Sterling Insurance Company Review

Sterling Insurance Company at a Glance

  • Founded in 1895
  • Offers traditional and specialty property and casualty insurance products for individuals and businesses
  •  “A” (excellent) rating by A.M. Best
  • “A-” (excellent) rating by Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Coverage available in New York
  • Network of independent insurance agents
  • Sterling Marketing Services, Inc., was established in 1993 to provide alternative insurance protection solutions to independent agents
  • Since 2019 Sterling Insurance Cooperative, Inc. writes risks that are generally not written in the standard market

Sterling Insurance Pros: Sterling Insurance is a well-established insurance carrier in New York. It writes non-standard risks and offers specialty property and casualty products. A variety of payment plans are available, as well as automated payments. Offers match with an independent insurance agent through website.

Sterling Insurance Cons: Not a BBB accredited business. Customer service options are limited. Somewhat limited traditional product line, with focus on specialty risks.

What Type of Insurance Does Sterling Insurance Offer?

Sterling Insurance offers a variety of coverage solutions for individuals and businesses. Their product include:

  • Homeowners insurance
  • Landlord insurance
  • Dwelling fire insurance (vacant or seasonal home insurance)
  • Mobile home insurance
  • Equestrian estate insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

This list of insurance products available from Sterling Insurance is not exhaustive. Your independent insurance agent can help you learn more about the carrier’s policy offerings and decide if they’re right for your needs.

What to Know About Sterling Insurance

In August 1895, Alonzo Ferguson, a retired Civil War colonel, and a group of concerned citizens formed the Schoharie and Otsego Mutual Fire Insurance Company to help protect rural property owners in the event of a disaster. The insurance company’s name was changed to Sterling Fire Insurance Company in 1910, to better represent its geographic expansion. The name Sterling Insurance Company was adopted in 1959, to reflect the company’s expansion into other lines of business, particularly casualty. The carrier  began writing personal automobile policies in 1989.

A wholly-owned subsidiary, Sterling Marketing Services, Inc., was established in 1993. It was created to provide alternative insurance protection solutions for independent insurance agents. In 2019, Sterling Insurance Cooperative, Inc. began writing risks that are generally not written in a standard market.

Sterling Insurance Company is a highly respected, technologically advanced insurer providing protection to policyholders throughout New York State. The company is financially strong, rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company. AM Best is a credit rating firm that assesses the creditworthiness of and/or reports on over 16,000 insurance companies worldwide. The A.M Best rating points to the insurance company’s ability to pay claims, debts, and other financial obligations in a timely manner. Customers can expect that Sterling Insurance has the necessary cash reserves to pay out claims, an essential factor in evaluating any insurance company before purchasing a policy.

What Discounts Does Sterling Insurance Offer?

Sterling Insurance offers several discounts for its auto and homeowners insurance customers.

Auto Discounts

  • Defensive driver discount: This discount may be awarded upon completing a defensive driving course.
  • Good student discount: This Sterling Insurance discount is eligible to full-time high school or college students who maintain a B average or better. 
  • Student away at school discount: Students more than 100 miles from home without access to a vehicle may qualify for this discount. 
  • Home/auto package discount: If you buy multiple lines of insurance through Sterling, such as car and home, you may be eligible for savings on both policies. 
  • Multi-car discount: Insuring at least two cars through Sterling Insurance can qualify you for this discount. 
  • Safety feature discounts: If you have safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, passive restraints and/or anti-theft devices in your vehicle, you may be eligible for a discount on your premium.

Homeowners Discounts

  • Home/auto package discount: Bundling multiple policies with Sterling Insurance can qualify you for this discount. 
  • Homes under 30 years old discount: If your home was built within the past 30 years, you could be eligible for savings on your homeowners premium. 
  • Security system discount: Having a home with a local or central station alarm may make you eligible for a discount on your home insurance with Sterling.
  • Hard wired generator discount: Homes with a hard-wired backup generator may qualify for lower home insurance premiums.

Several discounts are also available for landlord insurance, renters insurance, equestrian estate insurance, and dwelling fire programs. An independent insurance agent can help you find more information about exact discounts and other ways to save with Sterling. Your agent can also help you get quotes for coverage.

