Car Insurance in New York

New York Car Insurance

In New York, you are required to have several types of car insurance. Luckily, you can get a discount on your car insurance premium just for taking a driver safety class.

Read more to learn all about New York car insurance requirements, options, and programs.

What are the New York Car Insurance Requirements?

New York mandates that all registered vehicles in the state carry the following:

  • Liability car insurance.
  • No-fault auto insurance.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance.

Liability Insurance

Your liability car insurance policy must have the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for injuries to one person.
  • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people.
  • $50,000 for death to one person.
  • $100,000 for death to multiple people.
  • $10,000 for property damage.

Liability car insurance only pays for accident-related damages and injuries you caused to someone else. Liability does not cover your own personal costs.

No-Fault Insurance

New York also requires that you have no-fault coverage, which helps you with costs after an accident regardless of who was at fault.

New York basic no-fault coverage includes a limit of $50,000 per person to cover the following:

  • Your accident-related medical expenses.
  • 80% of lost income due to injuries from a car accident, with a limit of $2,000 per month for up to 3 years.
  • Up to $25 a day for expenses such as household help (for up to 1 year from the date of the accident).
  • A $2,000 death benefit on top of the $50,000 limit.

No-fault insurance will cover your medical costs after an accident before your health insurance. If your medical costs exceed your no-fault coverage limit, your health insurance will then kick in.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage

In New York, you are also required to have uninsured motorists coverage to cover costs relating to injuries resulting from a car accident. The minimum uninsured coverage you must have for bodily injury is:

  • $25,000 for injuries to one person.
  • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people.

Uninsured drivers coverage will not cover property damage.

You also have the option of purchasing SUM (Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists) coverage, based on the limits of your own policy, up to:

  • $250,000 per person, per accident.
  • $500,000 per accident.

Proof of Insurance

Your car insurance company will give you insurance ID cards that can be used as your proof of insurance. When registering your car, you will need to give one of your insurance cards to the DMV. Your other card should be kept in your car.

Your car insurance company is required to electronically notify the DMV of your car insurance coverage. When you register your car, the DMV will verify your car insurance with the electronic notice and your insurance card. The DMV will not verify your proof of insurance with just your insurance card.

If a police officer pulls you over and asks for your proof of insurance, you must show your insurance card.

Your insurance carrier should provide you with new insurance cards whenever you renew your car insurance policy.

Optional Car Insurance

You have the option of purchasing higher amounts of coverage for the required policy types: liability, no-fault, and uninsured motorist. Plus, you can purchase any of the following optional types of coverage:

  • Collision – This will cover damages to your car after an accident with another car.
  • Comprehensive – This will cover damages to your car that might happen after an incident not involving a car accident, such as vandalism.
  • Medical and funeral services.
  • Towing and labor.

NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverages are not required by New York; however, if you have a car loan or are leasing your car, your finance company will require you to have collision and comprehensive car insurance.

Violation Fines and Penalties

If you do not have car insurance, you must surrender your car's license plates to the DMV immediately, or else your car's registration and your driver's license will be suspended indefinitely.

If you have a lapse in car insurance—for example, time between canceling your current car insurance and buying another plan—you must also surrender your car's plates to avoid suspension of your vehicle's registration.

Your driver's license will also be suspended if your lapse of insurance coverage is longer than 91 days and you did not surrender your plates. To reinstate your suspended driver's license, you will have to pay a fee of $100.

Avoiding Suspensions

The easiest way to avoid having your car registration or driver's license suspended when you don't have car insurance is to surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV. However, during a lapse of car insurance coverage lasting less than 90 days, you have the option of paying a fine in place of surrendering your plates.

The cost of the fine depends on the length of the lapse in coverage. You can calculate your fine with the following:

  • $8 per day for the first 30 days.
  • $10 per day for 31 to 60 days.
  • $12 per day for 61 to 90 days.

New York Automobile Insurance Plan

If you are having trouble finding car insurance for any reason (such as a poor driving record), you can apply for car insurance through the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP).

Through NYAIP, you will be assigned a car insurance carrier that will provide you the minimum liability, no-fault, and uninsured coverages, with the option of purchasing higher coverage amounts.

Prices for car insurance through NYAIP are considerably higher than standard rates, so applying to NYAIP is often considered a last resort.

An insurance carrier assigned to you through NYAIP must offer you coverage for a minimum of 3 years. However, if you find an insurance company willing to sell you a car insurance policy at standard rates, you are free to cancel your NYAIP insurance.

Car Insurance Fraud in NY

New York is one of the highest-ranked states for car insurance fraud. Because of this, New York law enforcement focuses heavily on cracking down on car insurance fraud.

Common types of insurance fraud include:

  • Staging of car accidents.
  • Falsified doctors' reports of accident-related injuries.
  • Falsified mechanics' reports of accident-related damages to a vehicle.

Reporting Car Insurance Fraud

Car insurance fraud costs insurance companies money, which results in higher premiums for everyone.

You can help keep New York car insurance prices down by being vigilant and reporting any suspected car insurance fraud.

You can report tips by:

  • Calling (800) 342-3736.
  • Completing and mailing a Suspected Fraud Report to:
    • New York State Department of Financial Services
      Insurance Frauds Bureau
      One State Street
      New York, NY 10004.
  • Faxing a Suspected Fraud Report to (212) 709-3555.

Most Stolen Cars in New York

Driving a car that is often targeted for theft may increase your car insurance rates.

The following is a list of the most stolen cars in New York for 2015 according to

  1. Honda Accord.
  2. Honda Civic.
  3. Ford Pickup (Full Size).
  4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  5. Toyota Camry.
  6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
  7. Toyota Corolla.
  8. Nissan Altima.
  9. Dodge Caravan .
  10. Chevrolet Impala.

New York Car Insurance Discounts

Everyone is looking for discounts on their car insurance. New York requires insurance companies to offer you car insurance discounts IF your car has:

  • Automatic seat belts or air bags.
  • A factory-installed anti-lock braking system (ABS).
  • Factory-installed daytime running lamps (DRL).

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program

In New York, you can receive a 10% discount in the base rate of your auto liability and collision insurance premiums if you take an accident prevention course through the Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP).

These DMV-approved courses are meant to provide a review of safe driving and traffic laws. The courses are privately run, at least 320 minutes long, and can be taken online or in a classroom (click here for access to online providers).

By taking a course, you can not only qualify for a discount on your insurance premiums but may also be able to reduce up to 4 points on your driving record (if you have any).

The NY DMV offers a full list of classroom and online providers.

You will receive a certificate of completion within 45 days of completing the PIRP course.

You will need to show your certificate of completion to your car insurance carrier within 90 days of completing the course to receive your discount.

If you qualify, your insurance company must discount your insurance for 3 years.

NOTE: The discount can only be applied to one driver per vehicle.

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