New York Auto Insurance Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide for Drivers
Just like every other state in the U.S.A., New York has specific requirements for drivers living in the area. By taking the time to understand these requirements, you’ll make your drives safer and more legally compliant. You’ll also avoid the financial and practical consequences of not following New York Driving laws.
In this article, we’ll give you all the details on what you need to know to own and operate a vehicle in the State of New York. We’ll also talk about some of the ways having proper insurance coverage benefits you—and the consequences of not having it.
Do You Need Car Insurance in New York?
We all know that insurance is a good idea. But did you know that car insurance can be required by law? In fact, in order to register a car in the State of New York, you must have state issued insurance on that vehicle. This coverage must also remain in effect when you aren’t driving the vehicle—except in the case of motorcycles.
You will also need documented proof that your vehicle is insured. The name on the insurance policy also needs to match the registration. If you want a second name on your policy, they must also sign the registration.
Minimum Coverage Requirements in NY
All vehicles registered in New York are required to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage on their vehicles. Mainly this covers the cost of damages or injuries you may cause others should you get in an accident.
- $10,000 in property damage liability (per accident) – This covers any damage you may cause to someone’s property.
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability + $50,000 in death (per person) – This covers the injury or fatality of another person.
- $50,000 bodily injury liability + $100,000 in death (per accident) – This covers the injury or death of 2+ people in an accident.
While these coverages are required by law, they are also a very good idea for all drivers. By maintaining this type of coverage, you will be able to financially support or compensate other drivers in the event of a collision. This will also prevent you from going into personal financial debt in order to cover these costs.
Optional New York Insurance
In addition to the minimum requirements, there is a wide selection of additional coverage options. These types of insurance are not required to register your vehicle.
- Collision: Just like it sounds, this helps pay for damages to your car following an accident with other vehicles or after hitting a stationary object, such as a lamppost or mailbox.
- Comprehensive: For the truly unexpected, this full spectrum insurance covers mishaps not related to accidents, such as theft, vandalism, or weather damage.
- Gap: If your new car is stolen or totaled, you may end up with a new car loan that is now adding up to more than the vehicle is worth. In that case, gap coverage will help pay off the loan.
- Medical: With the rising cost of medical care, this coverage is designed to complement your other coverages (like PIP) to pay for medical costs (ex hospital stays, surgeries, transportation, etc.) due to an accident.
- Rideshare: If you drive for a ridesharing company such as Uber or Lyft, rideshare coverage is a must. Most personal insurance policies do not cover your car during the trips you make for a rideshare company—but rideshare coverage will.
- Roadside Assistance: This covers the cost of repairs or towing. This can be very helpful if your car breaks down on the road, runs out of gas, gets a flat tire, or needs a jump start. Roadside assistance can also help if you get locked out of your car.
- Vehicle Replacement: If your car is no more than 2 years old and is totaled or stolen this coverage ensures that you will have enough to replace it with a new car of equal value.
While these types of supplementary auto insurance are not required, many financial management companies recommend getting them if they apply to you. It’s a good idea to get the best insurance that you can afford. Get any coverage you feel that you may need at any given time. This will help protect you financially if you ever get into an accident and keep you from going into debt.
The New York No-Fault Insurance System
Because New York is a no-fault state, drivers are also required to purchase insurance to cover the bodily injury expenses of any uninsured drivers.
- $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury protection (per person)
- $50,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury protection (per accident)
No-fault insurance also means that, no matter who is at fault, you are allowed to file a claim with your insurance, rather than with the other driver’s insurance. The company you file with will affect the premiums for the policyholder, since getting in accidents and filing claims can cause a person’s insurance rates to go up.
What is PIP insurance?
New York’s no-fault car insurance laws aren’t just about protecting other drivers. They’re also about protecting you. This is why all New York drivers are required to purchase $50,000 in PIP insurance. PIP insurance will cover your own personal costs related to the accident. This includes things like your medical expenses if you get injured, lost wages if you have to miss work, and funeral expenses if one of your passengers is fatally injured. That way, if the driver you collide with doesn’t have insurance, you will still have the protection you need to get back on your feet.
