Auto insurance is mandatory for registered drivers in all states other than New Hampshire and Virginia. As one of the most populous states, New York has the fourth most vehicles in the country, with almost 4.5 million automobile registrations. It’s no surprise that the state enforces strict insurance laws for its drivers.
While New York is an expensive place to insure your vehicle, the minimum coverage is essential. Although full insurance isn’t necessary, it’s often beneficial to have a comprehensive policy to cover unexpected injuries or repairs if they occur.
In the event of an accident, your first course of action should be to contact the experienced New York car crash attorneys at Catalano Law.
In New York, drivers of registered vehicles must have minimum liability coverage. This protection offers:
- $10,000 for vehicle or property damage in a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person in a single accident
- $50,000 for the death of a person in a single accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for the death of two or more people in a single accident
Other stipulations include:
- Coverage must be in effect while a vehicle registration is valid, even if used infrequently (some exceptions exist for motorcycles).
- Auto insurance for residents must be provided by an insurer licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services and certified by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
PIP (personal injury protection) is a mandatory inclusion on your auto insurance policy in New York. PIP accounts for medical expenses, loss of income, and essential services for the driver and passengers involved in an accident. The coverage pays for these expenses (up to the limit of your policy) regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.
New York is a no-fault insurance state, so your PIP covers medical costs in the immediate aftermath of an accident. However, this doesn’t mean that the bills are permanently settled. Liability is determined after the crash. If the other involved party is deemed responsible, their liability coverage must pay for your medical expenses.
PIP doesn’t pay for auto body repair for your vehicle if there is accident damage. However, it does protect pedestrians who are injured by vehicles during a crash. As with most insurance policies, drivers won’t be covered if they:
- Drive impaired or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or an intoxicating substance
- Intentionally cause their injuries
- Get injured as they commit a felony
- Crash a stolen vehicle
- Crash an uninsured vehicle
Most insurance providers offer a broad range of coverage exceeding minimum state requirements. Popular coverage options include:
- Additional bodily injury: This increases the limits of bodily injury coverage. While the $25,000 minimum may seem like a lot of money, medical bills and rehabilitation costs can add up quickly if you’re involved in a serious accident.
- Additional property damage liability: If you own a valuable car, the minimum property damage liability may not even come close to covering repair costs. Consider getting additional property damage liability coverage that aligns with the type of vehicle you drive.
- Collision coverage: Collision coverage ensures your insurer pays you for vehicle damage caused in a crash with another car or if your vehicle overturns, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: A comprehensive coverage policy protects you from damage for all causes apart from a collision with another vehicle. Your insurer pays you for damages such as theft, fire, vandalism, or if an animal strikes your car.
- Medical payments coverage (MedPay): MedPay is an insurance add-on that covers medical and funeral expenses for you and passengers if they are involved in an accident with your vehicle. As with other insurance deals, MedPay policies have compensation limits depending on the coverage you purchase.
While additional auto insurance increases your annual vehicle ownership costs, the investment will be worth it if you’re involved in a serious accident. There were 327,390 motor vehicle crashes in New York state throughout 2020, of which almost 1,000 were fatal.
Of these accidents, there were 90,327 personal injuries. If you can afford it, consider purchasing additional auto insurance to sufficiently cover you and your family in the event of a crash.
If you or a family member are involved in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure you receive maximum damages for your economic and non-economic losses, seek legal representation from Catalano Law.
Our lawyers understand the physical, emotional, and financial strains of an auto accident. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss the merits of your case and learn your next steps.