in new york, auto insurance isn’t just a great way to protect your assets. State law also requires New York drivers to purchase liability insurance, along with personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverages. Americans paid an average of $650 per year for liability coverage in 2019, while New York drivers paid more than $920 per year for the same coverage.
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While it costs more on average to insure a car in New York, statistics reveal the importance of having car insurance in this state. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1,046 people died in car accidents in New York in 2020, including 588 in single-vehicle accidents and 368 in alcohol-related collisions. Before you get behind the wheel, you may find it helpful to learn about New York auto insurance laws, including how much auto insurance you need and the possible consequences of driving without adequate coverage.
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car insurance laws in new york
new york is a no-fault state, which means that in addition to liability insurance, drivers must purchase personal injury protection (pip) coverage. the state also requires coverage for uninsured motorists. Here is the full list of car insurance requirements in New York:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 death per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 per accidental death
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 personal injury protection (pip)
- $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- arrest or fine
- suspension of driver’s license and vehicle registration
- vehicle seized
- Collision: This optional coverage helps pay for damage to your car following a covered accident with other vehicles or a stationary object.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage against non-accident mishaps, from a tree falling on your car during a wind storm to car theft or vandalism. it is not required in new york state. comprehensive and collision are good coverages to have if your car is new or a high-end model. for older cars with less value, it may not be as important.
- medical payments: optional in new york, medical payments coverage will augment your other coverages, such as pip, and help pay for medical costs incurred in an accident. These may include hospital stays, surgery, ambulance costs, or other medical expenses.
- Gap Coverage: If you have a new car and owe more on the loan than the vehicle is worth, gap coverage will help pay off the loan if your car is stolen or totaled. This coverage can be helpful because your collision or comprehensive will only pay for the car’s depreciated value.
- New Car Replacement: If your car is wrecked or stolen and is two years old or less (or for some insurers, one year or less), New Car Replacement coverage ensures that you will have enough to buy a new car of the same value as your old car.
- Roadside Assistance: Similar to a membership with AAA or another roadside assistance company, this will cover the cost of repairs or towing if your car breaks down on the road, run out of gas or have a flat tire. you can use it if you need a jump start or you can’t get into your car.
- Rideshares: If you drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, you need rideshare coverage. Your personal auto insurance policy typically doesn’t cover your car while driving for a rideshare company, but rideshare coverage will.
uninsured motorist coverage in new york comes in two options: statutory and supplemental. statutory coverage provides coverage only for accidents that occur in the state. supplemental coverage (available at lower limits or higher limits) provides out-of-state coverage. Supplemental Uninsured Motorist Coverage also provides coverage for underinsured motorists.
Please note that these are the minimum requirements that your insurance policy must meet. however, you can purchase additional coverage for added protection.
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Your auto insurance serves as proof of financial responsibility. Your insurance card tells others that you can pay for damages or injuries caused during an accident.
liability insurance in new york
Liability insurance is coverage that pays costs associated with damages and injuries sustained by another driver and their passengers. however, this type of coverage does not pay for damage to your vehicle when you cause an accident at your fault. You may see required New York liability insurance coverages expressed as 25/50/10.
but is the minimum enough? if you have a serious accident, the minimum may not cover all expenses. consider the property liability portion, for which the minimum is $10,000. If the other driver’s car was totaled and it was a relatively new or expensive vehicle, $10,000 might not be enough to replace it.
Or consider the bodily injury minimum, which is $25,000. If a passenger in the other car sustains serious injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery, the $25,000 coverage may not cover all medical costs.
Many insurance experts will recommend that you have more than the minimum for liability insurance if possible. this way, you are much less likely to find yourself in a bad financial situation after an accident.
is new york a no-fault state?
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new york is a no-fault insurance state, requiring drivers to purchase personal injury protection (pip) coverage. With PIP coverage, you can make a claim against your own insurance policy after an accident, no matter who was at fault. For example, if another driver runs a red light and hits you, you can file a claim with their insurer, not the other driver’s provider.
pip generally covers your medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, if necessary, and some additional costs. required new york pip coverage pays up to $50,000 per person, but you have the option to increase it for an additional cost.
pip is required in the state of new york, as it is in all no-fault states. driving without insurance in new york will result in fines and even jail time.
penalties for driving without insurance in new york
driving without insurance in new york can have serious consequences. Your insurance company must notify the DMV if your policy lapses. If you no longer have insurance, you must surrender your vehicle registration and plates to the DMV and refrain from driving. If you drive, you could face the following penalties:
If you drive without insurance and get into an accident in New York, the state can suspend your license and registration for at least a year, and you could face fines of up to $1,500, plus a civil penalty of $750 to restore your license.
additional car insurance coverage options in new york
In addition to the required liability, pip and uninsured motorist coverages, there are other coverage options that may benefit you. Costs for this type of coverage vary by insurer and can be affected by factors such as the type of vehicle you drive and your driving history.