With so many options available, finding the best car insurance in New York can be a daunting task, However, if you know what types of coverage you need and spend enough time doing comparison shopping, you should be able to get a policy that suits your budget and needs. Check out this comprehensive guide to auto insurance in New York:
Is Auto Insurance Mandatory in New York?
Every driver in New York must carry auto insurance. You won’t be able to register your vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) until you obtain a policy. The DMV requires you to show proof of insurance when you register your car and only accepts car insurance issued in the state, says Bankrate.
According to Moneygeek, New York’s minimum auto liability insurance requirements are as follow:
- Bodily injury coverage for a single person: $25,000.
- Bodily injury coverage for an entire accident: $50,000.
- Death coverage for a single person: $50,000.
- Death coverage for an entire accident: $100,000.
- Property damage coverage: $10,000.
Is New York an At-Fault or No-Fault State?
New York is a no-fault state. This means you have to use your own auto insurance to file most of your claims. For this reason, vehicle owners in the state are required to purchase basic personal injury protection (PIP) with a coverage limit of $50,000.
However, no-fault insurance doesn’t mean you can’t file a lawsuit against another person. If you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, you can sue the responsible party under the following circumstances:
- Your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses exceed the $50,000 coverage limit of your PIP.
- You’ve sustained severe injuries that result in pain and suffering. In New York, injuries that fall under this category include a fracture, significant disfigurement, dismemberment, permanent loss or limitation of a bodily function or organ, or a non-permanent injury or impairment that prevents you from performing your daily activities for 90 days or more during the 180 days immediately after you sustain the injury or impairment.
As mentioned earlier, the basic no-fault insurance you purchase must include $50,000 worth of PIP, which covers medical bills, 80 percent of lost job income, replacement services, and death-related expenses. If you want better protection, you can purchase the Optional Basic Economic Benefits plan to increase your coverage limit to $75,000. You can decide where you want to allocate the additional $25,000, such as lost income instead of medical expenses.
Additionally, the state of New York requires you to have auto liability coverage for both injuries and property damage. As such, if you cause severe injuries to someone in an at-fault accident, your liability coverage will pay for your legal defense and the judgment in the event of a lawsuit. Liability insurance also covers property damage that results from the accident, such as vehicle damage or a broken fence.
As a driver in New York, you also have to obtain uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. In this state, UM covers only injuries, not vehicle damage. This type of car insurance enables you to claim compensation if you get into an accident involving an uninsured or hit-and-run motorist. The minimum UM coverage you need to carry is the same as your liability coverage, which is $50,000 per accident and $25,000 per person.
With only the minimum auto insurance coverage required in New York, you won’t have protection against damage to your own vehicle. If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident or a non-accident event such as theft, vandalism, fire, or a collision with an animal.
What Factors Affect Your Auto Insurance Cost In New York?
Auto insurance companies look at many factors when calculating premiums. It’s essential to shop around because car insurance quotes can vary greatly from one insurer to another. Some of the factors that can have an impact on your insurance rate include:
Across the United States, young drivers between the ages of 16 to 25 face the highest auto insurance premiums because their lack of driving experience makes them riskier to insure. According to The Zebra, insurance companies charge teenagers more than triple the national average.
Regardless of your location, having a poor driving record can make it harder for you to get cheap auto insurance. In 2017, a DUI offense in New York increased annual car insurance rates by an average of $1208.
At-fault accidents, speeding tickets, and other traffic violations can also mar your driving record. According to Forbes, getting a speeding ticket in New York will add 3 to 11 demerit points to your driving record. If you’re caught driving 1 to 10 mph above the speed limit, you’ll receive 3 demerit points. Exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 mph will add 11 points. If you get 6 or more points within 18 months, you need to pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment fee, which is at least $100. Additionally, you can expect your auto insurance premium to go up.
An accident will remain on your driving record for three years. Unless your car insurance provider offers accident forgiveness, your premium will likely go up at renewal time following the accident. If you receive a citation in relation to the accident, you may get demerit points on your driving record.
A poor credit score can increase your car insurance cost more than having an accident or a speeding ticket. Many drivers in New York who have low credit scores are paying sky-high rates, but you can keep your premium low by comparing quotes from multiple auto insurance providers.
New York is known for its high auto insurance costs. However, you can still get a good deal if you shop around and take advantage of the many discounts available. While it’s important to look for an affordable car insurance policy, make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself against the financial consequences of an accident.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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