If you’re going to drive a car in New York, then you’re going to need insurance.
Insurance is required in all 50 states, but each state has its own set of laws and rules. Even if you weren’t required to purchase car insurance, it would still be in your best interest to do so. Any driver or passenger can be involved in an accident at any time, and expenses related to car accident injuries can add up quickly.
In New York, every motorist is required to have the following 3 types of insurance:
Your insurance company will likely offer a single policy that incorporates each of the 3 requirements under New York law. The required coverages are minimum amounts, so you can always choose higher policy limits for additional protection.
No-fault insurance is also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The intent of no-fault insurance is to allow an insurance policy to cover medical treatment claims as quickly as possible without spending time determining who was at fault for the accident.
Basic coverage is $50,000 per person for you (the driver) and your passengers, as well as any pedestrians who might be involved in an accident with your car.
|No-fault insurance typically covers:||No-fault insurance generally does NOT cover:|
|✔ Medical treatment for personal physical injury for you, your passengers, or pedestrians. “Medical treatment” includes accident-related medical and rehabilitation expenses.||✘ Auto body repair to your car|
|✔ 80% of wages for lost work time, up to $2,000 per month for up to 3 years from the date of the accident (with statutory offsets for NYS disability, workers’ compensation, and federal Social Security benefits).||✘ Damage to another person’s car or other personal property|
|✔ Up to $25 per day for 1 year for other expenses like transportation to medical treatment, household assistance, etc.||✘ Pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other non-economic damages|
|✔ $2,000 death benefit to the estate of a person killed in an accident who is covered under the no-fault policy.||Most insurance policies will not provide no-fault benefits if the insured driver was:
Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage. It protects you and anyone who has your permission to drive your car.
Just like you would pursue a claim against your own no-fault insurance in an accident, the other driver in an accident with you would pursue a claim against their no-fault insurance for their injuries.
If the accident results in serious injury to the other party, their insurance company can make a third-party claim alleging that you were negligent and at fault for the accident. If the injuries aren’t covered by the other party’s PIP, or if there’s property damage to their car, that’s when your liability insurance kicks in.
The minimum amounts for liability insurance coverage in New York are:
If the accident happens in another state or in Canada, your policy will cover injuries up to the minimum liability requirement for that state or province.
You could be doing all the right things but still end up in trouble if you’re in an accident involving an uninsured motorist. Your New York auto insurance policy is required to include uninsured motorist (UM) protection at the same bodily injury minimum amounts required for liability insurance. You can also choose an extension that covers out-of-state accidents for an additional cost.
If you, someone who drives your car, or one of your passengers is injured in an accident with an uninsured vehicle or in a hit-and-run where you have no insurance information, your claim should be filed with your own insurance company under your UM coverage.
If you’re involved in an accident or pulled over for a traffic infraction, you’ll probably be asked to show your insurance card.
Your insurance company should provide you with 2 insurance cards when you purchase or update your policy, and then periodically for the length of the policy term. When your vehicle is registered for the first time, one card is submitted to the DMV and remains on file. After that, your insurance company should electronically send proof of insurance to the DMV on an ongoing basis.
The other card should remain in your car along with your registration. If you don’t have one, contact your insurance company and ask them to send it either by mail or email — or you might be able to download it through your online account on the insurer’s website.
You must surrender your vehicle registration and license plates if you cancel your automobile insurance policy. The DMV will suspend your registration and driver’s license if you fail to do this.
You can also be fined up to $1,500 or receive a jail sentence of up to 15 days for driving uninsured if you’re in an accident.
Fortunately, this is simpler than it sounds. A New York auto insurer will combine the required insurance into a single policy. If you have a current auto insurance policy in New York, you already have your no-fault, liability, and uninsured motorist.
There are some optional add-ons that you might wish to include:
If you were in an accident and your insurance company isn’t adequately covering your damages, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who specializes in insurance bad faith and car accidents.
Enjuris offers a free New York personal injury lawyer directory you can use to find the best attorney who will help negotiate a settlement, provide a defense to liability, and handle all other aspects of your personal injury claim.