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New York Car Insurance Regulations & Required Coverage

New York requires all motorists to maintain insurance coverage and is a no fault state. This, along with the fact that it has a large population concentrated in the New York City area, cause insurance rates in New York to be consistently higher than the national average. Nevertheless, to ensure you have adequate coverage, you should consider getting more than just the minimum coverage required.

New York insurance law has been written using a no fault system. Unlike most other states that follow a tort system, under a no fault insurance system, regardless of who is found to be at fault in an accident, your own insurance company will pay for your own damages. The specific details of a no fault system can vary from the individual states that follow it, but drivers usually lose some of their legal rights.

Required Coverage

All personal vehicles in New York require the following liability coverage requirements:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Property Damage

Additionally, the following coverage is required:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Personal Injury Protection
Minimum New York Car Insurance Requirements
Bodily Injury Liability $25,000 / $50,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability $10,000 Limit
Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury $25,000 / $50,000 Limit
Personal Injury Protection $50,000 Limit

Additional insurance coverage can include:

  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Comprehensive and collision insurance coverage are usually bundled together in insurance policies but they cover two separate incidents. Collision covers repairs to or replacement of your vehicle when it is involved in an accident or collision while comprehensive covers all non-collision related incidents. These can include floods, car thefts, damage caused by a fire, or other similar occurrences. Cars are stolen every day in New York as our list of most stolen vehicles in New York will show you. Having comprehensive can protect you financially against this. This coverage also allows you to select a deductible which you are required to pay when filing a claim before you receive compensation from your insurance company. The higher you set your deductible, the less you'll pay per month for insurance but the higher you'll be forced to pay if you submit a claim.

Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

Establishing proof of insurance and financial responsibility

  • Get a standard liability car insurance policy

Required Documentation

Even though your car insurance company is required to file your coverage electronically with the DMV, you are also required to maintain paper proof as well.

In order to provide proof of insurance, you can provide one of the following:

  • Insurance ID Cards (your insurance company or agent is required to provide you with 2)

You must maintain proof of insurance and financial responsibility and present it:

  • When asked by a police officer
  • After an accident
  • When registering the vehicle
  • Anytime you are operating a vehicle

Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility Penalties

If you are unable to show proof of insurance when asked, you can face one of the following penalties:

  • Suspension of your driver's license
  • Suspension of your registration
  • If you are involved in an accident without insurance regardless of fault, the state will revoke both your license and vehicle's registration for 1 year.
  • A fine up to $1,500 and an additional civil penalty of $750 when receiving your license back.

Additionally, if you do not maintain at least the minimum coverage for your vehicle, you need to immediately turn in your licenses plates to the DMV. If your coverage lapses and you do not return your plates, the DMV will suspend your registration for the same number of days that you did not have coverage. If this exceeds 90 days, your license will also be suspended for the same amount of time and you will need to pay a $25 fee to reinstate your license.

To submit your plates, you can mail them to:

NYS DMV, Port Jefferson Office

3 Roads Plaza

1055 Route 112

Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776-3054

If you do not turn in your plates and it has been 90 days or less, you can avoid suspension of your registration, but will be required to pay a fee. The rates are as follows:

  • 1 - 30 days: $8 per day
  • 31 - 60 days: $10 per day
  • 61 - 90 days: $12 per day

You can only save yourself from having your registration suspended one time every 3 years.

New York Insurance Agents

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