Do I have to buy New York insurance?
Some people wonder if they can purchase insurance in another state to avoid some of New York’s heavier fees. Unfortunately, this is not a viable option. In order to get your vehicle registered in the State of New York, you must be insured with a New York policy.
Once you’re insured, you’ll need to provide the New York DMV with the ID cards given to you by your insurance provider. The company will also send an electronic notice of coverage to the DMV. Both of these documents together prove your coverage to the department and veriy your eligibility for registration.
Penalties for Operating a Vehicle Without Insurance in New York
Driving without auto insurance in New York is not just a bad idea. It is illegal. Allowing your insurance to lapse, not purchasing insurance within the state, or not acquiring the minimum coverage can result in multiple penalties.
- Fines: Drivers operating a vehicle without insurance may owe up to $1,500 for their first offense. This amount can increase to up to $3,000 for subsequent offenses.
- Suspension: If you fail to provide proof of insurance, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driver’s license and your registration.
- Impoundment: If a police officer catches you driving without insurance, they have the authority to impound your vehicle.
- Fees: In order to have your suspended license and registration reinstated, you would need to pay a fee. You would also need to pay to retrieve the vehicle after it has been impounded. The courts may also impose additional fees and penalties if you are involved in an accident while you are uninsured.
- Insurance Surcharges: Getting caught without insurance can also cause your insurance rates to skyrocket once you do get it. This rate increase may continue for up to three years.
- Jail Time: People who repeatedly operate a vehicle without insurance may face up to 15 days in jail.
With all of these additional costs and concerns, the recommendation is clear: don’t drive without insurance. The temporary convenience is just not worth the long-term inconvenience, expense, and negative effects on your personal life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is car insurance so expensive in New York?
Mainly, car insurance in New York is more expensive because it is a no-fault state. There is also a higher rate of insurance fraud. Other factors that contribute to higher insurance rates in New York include a high population and driver density; higher cost of living (including medical costs and car repairs); and a higher frequency of accidents in Long Island. New York drivers also tend to file more insurance claims due to frequent inclement weather. Insurance companies may also charge a higher rate to certain drivers due to their vehicle, age, gender, marital status location, driving record, credit rating, and claim history.
How much is the average car insurance in NY?
The average yearly cost of car insurance in New York is about $1,339 – $2,996 for each vehicle. This is 69% higher than the national average, which is around $1,771—and 146% higher than the average minimum. This is mainly due to the fact that New York is a no-fault state with a higher frequency of insurance fraud. However, the final amount that you will pay is extremely varied. Insurance companies establish individual rates based on the policyholder’s vehicle of choice as well as their age, gender, marital status, location, driving record, credit rating, and history of insurance claims.
What are the best ways to lower my car insurance rates in New York?
To lower car insurance rates in New York you can try comparing rates with different providers, being aware of discounts you are eligible for, increasing your deductible, maintaining a good credit score, and doing everything you can to avoid getting a ticket or getting in an accident. Also, if you take a defensive driving course, the State of New York will offer you a 10% discount on your insurance. If you have points on your record they may also remove some (up to 4). While you can’t control everything that affects your rates, these strategies can still lower your payment.
Is car insurance cheaper in Florida than New York?
Yes, car insurance is cheaper in Florida than in New York. The average cost in Florida is $1,123 per year. In New York, the cost is $2,278 per year. This difference in cost is mainly due to insurance requirements. In New York, drivers are required to have $10,000 in property damage liability, $25,000 – $50,000 in bodily injury liability, $25,000 – $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, $50,000 in personal injury protection, and $50,000 – $100,000 in death liability. Alternatively, Florida only requires $10,000 each in property damage and personal injury liability protection.
Ensuring compliance and adequate protection for your vehicle.
New York state requires all drivers to have liability insurance. Other New York auto insurance requirements include uninsured motorist coverage and proof of insurance. Additional coverage, like collision or comprehensive coverage are available for drivers to purchase, but they are not mandatory. We highly recommend that you check your own auto insurance policies to make sure that they are in compliance with New York law. This will also help ensure that you’re protected financially should something go wrong.