Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements for New York are $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident and $10,000 for property damage.
The minimums may be fine if you don't have many assets or live in a rural area where accidents are less likely, but if you live in a metropolitan area, such as New York City, or have many assets to safeguard, bump your limits up to 100/300/50 or more.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury is also required as part of a New York auto insurance policy. New York also mandates motorists to carry at least $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance.
No-fault doesn't mean that no one is found at fault for an accident, but instead that someone who is injured in an accident looks first to his or her own coverage. If PIP limits are exceeded, then the at-fault driver's liability coverage can kick in.
Basic no-fault: PIP coverage includes:
- Reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80 percent of lost earnings (up to maximum of $2,000 per month for three years)
- Up to $25 per day for replacement services (e.g. household help)
- Death benefit of $2,000
Exclusion to no-fault coverages: Most New York car insurance policies say that a person may be ineligible for PIP benefits if the individual was:
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and that contributed to the accident
- Riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or motorcycle as driver or passenger
- Intentionally causing his or her own injuries
- Injured while committing a felony
- Injured while in a stolen vehicle
- An owner of an uninsured vehicle
Surcharges: If you cause a car accident, New York law says your insurer can raise your rates (known as a surcharge) only if you caused bodily injury or property damage that was more than $2,000. You can also be surcharged if you're convicted of certain traffic violations. As in any state, keeping your driving record clean will go a long way toward holding down your car insurance rates.