Sterling Insurance Customer Service

Customers can contact Sterling Insurance in the following ways:

  • Sterling encourages all customer service via local independent insurance agents
  • Website includes link to independent agent email directory
  • Weekend/after hours claims reporting by phone direct to Sterling
  • Email contact via Contact Us form
  • Independent agent customer service hours vary
  • Sterling hours of operation are not reported


Monday-FridayNot reported

SaturdayNot reported

SundayNot reported

The best way to handle your Sterling Insurance customer service needs is to work with an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents help make customer service easier by handling claims, policy changes, and other concerns for you.

Sterling Insurance FAQ

What is Sterling's average claim response timeframe?

The carrier promises to respond to claims “quickly and fairly.” No specific response time is reported.

What is Sterling's customer service availability?

Sterling encourages customers to contact their local independent insurance agent to make changes to coverage or obtain information about their policies. Customers must speak to their agent to make any changes in coverage. 

A directory of independent agent contact information is provided on the company’s website. An email contact form can be used to contact Sterling Insurance Company directly. Losses that occur on holidays or weekends can be reported via a toll-free phone line.

What is Sterling's claims process?

Customers should contact their independent agent immediately to report a claim. Agent contact information is provided on the Sterling website. In the event of a loss occurring on a weekend or holiday, call the carrier’s toll free number and follow the prompts to speak with an after-hours representative.

Does Sterling Insurance create a user-friendly experience for customers?

Sterling’s official website is very clear and easy to navigate, but it does not offer a lot of information about the carrier’s policy information, customer service capabilities, or claims reporting. The insurance company offers a useful independent agent locator and contact directory. This is quite useful because customers are encouraged to perform nearly all customer service activities via their independent agent.

Does Sterling have good car insurance?

Sterling provides a good selection of coverage options for individuals and businesses, including auto insurance. Available auto coverages include the following:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Glass coverage
  • Rental car coverage/transportation expense
  • Towing coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Your independent insurance agent can help you find even more information about Sterling’s car insurance, as well as the carrier’s many other coverage options.

Is Sterling a good insurance company?

Sterling was founded in 1895, giving it well over a century of experience in providing property coverage in New York. It began selling auto insurance in 1989, giving it decades of experience in that line of business, as well. Sterling has received high ratings from A.M. Best and the BBB, and provides a comprehensive and stable set of property and casualty policies for traditional and specialty risks. The company has received numerous positive customer reviews as well. Overall, Sterling Insurance is a good insurance company.

Sterling Insurance Customer Reviews
“Sterling proved that they really care about their customers. My claim was handled quickly and accurately and everyone there was a pleasure to deal with. I cannot recommend this great company enough!"
“Sterling proved that they really care about their customers. My claim was handled quickly and accurately and everyone there was a pleasure to deal with. I cannot recommend this great company enough!"
“Since dealing with Sterling, I have not had anything but professional, honest and quality interactions with their staff. They are an asset to the insurance world.”
“Great experiences with their staff. Professional. Handled all of our questions and went above and beyond to provide us with all the documentation we needed.”
“Working with Sterling to get our homeowners insurance was a breeze. Once we had it I’ve never had to think about it again!”
“I've had my home and auto coverage through Sterling for almost 2 years now. Their insurance documents are easy to understand, and it's easy to make any necessary changes.”'s Final Review

We award Sterling Insurance 4.4 out of 5 stars. The carrier has a long history in the property and casualty market, insuring both traditional and specialty risks. Its high ratings from A.M. Best and the BBB speak to its unquestionable financial strength, one of the most important factors in choosing an insurance company. The carrier provides a variety of homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and business insurance options for individuals and businesses. It prides itself on offering personal service via its extensive network of independent insurance agents in New York. The company also promises prompt claims resolutions.

Customers typically report positive experiences with the carrier.

If you live in New York, we recommend looking into Sterling Insurance with your independent insurance agent.

Use our national IA company directory to find the best insurance companies to meet your needs. Locate companies that specialize in your specific coverage needs and get connected to an agent near you.

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