min auto insurance nyc

When you are injured in a car accident in New York, it causes not just serious physical injuries but also results in emotional trauma and financial loss. Under New York laws, persons who own a car are therefore expected to show financial responsibility before they begin driving. Most people meet this requirement by purchasing personal injury protection insurance, also called no-fault insurance, although there are other types of coverage also available.

While the state does specify a minimum auto insurance coverage for all drivers, we recommend that you speak to your insurance provider and get the coverage that’s best for you, because medical treatment can often turn quite expensive. In the event of a car accident, make sure to speak to a capable personal injury attorney who can negotiate on your behalf with the negligent party’s insurance company.

What are the Types of Car Insurance Coverage Available in NYC?

New York State offers different levels of coverage and making the right choice can provide you sufficient protection from financial loss after an accident. The most important forms of car insurance include:

Personal Injury Protection Insurance (No-Fault Insurance)

This is insurance that is meant to cover the expenses on medical treatment, loss of income from wages, and some other costs if the driver or the passengers of the insured car suffer an injury in a New York car accident. This protection is available to the person who owns the insurance, regardless of whether they or another party were responsible for the accident. However, if the accident was an intentional act, or if the person who caused it was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, no-fault benefits will be denied.

Property Damage Insurance

This provides coverage in situations when your vehicle is responsible for causing damage to another person’s property. If you don’t have this insurance, it is quite likely that your personal assets may have to be used to settle claims of property damage.

Liability Coverage

This type of insurance protects you from having to spend on damages or compensation when other individual files a claim for an injury or loss they had to sustain due to your negligence. When you possess liability insurance coverage, your insurer will pay valid claims up to the limits of your policy.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance Coverage

This insurance policy can help pay for the expenditure you incur when you get injured in an accident by a negligent motorist who does not possess insurance coverage. It is also very useful in accidents that involve unregistered vehicles, or stolen cars, or vehicles driven without the permission of the owner, or in hit-and-run type of accidents where the party at fault cannot be identified for you to file a claim for damages.

What is the Minimum Liability Insurance You Need To Carry in New York?

Under New York laws, every motorist is required to carry a specified minimum level of liability insurance before they can begin to drive. The guidelines for each type of insurance coverage are as follows:

Personal Injury Protection: Minimum of $50,000

Bodily Injury Coverage: Minimum of $25,000 per person injured in a crash or $50,000 for all the individuals injured in the accident.

Property Damage Coverage: Minimum of $10,000 for injuries or any property damage caused in one accident.

Death Benefits Coverage: Minimum of $50,000 per person killed in a crash or $100,000 for all the individuals killed in the accident.

Uninsured/underinsured Bodily Injury Coverage: Minimum $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident.

While these are the lowest auto insurance coverage levels you need to have in New York, it may be a good idea to consider increasing how much insurance you actually purchase. If you get injured in an accident and sustain a large loss, the insurer will only compensate you for what your policy is worth, while your losses may be far greater, and this can leave you financially vulnerable. For this reason, it makes sense to plan your auto insurance policy coverage carefully, keeping your assets in mind.

Does New York’s Minimum Auto Insurance Provide Sufficient Coverage? 

Compared to many other states, New York’s auto insurance requirements are quite high. Yet, when you take a look at the actual limits for each type of mandatory insurance, they are quite low. With current costs for hospitalization, diagnostic testing, and medical treatment being quite high, the amount you receive through your basic PIP policy can quickly run out.

Besides, the $10,000 minimum coverage for property damage can also be quite low in case your car is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced. This is the reason why people living in the more congested parts of New York with greater traffic density where accidents are more likely to occur may decide to increase their auto insurance limits.

Many insurance companies provide this option with only a reasonable increase in the premium you pay. Besides increasing your insurance limits, you may also consider getting additional auto insurance coverage for more protection.

What Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Can You Get in New York?

New York insurance companies provide other forms of insurance to deal with damages that follow a car accident. The most common types of optional coverage that New York drivers opt for include:

  • Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) to cover additional lost wages or medical treatment
  • Additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover lost wages, medical expenses, or additional expenses
  • Medical payments or med pay for medical bills or for funeral expenses
  • Collision insurance to cover damage from collision with another car or fixed objects
  • Comprehensive coverage to protect against non-collision damages
  • Supplementary Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)

Can You Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering from No-Fault Insurance in NYC?

Ever since the adoption of the no-fault laws by New York, car accident victims have lost the right to sue for the pain and suffering they undergo due to their injuries. No-fault insurance pays for the medical bills of the injured person; it also pays for any time they miss work and reimburses their out-of-pocket expenditure.

All this is meant to restore the accident victim to their state of physical and financial health prior to the injury. So, the law does not allow them to claim any benefits for the pain and suffering they have had to undergo. However, there is an exception made for accidents that cause victims to suffer what is referred to as a “serious injury”.

Under New York law, a personal injury that results in any of the following conditions qualifies as a “serious injury”:

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Permanent loss of the use of a body system or function
  • A medical injury that is non-permanent but prevents the injured person from carrying out all their usual daily activities for at least 90 days of the 180 days immediately following the accident
  • Fractures
  • Death

Anyone who can provide evidence of such serious injuries after an accident that occurred due to the fault of another party is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York. Filing such a lawsuit can help the accident victim recover compensation for not just economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and additional expenses, but also for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.

What Options are Available to Those Who Cannot Get an Auto Insurance Policy in New York?

For those drivers who are unable to get auto insurance in New York, there are alternative proofs of financial responsibility that they may be able to get. These include:

  • A surety bond filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), issued by a surety company that is licensed in New York
  • A security deposit of $150,000 kept with the DMV
  • Self-insurance option for those who own and have 25 or more cars registered under their name

Get Help from Our Experienced No-Fault Insurance Attorneys in New York City

All auto insurance policyholders are entitled to receive compensation through their New York no-fault insurance in the event of a crash. However, actually receiving the amount in a timely manner is not so easy in reality. Insurance companies are known to raise questions over the claims of accident victims and delay the payment. So, it is vital to get help from an expert NYC no-fault insurance lawyer if you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in New York.

Our personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have decades of experience and we can provide you with the following services to ensure you get the damages you deserve:

  • A thorough, independent investigation of your accident
  • A comprehensive review of your insurance policies to get a clear picture of the compensation for which you are eligible
  • Communication and smart negotiation with insurance adjusters
  • Opinions from medical and financial experts to explore the possibility of claiming non-economic damages in case of serious injury

To work with us to pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries, get in touch with us today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online for a no-risk, free, no-obligation consultation.


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New York, NY 10168

Tel: 212-LAWYERS

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Queens, NY 11435

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The Bronx, NY 10451

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1002 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tel: (516) 410-4445

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