From Buffalo to Albany, Syracuse to Rochester, New York has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from the heart of Manhattan, to the Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Hudson Valley and the Adirondacks. They’re used by over 11 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 6,500 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Empire State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to New York’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
New York state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. New York is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Under a no-fault system, you lose some of your rights to sue for damages.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for New York drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$25,000/$50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
$50,000 basic personal injury protection
New York does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry New York Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of New York car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties. You can be fined as between $150 and $1,500, or sentenced to 15 days in jail. Your license will be revoked for at least one year, at the end of which you will be required to pay $750 in civil penalties to the DMV.
New York requires your insurer to electronically notify the state when your policy lapses. When they do, your registration is immediately suspended. If you fail to surrender your plates and provide proof of New York insurance within 90 day, you will be charged a reinstatement fee based on the number of days your registration was suspended. The current fee is $8 for the first 30 days, $10 for the next 30 and $12 for the final 30. After 90 days, your driver’s license will be suspended and you will be charged a $50 reinstatement fee.
New York Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
New York also allows insurers to consider your credit rating to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest New York Car Insurance Policy
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New New York Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in New York. The following laws have recently been enacted in New York and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
New York bans all forms of text-based communication for all drivers.
New York bans the use of handheld communications devices for all drivers.
New York bans the use of all handheld portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.