What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in New York?
All drivers in New York are legally required to have an auto insurance policy with at least 25/50/10 in liability limits along with a host of additional coverages. This includes:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 property damage
- $50,000 personal injury protection coverage
- $25,000 bodily injury per person (uninsured motorists)
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident (uninsured motorists)
It’s also worth noting that New York has separate liability requirements built-in for deaths caused by an accident. For any injury resulting in death, the $25,000 individual limit increases to $50,000, and the $50,000 per-accident limit climbs to $100,000.
How much car insurance you need in New York depends on factors unique to you, but your policy should at least meet the state’s minimum requirements in order for you to legally drive.
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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?
According to New York’s car insurance laws, drivers must have 25/50/10 limits for liability insurance, 25/50 for uninsured motorist coverage and $50,000 in personal injury protection coverage.
In terms of liability insurance, drivers must have at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person with a $50,000 limit per accident, up to $50,000 for one person’s death and $100,000 for all deaths in an accident. This is how much your policy will pay for the medical bills or loss of wages for any third party involved in an accident. It also includes $10,000 in property damage coverage, which is what pays for any damages a third party’s vehicle or personal belongings incur as a result of an accident.
The same 25/50 bodily injury limits are required for uninsured motorist coverage. If you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, this part of your policy will kick in to help you with the costs.
As New York is a no-fault state, drivers are also required to have $50,000 in personal injury protection coverage. This pays policyholders for any losses as a result of an accident regardless of who is at fault and can include medical bills, lost wages and other reasonable expenses related to any injuries sustained.
How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in New York?
The cost of auto insurance policies in New York changes based on your personal characteristics, such as your age, ZIP code, driving history, credit score, mileage and more. These factors are also weighted differently by each insurer, which means you aren’t likely to get the same quote between providers.
The most affordable insurer in New York is USAA, which offers state minimum policies at an average of $902 per year — however, their policies are only available for military members and their families. The cheapest widely available insurer is GEICO, with minimum policies averaging $1,092 per year.
These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average New York driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.
MoneyGeek collected auto insurance costs from insurers in New York for policies with the state’s minimum coverage of 25/50/10 along with personal injury protection coverage and uninsured motorists coverage. We used the sample profile of a 40-year-old male with a clean driving record and good credit score living in New York driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.
MoneyGeek also ranked the best car insurance companies in New York for those who want strong service and affordable rates.
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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in New York While Leasing a Car?
In New York, car lease insurance requirements are different compared to those of the state — oftentimes, they are higher. This is so leasing companies can protect their financial assets. For instance, most car leasing companies in New York require full coverage car insurance with a 100/300/50 liability limit, but this can vary depending on your provider. Make sure to contact your financial leasing company to get the exact requirement.
New York’s minimum car insurance requirements, while extensive, may not be enough to protect you in case you get into an accident. With healthcare costs rising in New York, it’s important to get enough coverage to pay for any medical bills.
How much car insurance you need, however, will depend on your unique circumstances. Generally, MoneyGeek recommends getting at least 50/100/50 full coverage insurance on top of the required personal injury protection coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. This way, you can be sure you’re better prepared in case of an accident.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in New York
As car insurance is required in New York, failing to have a policy can lead to certain penalties and fines. Even if you do have a policy but you can’t provide proof of it, you may end up having to do extra tasks just to avoid fines. This is why it’s important to have proof of your auto liability coverage at all times. Even as a new driver, it's even more important to get auto insurance.
If you get caught by law enforcement without auto insurance, you may be liable to receive the following penalties and fines:
- Suspension of vehicle registration and driver’s license
- Revocation of your vehicle registration and driver’s license for at least one year if involved in an accident while uninsured
- Fine of up to $1,500
- Civil penalty of $750 to reinstate license after revocation
- License suspension termination fee of $50
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in New York
Auto insurance laws in New York can be confusing for any new driver. Below are a few commonly asked questions to help first-time drivers within the area.
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- CARCO. "CARCO FAQs." Accessed September 21, 2021.
- New York Department of Financial Services. "Shopping for Auto Insurance." Accessed September 20, 2021.
- New York Department of Motor Vehicles. "Auto Liability Insurance." Accessed September 20, 2021.
- NYS Health Foundation. "Health Care Spending in New York Growing Faster Than Rest of U.S.." Accessed September 20, 2021.