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Motor vehicle owners and lessees in New York state are required to maintain continuous mandatory liability insurance coverage on their vehicle(s) to:
- Legally drive the vehicle(s).
- Register and obtain New York license plates (tags).
- Renew, replace or transfer their existing New York license plates (tags).
Minimum Insurance Requirements
The minimum limits of liability required under New York law are
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 total property damage per accident
Liability insurance is insurance that pays damages to others, on behalf of the insured, for injury to or damaged property of others up to the policy limit. This insurance covers the damages an insured may have caused by his negligence or may protect him against claims made against him by someone who alleges he was at-fault.
Physical Damage insurance is insurance to pay for loss or damage to your own vehicle. Physical Damage insurance consists of two types. The first part which pays for theft, vandalism and fire type losses is referred to as either “comprehensive” or “other than collision coverage.” The second part is “collision” coverage.
Uninsured Motorist insurance may also be included on a policy. Although New York requires all drivers to have liability insurance to drive, there are unfortunately those that either do not obey the law or may have unknowingly allowed their insurance to cancel. Uninsured Motorist would protect you when that other uninsured driver causes an accident which damages your vehicle or injures you or your passengers. This coverage is for the protection of the policyholder's loss or damages inflicted in that accident.
For more information, please visit http://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/cauto.htm
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. New York requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for New York are in line with the state's bodily injury liability limits.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. New York is a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. New York requires drivers to purchase PIP insurance. The minimum PIP coverage amounts for New York are $50,000 per person per accident and covers the following:
- Accident related medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80% of lost earnings from work, up to a maximum of $2,000/month for up to 3 years from date of accident. Subject to statuatory offsets for NY State Disability, Worker's Compensation and Federal Social Security disability benefits.
- Up to $25/day for up to 1 year from date of accident, to reimburse other reasonable expenses (household help, transportation to/from medical treatment) due to accident.
- A $2,000 death benefit, payable to the estate of a person eligible for no-fault benefits who is killed in an accident.
SR-22 Requirements for New York
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. New York does not require an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
New York DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for New York are:
- Class "E" felony if minor under 16 in vehicle
- Up to 1-year imprisonment, up to 4 years if minor under 16 in vehicle
- $500 - $1,000 fine, up to $5,000 if minor under 16 in vehicle
- Minimum 6 months license suspension
- Mandatory surcharge
- Mandatory alcohol screening/evaluation
- Possible ignition interlock
- Possible driver responsibility assessment
Penalties and Fines in New York for Driving Without Car Insurance
The penalties for driving without insurance in New York are:
- Suspension of registration and license, as well as monetary penalties
- If in an accident and uninsured, registration will be revoked for 1 year minimum
- This will result in a traffic court fine of $1,500, and a $750 civil penalty
For More Information
- For more information, please contact New York State Insurance Department: 1-800-342-3736 or visit their website at dfs.ny.gov.