,111 for a six-month policy, which comes to about $185 per month. Our 2023 data showed New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company (NYCM) as Buffalo's cheapest car insurance company — $467 for a six-month policy.

Buffalo residents pay more for car insurance than the national average of $880, but only slightly over the state average in New York ($1,085 every six months). Of our Buffalo customers, 39% of them said they're paying too much for car insurance. If this describes you, or you simply want to learn more about what goes into the price of your auto coverage, read on to dive into the details of Buffalo car insurance. 

Car Insurance in Buffalo vs. New York Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
Buffalo Average $1,111
New York Average $1,085
Updated: 10/03/23.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Buffalo

1st place medal
1st place: NYCM

New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company (NYCM), founded in 1899 and based in central New York, is the cheapest company for Buffalo auto coverage. Rates are about $78 per month or $467 for a six-month policy.

2nd place medal
2nd place: Progressive

Coming in second-cheapest on our list is Progressive, which costs $110 per month, or $661 for a six-month policy.

3rd place medal
3rd place: GEICO

Finishing strong on our list of cheap auto insurance providers is GEICO, with policies in Buffalo at $831 for a six-month policy ($155 per month). 

The Zebra's key takeaways about car insurance in Buffalo:

  • The average rate for car insurance in Buffalo, NY, is $1,111 per six-month policy — $185 per month.
  • The cheapest company in Buffalo is NYCM at $78 per month.
  • New York requires drivers to carry UMPD and PIP coverage
  • 39% of The Zebra's customers in Buffalo chose our product to shop for rates because they're paying too much for auto insurance.

Are you paying too much for auto insurance?

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Buffalo car insurance rates by company

Our 2023 data shows that the cheapest car insurance company for full coverage in Buffalo is NYCM at $78 per month or $467 per six-month policy.

The second cheapest company for drivers in Buffalo is Progressive, with rates at $110 per month or $661 for a six-month policy.

Learn more about top-rated car insurance companies based on The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey.

 

Cheapest car insurance companies in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
New York Central Mutual Fire $467
Progressive $661
GEICO $831
Erie $870
USAA $1,077
Allstate $1,208
State Farm $1,687
Updated: 10/03/23.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Shop around for the cheapest rates


The best way to truly find cheap auto insurance is to compare. Let The Zebra help you out! Just enter your zip code to see rates from top companies like Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and many more. Find the best rates and coverage for your auto insurance needs in Buffalo. 

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Average car insurance in Buffalo by rating factor

Rating factors are the specific details about you as a driver that impact what you pay for insurance. Most companies generally use the same factors, but they might weigh them differently. For example, one company might focus on your credit score while another may place more value on your driving habits and claims history. 

As your life changes your car insurance needs will change, too, so the company you had in your 20s may not offer the best rate and the protection you need in your 50s. We suggest folks get new quotes once or twice a year, or at least when they experience a life change such as celebrating a milestone birthday or changing of marital status.

Q: I didn't have an accident — Why is my insurance going up?

A: End-of-year earnings (revenue of premiums versus the cost of paying insureds’ claims) is another factor for how much you will pay for car insurance in Buffalo, even though it seems like it has nothing to do with you. Good drivers might still be paying more with a particular insurance company simply because the price of doing business has gone up in Buffalo. Insurance companies have to account for increased costs by raising their rates.

Auto insurance premiums by age in Buffalo

Age is a key rating factor when it comes to your car insurance rate. Insurance companies are in the business of risk and much of this involves analyzing data to determine how likely drivers are to get into accidents. It's been shown that teen drivers have a higher accident rate than any other age group, therefore, teens pay the highest insurance premiums. In Buffalo, the difference teen drivers pay versus those in their 20s is $2,169 — the largest rate gap of any two age groups. 

This can be an unwelcome surprise to young drivers and their parents, but remember, it's just business. Companies have to charge higher rates for riskier drivers to offset the increased cost of paying claims. But these high costs for teens only last a few years, so with a good driving record, young drivers will likely see more affordable rates before long.

