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New York Car Insurance Coverage

There are all sorts of car insurance coverage available in New York. When you're picking the types of coverage that are best for you and your family, it's important to know the differences between them so you can choose wisely. Below is a list of the types of coverage available and required in New York state and some details about each type so you can make the best choice possible.

Types of Auto Insurance Required in New York

The first type of auto insurance available in NY is liability coverage. Your bodily liability coverage pays anytime another person is injured in an accident that is deemed to be your fault. Similarly, your property liability coverage pays anytime someone's property, including their vehicle, building, landscaping, signage, etc., is damaged in an accident deemed to be your fault.

Both types of liability coverage are required to register a vehicle and drive legally in the state. You must carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily liability coverage for any one person injured and $50,000 in case more than one person is injured. In addition, you must carry a minimum of $10,000 of property liability insurance.

Another type of New York car insurance is uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This will pay damages to your person or property if you are in an accident caused by a driver who does not carry auto insurance or who does not carry enough to cover the damages done to you. Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury is another type of insurance that the state of New York requires motorists to carry. Again, you must have coverage of at least $25,000 to cover injuries to one person and $50,000 to cover injuries to more than one person. Note that uninsured/underinsured motorist property insurance is not required by the state, though you might want to consider it if you would be unable to replace your vehicle in case of this kind of accident without it.

The state of New York also requires motorists to carry personal injury protection insurance in the amount of at least $50,000. This type of insurance is also called no-fault insurance, because it will pay promptly if you are in an accident, even if that accident is your fault. Personal injury protection insurance is particularly useful when it takes the police a while to determine who is at fault in an accident, when fault is undeterminable, or when medical bills need to be paid before a traditional insurance settlement can be reached. This type of insurance does not only cover medical bills but will reimburse you, at least partially, for pay lost because of an auto accident and will cover the costs of any necessary services that you need because of the accident, such as house cleaning or transportation to medical appointments.

It's important to note that any required amount is only a minimum. The full extent of physical injuries and damages in a car accident can cost as much as $250,000 per injured person, and property damage can run as high as $100,000 per accident. If you only carry minimal coverage, it's possible that the people whose physical person or property is damaged in an accident you caused can sue you personally for the balance. Thus, it might be wise, if you can afford it, to carry more than the minimum amount of insurance that New York requires. At any time, you can change your New York automobile insurance policy so that these minimums are raised.

Other Auto Insurance Available in New York

In addition to the required types of insurance noted above, most New York insurance companies also offer other types of insurance. Depending on the value of the vehicle you drive, how much you can afford in premiums, and how far you drive, you may want to purchase one or more of these types of coverage as well.

Collision insurance pays you the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This can be especially helpful in case of an accident that is with another object instead of another vehicle (so there is not another driver at fault) or when you are deemed at fault in an accident that causes damage to your vehicle. If you do not have collision insurance, you will only recover damages to your automobile if another person causes an accident and you are successful in making a claim against their property liability insurance.

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage is also common in NY. This coverage will pay you if your vehicle is damaged in some way that does not involve an accident. These cases include but are not limited to vehicle theft, broken windows, and vehicles damaged by an act of God (e.g. wind, hail, snow, fire, etc.). These policies usually have a deductible, which is an amount you must pay before the insurance company pays anything. You usually have some choice in the amount of your deductible, and lower deductibles correspond with higher premiums. Depending on the total value of your vehicle, you may be able to choose a higher deductible and pay remarkably little for comprehensive coverage.

Some New Yorkers also carry medical payments coverage, which pays medical bills or funeral costs for you and any passengers up to the stated limit of your coverage. This insurance is purchased separately from the personal injury protection insurance discussed above and is considered different from it. You can also carry accidental death and dismemberment coverage, which pays a set amount for serious injuries or death to you and your passengers. This amount is paid on top of any personal injury protection insurance and medical payments coverage.

Supplemental spousal liability coverage is also a common type of coverage. If you cause an accident, your bodily liability coverage will cover injuries to the other people involved in the accident, but this coverage often excludes your spouse. This supplemental liability policy will cover your spouse in case of injury or death while you are at the wheel, up to the stated limits of your existing liability policy.

Some companies who finance vehicle loans or leases in NY will require you to carry a gap policy on the vehicle while it is under the loan or lease. If your car is deemed a total loss in an accident, the amount you get from an insurance company may not cover the total value of the car or the rest of what you owe on it. Having gap insurance means that the lender or lessor will receive the balance of the vehicle's value if it is utterly destroyed.

In addition to the types of coverage discussed here, some New York automobile insurance companies offer mechanical breakdown coverage, towing and labor coverage and extended transportation coverage (for rental cars). To find out more details about what your company offers, contact them and ask today.

When it comes to choosing auto insurance, knowing what's available is half the struggle. Now that you have that knowledge, you should be able to make choices about your car insurance coverage that are good for you and those you love.

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