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New York No Fault Car Insurance

Auto insurance is mandatory for all drivers in the state of New York. Every driver must carry at least the minimum acceptable levels of insurance according to state law. New York is a no fault state, meaning every driver must carry no fault or personal injury protection as part of their auto insurance plan. Though no fault is sometimes misunderstood even by drivers in the state, it is fairly easy to explain the basic of the system in a way that makes sense. Personal injury protection is actually only one of several required components every auto policy must contain. Having a correct understanding of what is required under New York no fault law as well as the role each part of the policy plays in your overall protection as a driver can be tremendously valuable.

NY No Fault Basic Precepts

A basic discussion of the required precepts of the requirements for auto insurance in New York should logically begin with no fault law itself and its specific applicability to this state. No fault law was originally intended to reduce the load of court dockets involving civil auto liability cases, and to ensure that accidents victims get the proper medical treatment they need regardless of who was at fault in the accident [1].

Contrary to popular belief, no fault is not the opposite of tort auto insurance law, nor is it a system that does not concern itself with liability or negligence in car accidents. In fact, every driver in New York has to carry liability insurance. No fault insurance is simply a policy provision that allows each victim in an accident to get prompt medical treatment without the entanglements of insurance claims and conflicts over liability.

No fault auto insurance in New York promptly pays for economic losses (medical and health expenses, lost wages, reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries sustained) up to $50,000 per person, including the covered driver, all passengers, and any pedestrians injured by the covered car [2].

Other Mandatory NY Insurance Components

In addition to PIP or no fault insurance, drivers in the state of New York have other requirements they must follow in their auto policies. For example, as mentioned earlier liability insurance is required. New York uses a derivative of the split form liability policy. In New York there are separate limits of coverage for bodily injury and death caused by a liability accident. The bodily injury limits are $25,000 per injury and $50,000 per accident for multiple injuries. For deaths, the limits are $50,000 per single death and $100,000 for multiple deaths. New York also requires drivers to carry liability insurance covering property damage claims, with the minimum acceptable amount set at $10,000 [1].

Liability insurance contains no provisions for protecting the covered automobile for property damage. In this way it is similar to no fault or PIP insurance. Liability insurance is primarily designed to protect the insured driver from the financial cost of potential civil liability claims stemming from at fault accidents.

Uninsured motorist insurance is also required of New York drivers. Uninsured coverage is a form of bodily injury insurance for the covered driver and the passengers for collisions in which the other driver was at fault but did not carry any liability insurance. It is a policy only covering bodily injury. The limits of this coverage set by the state of New York are the same as the limits set by the state for bodily injury coverage in a liability policy. The uninsured motorist protection on a standard New York car insurance plan is only applicable in cases when the accident with an uninsured driver occurs inside the state of New York. For uninsured protection outside of state of NY, drivers can get an additional endorsement on their car insurance coverage at an additional charge.

Auto Insurance Protects All Drivers

There are additional optional areas of coverage you can get as a driver in New York. For example, you could opt to include collision and comprehensive insurance in your auto insurance policy. As a matter of fact, collision and comprehensive are required by lien holders for drivers who have either a lease or a loan on a car they are insuring in New York. But in any other situation, collision and comprehensive are optional.

Auto insurance protects all drivers. It offers great protection for your financial interests in your own vehicle while it also gives you a shield of protection against litigation that could otherwise arise as a result of a civil liability claim following a car accident for which you are at fault. Take a close look at New York no fault car insurance law and find out the specifics of in state requirements.

[1] http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmvfaqs.htm#INSURANCE Retrieved 2010-03-14.
[2] http://www.ins.state.ny.us/auto/2009/auto09.pdf Retrieved 2010-03-14.

 

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