Cheapest car insurance companies for teen drivers in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
New York Central Mutual Fire $824
Progressive $1,713
Erie $2,198
GEICO $2,848
USAA $4,273
State Farm $6,219
Allstate $6,508
Updated: 10/03/23.
Age Bracket Cheapest Companies Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
20s New York Central Mutual $556
30s New York Central Mutual $490
40s New York Central Mutual $464
50s New York Central Mutual $447
60s New York Central Mutual $468
70s New York Central Mutual $568

Zebra Tip: The cheapest companies for Buffalo drivers between 20-40 are NYCM, Progressive and GEICO


Drivers between the ages of 20 and 40 make up the majority of Buffalo drivers, and according to our data, this age bracket pays $1,262 every six months on average. But by choosing one of these companies, drivers aged 20 to 40 can potentially save as much as 42%!

Auto insurance premiums for minimum coverage in Buffalo

Another key factor that affects your insurance rate is the level of coverage you choose. There are many options and combinations when it comes to car insurance, but each state requires a minimum amount of coverage. 20% of drivers in Buffalo only carry the state minimum limits, which can be a money-saver in your monthly budget but might leave you at risk in the long run. 

Full coverage is a term used when you've got both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, and although this combo provides excellent peace of mind, it will also increase your rates significantly. Collision and comprehensive require a deductible, but this can actually be a way to tweak rates in your favor. For example, if you opt for a deductible of $2,500 versus $1,000 you'll have a lower rate. The higher your deductible, the lower your rates will be.

New York actually requires uninsured motorist coverage (UMPD), unlike many states, which will protect you against drivers who do not carry auto insurance. An add-on worth considering is roadside assistance, which is there to offer a helping hand if you encounter trouble on the road, as its name implies. There are plenty of optional coverages, just remember that each addition will raise your premium.

Q: Can I lower my car insurance coverage?

A: Possibly — if your vehicle is paid off.

Our research shows that 49% of drivers in Buffalo have owned vehicles. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, you probably have a certain coverage requirement you must meet. But if you own your vehicle outright you could consider dropping comprehensive or collision insurance. The general rule of thumb is that if your car is worth $4,000 or less you don't need to carry collision coverage. We recommend getting the actual cash value of the car through Kelley Blue Book, then making the decision after you've weighed your options. Dropping the coverage will save you money, but if your car were damaged you'd be paying for repairs yourself.

Cheapest car insurance companies for minimum coverage in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
New York Central Mutual Fire $213
Progressive $346
GEICO $370
Erie $457
USAA $496
Allstate $704
State Farm $1,068
Updated: 10/03/23.
  • Minimum: State liability coverage only
  • Basic: State liability + collision and comprehensive (full) coverage
  • Better: Better liability limits at 50/100/50. Full coverage included with towing and rental car benefits. This may include additional personal medical benefits and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Best: Best liability limits at 100/300/50. Full coverage included with better towing and rental car benefits and better personal medical benefits and increased uninsured/underinsured coverage.

38% of drivers in Buffalo opt for the basic level of coverage, but that doesn't mean it's right for you. Carrying only the bare minimum is a money-saver up front but can leave you at risk of being underinsured if you're involved in a serious accident.  New York's 25/50/10 liability limits provide coverage for damage you cause up to $25,000 per person in bodily injury, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. This might be plenty for a minor incident, but if multiple vehicles are involved or there are injuries, it may not be enough to cover the accident.

New York also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage with limits of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. Personal injury protection (PIP) requirements are $50,000 per person, as well. 

Learn more about insurance laws in New York.

Buffalo car insurance rates by credit score

New York is one of many states where your credit score is factored into your insurance premiums. This may not seem like it's connected to your driving at all, but data analysis has shown that drivers with lower credit scores are more likely to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel, experience lapses in their coverage and file more claims. Because of this correlation, drivers with lower credit scores tend to pay more for their car insurance.

