Laws and Requirements

Like every other state in the United States of America, New York has automobile insurance laws. These laws are there to protect not only you, but other drivers on the road. Continue reading below to learn more about these auto insurance laws, minimum requirements, and penalties for driving without insurance in New York State (or choose form our navigation menu to skip to the section you want to read).

new york auto insurance laws and requirements

Learn more about New York State auto insurance laws and requirements below.

New York Auto Liability Insurance Laws

If you decide to get behind a vehicle registered in the state of New York, you need to carry New York State liability insurance. Doing so ensures that you are able to cover the cost of damages to the other party if you ever happen to be involved in an auto accident.

Liability insurance, when spoken about in terms of car insurance, usually includes two types of coverage – property damage liability insurance and bodily injury liability insurance. Property damage liability (PDL) insurance usually refers to vehicle damage and bodily image liability (BIL) insurance usually refers to medical expenses. In New York, both of these liability insurance types are required.

You must purchase New York state liability insurance from an authorized agency that is licensed by the New York Department of Insurance. In fact, before you are even allowed to register you car in the state of New York, you need to have proof of insurance. Otherwise, the state will not issue you registration or plates.

(Use our insurance quote form at the top of this page to be connected to insurance agents authorized to do business in this state, otherwise, use our insurance agents directory.)

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements In New York

The state minimums for liability insurance in the state of New York areas followed:

  • $25,000 per person / 50,000 per accident for injury (BIL)
  • $50,000 per person / 100,000 per accident for death (BIL)
  • $10,000 for property damage caused by any one accident (PDL)
  • $50,000 for basic no-fault insurance (see explanation further below on this page)
  • $25,000 per person / 50,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist liability (see explanation further below on this page)

Note that these issued state minimums only set a minimum standard. NewYorkMotorInsurance.com strongly recommends that you not only meet, but exceed these minimums. Many times, a serious accident will exhaust more funds than the minimum requirements allocate. By spending a few extra dollars on your premium, you can rest assured knowing that you have the coverage you actually need in the event the unthinkable happens.

No Fault Insurance In New York

The state of New York follows what they call a “no fault” system. This means that if you are involved in an accident, your insurance company will pay for any damages to you, regardless of who is at fault. Simply put, if you get into a car accident in New York, your insurance covers you and the other person’s insurance covers them.

The no fault system in New York was put in place to avoid personal injury lawsuits. It reduces litigation and claims, and even makes auto insurance less expensive for everyone. (In the event of serious injury, however, the state of New York allows you to step outside the no-fault system and bring about a personal injury lawsuit. If you are involved in an accident that resulted in serious injury, please contact your insurance provider or lawyer for more information.)

In the state of New York, you must carry $50,000 minimum in basic no-fault insurance coverage. These no fault laws make it illegal for New York drivers to drive without insurance or even have somebody else drive their vehicle without insurance. Penalties for doing can include license suspension, loss of vehicle registration, fines, and/or tickets.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Requirements In New York

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are involved in an accident with somebody without adequate insurance. Having this coverage means that your insurer will pay for these damages. Not having this coverage means that you will have to pay for all damages and accept all financial losses arising from that accident.

In New York, all drivers need to have this type of insurance. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is required by law in the state of New York in the amount of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In New York

Like stated above, automobile insurance is required by law in New York state. Your insurance company will issue you an identification card that you shall carry on you (in your vehicle) at all times. If your coverage ends at any time for any reason (payment lapse, etc), your insurance provider is required by law to notify the state (in fact, the state will monitor your coverage electronically through your insurance company).

The New York Vehicle and Traffic Code 315 states that when any car insurance policy is canceled or terminated, that driver needs to surrender his vehicle registration and license plates. If you do not return your registration and plates, the New York State DMV will suspend your registration and driver’s license. It is very important to do so in order to avoid penalties placed on you and/or your license.

If you are caught operating an uninsured automobile or if you allow another person to drive your uninsured automobile, your license will be revoked for at least one year. This penalty also applies in the case you are involved in an accident without insurance.

In addition to license suspensions, monetary fines and even jail time are given to those caught driving without insurance. New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 319 states that driving without insurance is a traffic infraction that carries a civil penalty of $150 to $1500 (depending on the severity) and/or jail time of up to 15 days.

If the financial difficulties that could arise from being in an accident without insurance weren’t enough to scare you away from never driving without insurance, these laws should be. Due to the severity of these penalties imposed for driving without insurance, NewYorkMotorInsurance.com strongly recommends that all New York drivers are always properly insured.

To get an auto insurance quote from a licensed New York insurance agent, scroll back up to the top of this page and enter your zip code. After filling out a brief three page form, you will be given affordable insurance quotes that comply with all New York state insurance laws.

Note – We are not in any way contacted with the New York Department Of Insurance. If you are unsure of any law or regulation stated on this page, please contact them.

New York Dept. of Insurance
25 Beaver St.
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 1-212-480-6400
Web Site: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/