Liability Car Insurance in New York 

Liability car insurance in New York is a requirement for drivers in the state. Liability insurance provides financial protection by covering injuries you cause to another person or damage to another person’s property. It does not provide any coverage for your own losses (including medical or damage to your car). Let’s take a look at what you are required to purchase and what you should actually have.

Required Liability Insurance Coverage in New York

Since New York mandates liability car insurance coverage for drivers, all registered motor vehicles you can drive on the state’s public roads and highways must meet the specific requirements set by the state. You must obtain this type of insurance from a company that is licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services. If you do not have insurance, you cannot obtain license plates for your vehicle. You may also be fined significantly if you are pulled over. You must maintain at least the required minimum liability insurance in New York.

That includes:

• $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
• $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for injury resulting in death sustained by a person in a single accident
• $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for injuries resulting in death sustained by two or more people in a single accident
Liability insurance, in these instances, covers some of the risks drivers face just by getting on the road with other drivers. Yet, this is not all the coverage you need.

New York PIP Requirements

New York State also mandates personal injury protection (PIP). PIP is often misunderstood, but is just as important to maintain if you want to operate a vehicle legally on the state’s roadways. PIP is a type of medical expense coverage. PIP coverage is required under New York’s no-fault insurance laws. When you purchase an auto insurance policy in NY, it is likely to include PIP.

PIP provides coverage for three key things:

• Medical costs
• Economic losses
• Death benefits

At the very least, you must purchase $50,000 worth of PIP coverage in New York (though purchasing only the minimum coverage is not recommended). The amount you purchase is the maximum amount of coverage the insurance policy will pay when there is a PIP claim.

Let’s take a closer look at what PIP covers since it is often a misunderstood component of auto insurance.

The medical costs covered under a PIP policy in New York will typically include:

• Most types of medical services (including hospital and surgical expenses)
• Physical rehabilitation
• Psychiatric services
• Diagnostic services and testing, including blood work, x-rays, MRIs, and others
• Ambulatory services

PIP coverage applies when a person incurs these costs as a direct result of injuries sustained in an accident involving your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In addition to medical costs, PIP also provides economic loss coverage. This generally includes losses such as lost wages. For example, the policy may pay for 80 percent of lost wages, up to a maximum of $2,000 per month for as long as three years after the incident occurs or when the maximum coverage of the policy is reached.
Finally, if an eligible insured driver dies as a result of the accident, the PIP policy can pay a death benefit to the estate of that person. In New York, this is up to $2,000. The money can be used for most needs, including funeral expenses.

Is the Bare Minimum Really Enough?

As noted, New York requires these minimum coverages to be in place on your auto insurance policy in order to operate the vehicle legally on public roadways. While these minimums may seem sufficient, they rarely are. Don’t risk being underinsured.
It is nearly always beneficial for drivers to increase the amount of coverage on these policies. As noted, these policies will pay out only up to the amount of coverage you have purchased. For example, if you purchase the bare minimum of property liability insurance, which is $10,000, but you cause $15,000 worth of damage to another vehicle, the policy only covers $10,000 of that damage and you are still responsible for the remaining $5,000.
In medical losses, a single accident can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills, especially if hospital stays or surgery are required, which could far exceed the limits of a policy with only the required minimums.
That is why it is nearly always beneficial to increase coverage for bodily insurance, property damage, and PIP. They should ideally be at a level that is more likely to match the losses in a car accident. How much is the right amount, though? That can be difficult to determine because it depends on your risks and on your financial resources. A licensed Plymouth Rock insurance agent can offer more insight into appropriate levels of coverage and the size of average claims in your area (these can differ widely based on location, for example, from New York City to Rochester).

A Component of Your Protection

Liability insurance is an important component of auto insurance New York vehicle owners need to maintain. While having the required liability coverage is important, there are other types of coverages that are smart to have. It is best to work with your agent to ensure proper financial protection, including comprehensive auto insurance, collision insurance, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. A complete plan helps to give you the financial peace of mind you need when you head out on the roadways. Talk to a licensed Plymouth Rock agent to help find the right policy for you.

To see how we can help you save on New York auto insurance, call 855-993-4470, get a free quote online or find a local agent. For a NY home, condo or renters insurance quote, click here, call 833-857-5848, or find an agent. If you need additional information, please visit our contact us page. If you need additional information, please visit our contact us page.