In Buffalo, drivers with poor credit (300-579) pay 194% more than drivers with excellent credit (800-850)! This means a cost difference of over $3,000 per year, based on the average rates. Our data tells us 35% drivers in Buffalo have a credit score in the average (580-679) tier. In 2023, New York Central Mutual is the cheapest option for Buffalo drivers whose score falls in this tier.

car insurance in Buffalo by credit score
Cheapest car insurance companies for bad credit in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
GEICO $1,013
New York Central Mutual Fire $1,072
Erie $1,808
USAA $2,036
Allstate $2,260
State Farm $3,693
Progressive $4,697
Updated: 10/03/23.

Zebra Tip: If you recently improved your credit score, it's time to shop around!


If you've improved your credit score, even by a small amount, you could save money on car insurance! Our data shows that Buffalo drivers with "Fair" credit pay $2,436 less for car insurance in a year than drivers with "Poor" credit — this may only be a difference of a few points, depending on where your score falls. If you think you've improved your credit score, then check with your preferred monitoring service and then start getting quotes to see if you can get cheaper car insurance.

Auto insurance rates with an at-fault accident

Although no one plans on getting into an at-fault accident, they are the most common type of insurance claim, along with collision-type accidents. Having an at-fault accident in Buffalo can raise the average car insurance payment by $76 to $409 per month. NYCM is the cheapest company for auto coverage after an at-fault accident. 

The best way to keep rates low, regardless of where you live, is to drive safely and avoid tickets and citations. Your rate will likely increase for a few years if you are charged with speeding or reckless driving, and severe infractions like DUI or DWI can stay on your record for upwards of five years. Typically, citations like speeding tickets will affect your premium for three to five years. $76 per month may not seem that bad, but after three years of this increased rate, you'll have paid almost $3,000 in penalties.

Cheapest car insurance companies after an at-fault accident in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
New York Central Mutual Fire $601
Progressive $880
GEICO $1,194
Erie $1,340
USAA $1,363
Allstate $1,654
State Farm $2,318
Updated: 10/03/23.

Buffalo car insurance rates by violation

Take a look at the chart below to see how much specific violations or claims can increase your car insurance costs in Buffalo.

Car insurance rate increases after violations and citations in Buffalo, NY
Accident/Violation Avg. 6 Mo. Premium % Rate Increase $ Rate Increase
None $1,111 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $1,111 0% $0
One comp claim $1,122 1% $11
Two Med/PIP claims $1,130 2% $19
Two comp claims $1,136 2% $25
Not-at-fault accident $1,136 2% $25
Failure to show documents $1,150 3% $39
Failure to wear a seat belt $1,153 4% $43
Child safety restraint $1,165 5% $54
Driving without lights $1,165 5% $54
Driving with expired registration $1,168 5% $57
Wrong way/wrong lane $1,183 7% $72
Cell phone violation $1,183 7% $72
Failure to stop at a red light $1,183 7% $72
Failure to yield $1,183 7% $72
Following too closely $1,183 7% $72
Texting while driving $1,183 7% $72
Illegal turn $1,183 7% $73
Improper passing $1,183 7% $73
At-fault accident - less than $1000 $1,187 7% $76
Passing school bus $1,188 7% $77
Driving too slowly $1,198 8% $87
Speeding in school zone $1,205 8% $94
At-fault accident - $1000-$2000 $1,206 9% $95
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $1,225 10% $114
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $1,225 10% $114
Operating a vehicle without permission $1,276 15% $165
Open container $1,289 16% $178
In 65 MPH zone $1,302 17% $191
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $1,341 21% $230
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $1,388 25% $277
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $1,520 37% $409
Reckless driving $1,638 48% $528
Racing $1,650 49% $539
Driving with a suspended license $1,745 57% $634
Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run $1,829 65% $718
Refusal to submit to a chemical test $1,833 65% $722
DUI $1,844 66% $733
Updated: 10/03/23.

Why is car insurance in Buffalo so expensive?

Auto insurance can feel pricey in Buffalo for multiple reasons. One is the cost of living. Just like it costs us more if we want to live in a certain area, it also costs businesses more to operate in those same areas. There are also those rating factors we mentioned earlier — like coverage level, credit history and driving record. Some factors you can control, and some you can't. Keep reading to understand a few of the additional pieces that go into creating your auto insurance rate in Buffalo.

location
Location

Your specific location within a city has a substantial impact on your rate. Think about your neighborhood comparatively — there are places in Buffalo where crime is more frequent and areas that have more uninsured drivers. These are examples of how rates can vary by ZIP code, even in the same city. A safer area will generally cost less than an area that is prone to theft or other risks.

