New York Car Insurance: Guidelines for Every Citizen

The consequences of not having car insurance are irrefutable; in today’s rapidly growing economy the cost of vehicle repair and medical expenses is out of reach of many. Finding the right car insurance policy can be very difficult, however, and requires at the very least a basic understanding of the minimum requirements established by the consumer’s state of residence.

Complete information about insurance options for New Yorkers can be obtained from the New York State Insurance Department at any one of their seven locations by calling 1-800-342-3736 or by visiting their website at http://www.ins.state.ny.us/. New York is a no fault state, which means that in the event of an accident it does not matter which party is responsible, each will have their expenses settled by their own insurance company. The other driver will not be held liable. This was intended to decrease the number of lawsuits per year and allow drivers who were involved in an accident to seek medical care as quickly as possible. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, insurance is intended to cover the costs of medical care for the insured, and residents who are covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy may elect to carry only the minimum amount of PIP insurance; however, this is not recommended as PIP does not exist solely for medical expenses. It will also assist the insured with such matters as lost wages or funeral expenses following an accident if the need exists.

There are loopholes in every system and the no fault system is no exception. In the event that an injury is severe enough and medical bills excessive enough an accident victim may seek recompense from the driver who caused the accident. This loophole has led to the requirement that all NY drivers purchase a liability policy. Liability will pay for damages suffered by the vehicle and person of the victim of an accident, and in New York provides minimum benefits to the tune of twenty five thousand dollars for medical expenses accumulated by a single driver, fifty thousand dollars for the combined medical expenses of all of the occupants of the vehicle and ten thousand dollars for repairs to any property that may have been damaged in the accident, including the victim’s vehicle.

In addition to liability and PIP insurance NY also requires its drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This will pay for damages suffered by the vehicle or person of the insured in the event that they are struck by a vehicle belonging to a person who either does not possess insurance or whose insurance policy does not extend to cover the quantity of damages inflicted. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance also provides coverage for those drivers who find themselves the victims of a hit and run.

While not required it is suggested that drivers purchase collision/comprehensive insurance for their vehicle. In the event that a driver is responsible for an accident liability will leave them to foot the bill for their own auto repairs. Collision will provide some assistance with these costs and total the vehicle if the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s blue book value. Drivers who possess a collision policy and whose vehicle is currently under lien may elect to purchase gap cover will make up the difference between the value received for the car and the amount remaining on the lien in the event that the car must be totaled and the blue book value is less than the amount remaining on its lien.

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