Expensive Buffalo ZIP codes: 14204, 14202, 14211, 14203, 14208

Cheap Buffalo ZIP codes: 14219, 14226, 14228, 14221, 14224

weather
Weather risk

Claims due to weather-related damage can be devastating for insurance companies, and New York is no stranger to Mother Nature's extremes. This can make it expensive for insurers to operate in areas that experience challenging weather situations. Insurance companies have to raise their rates in risky parts of the country to help offset the number of losses they're likely to face.

Things like hurricanesflooding, and wildfires all fall under the category of comprehensive coverage. If you've got a newer or nice vehicle we definitely suggest carrying comprehensive coverage to help protect you in the event of a natural disaster or severe weather situation. 

drivers
Drivers

Buffalo may not be the biggest city in New York, but it does have its fair share of drivers. Whenever there are more cars on the road there will naturally be more accidents. If there is a high number of losses in a particular area then insurers must adjust their rates to account for this. Higher costs are passed along to other customers, even those who are safe drivers.

The risk of being involved in a traffic accident with an uninsured driver is a real threat, as well. Our data show that about 32% of those on the road in Buffalo are uninsured. This can leave you responsible for any damages if you're hit by an underinsured, or uninsured, driver.

Zebra Tip: Carry uninsured property damage coverage


New York is one of the states that actually require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (also called UMPD). This coverage will be there to help cover things in the event that your vehicle (or yourself) is damaged by a driver lacking adequate insurance.  UMPD coverage usually has a lower deductible than collision coverage, and if you need to use UMPD then your increased rates after the fact will likely be much less than a collision claim. 


Bundling insurance policies in Buffalo

One of the simplest ways to combat rising car insurance prices is to bundle your policies. When it's time to shop for a new policy consider bundling your home or renters insurance with your auto policy.  You can potentially save 10% or more just by combining premiums. Be sure to ask your current company or agent about this, and if you're looking for a new insurance company then make sure you check into bundling or other discounts they may offer. 

In Buffalo, NYCM offers the best rates on bundling, but many insurance companies offer some level of discount for this. It's worth a few minutes and a phone call or email to your insurer! Learn more about bundling home and car insurance.

bundling home and auto insurance in Buffalo
Cheapest car insurance companies for bundling home and auto insurance in Buffalo, NY
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
New York Central Mutual Fire $378
Progressive $622
GEICO $748
Erie $778
USAA $1,077
Allstate $1,095
State Farm $1,404
Updated: 10/03/23.

There are many factors that go into creating your individual insurance rate. Some of these things are out of your control, but there are ways you can try to keep your premiums as low as possible. As we've mentioned, shopping around to compare rates and being a safe driver are great ways to make your car insurance less expensive. Get auto insurance quotes from as many companies as you can to make sure you find the most affordable rate that meets your needs as well as your budget. 

Take the time to get new quotes a couple of times a year — or whenever you celebrate a birthday, improve your credit or move to a different area.  You'll find that some insurance companies are simply more expensive than others, even with certain discounts, but ultimately it comes down to you as a driver and your auto coverage needs. Don't be afraid to make a change!

Find the best rates for both auto and home insurance in minutes!

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Frequently asked questions

The average for a six-month auto insurance policy in Buffalo is $1,111 for a six-month policy or $185 per month. This is higher than both the national average and New York state average.

New York Central Mutual is the carrier with the cheapest rates in Buffalo, coming in at an average of $467 per six-month policy ($78 per month).

Teenagers in Buffalo pay over $3,500 for a six-month policy or about $600 per month. Because car insurance is so expensive for teen drivers with their own policy, we recommend that young drivers be added to their parents' policies to help minimize the cost.


Find affordable rates in minutes!

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How much is car insurance near me? — explore more cities near Buffalo, NY


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Car insurance near me in Buffalo

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.