What Happens if You Get into an Accident without Insurance in NY?

Last Updated on November 19, 2020

In the state of New York, it is against the law to not have auto insurance while you are driving on the road. Whether you agree with this kind of law does not really matter at the end of the day because you will still be charged with a crime if you are pulled over and you cannot show proof of insurance. If you are unlucky enough to get into a car accident while you are not insured, then you could be facing a variety of different issues on top of having to pay for the damages to the other person’s car and body. Let’s take a look at the details at what would really happen if you got into an accident without auto insurance in New York.

accident without insurance

Find out what will happen if you get into an accident without insurance in New York State.

A No-Fault State

New York is considered a “no-fault” state, which means everyone’s own insurance pays for the damages in an accident no matter who is at fault. This puts you in a pretty rough spot if you are actually driving down the road without insurance. In a situation where someone slams into you and it is actually their fault, they would actually turn out better than you at the end of the day. Since New York is a “no-fault” state, their insurance would cover their own damages, while you would be left out in the cold. In this kind of situation, you could probably make a moral argument for the person at fault to pay for your car’s damages. Having said that, the law is more important than morality in the real world. It’s important to remember that you also need to worry about other people’s ability to drive when you are going down the road without insurance in New York.

What Happens to You?

Whether an accident was your fault or not, you can reasonably expect to lose your license for up to a year if you are caught in an accident without insurance. Driving without insurance is illegal in most states, and New York is one of the states that fall under that illegal umbrella. You could be facing jail time and fines depending on who was at fault in the accident and how serious the damages turn out to be. You are issued a sticker to put on your car when you get auto insurance in New York, so it is pretty easy to spot an uninsured driver without much extra work. You are actually supposed to surrender your license plates and registration if you allow your auto insurance coverage to expire.

Fines or Jail Time

Driving without insurance is taken very seriously in New York, which means you could even end up in jail if you are caught without it. According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 319, you could be hit with a civil penalty of up to $1500 if you were caught driving without insurance. On top of that fine, you can also be hit with 15 days of jail time. These are the problems that you would face if you were simply caught without insurance and haven’t even been in an accident.

It’s Not Worth the Risk

You can hope and pray that you will never get into a serious auto accident while you are in New York, but the reality is that even the safest drivers sometimes find themselves in serious accidents. If you get into an accident and your car is completely totaled, then you will be left without a car and no money to pay for a new one. Remember, this will happen even if you are not the driver who is at fault for the accident. Since everyone’s insurance is supposed to pay for their own damages, you will be left with no legal authority in having someone else pay for your new car if someone else slams into you. At the end of the day, it would be incredibly idiotic to skip out on getting insurance in New York. If you cannot afford insurance right now, then you shouldn’t be driving your car. The risks involved with driving uninsured in the state of New York are simply not worth it.

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  1. Ajay Mangat says:

    Hi my name ajay im currently a nyc teenage driver I have a class dj drivers license, I past my road test etc so when I turn 18 it will fully change to a class d. I want to use my parents car to do errands and to go to school but there afraid of an accident going to happen, I cant say im a good driver because theres no good driver in the world but ive been driving for a year with no accidents, I really need the car and my birthday is in 11 months any advice? my parents arw going to put me on insurance when I turn 18 , but I cant wait, any comments on how I can toggle this problem I cant help.

    1. New York Motor Insurance says:

      Hi Ajay,
      It really depends on your parents and on your insurance company. You’ll need to get your parents’ permission to drive the car, and you’ll want to ask if they can just put you on their insurance policy already since you’ve been a good driver and need to be covered. If they will do both, that’s the best scenario. If they will only let you drive the car but won’t list you as a driver, then it really depends on the insurance company you are with. Some companies won’t want to cover you if you live there and you’re not a driver, while others are more lenient.

  2. OSMAN LOPEZ says:

    I was hit driving out of the mall when a vehicle hit me coming out of the parking lot & my insurance had elapsed at midnight from the grace period. I’m in Bronx ny

  3. Brie says:

    I got in accident on Christmas eve and the police said the person who hit me had insurance when he looked out up. Got a call from the persons insurance company saying she didn’t have insurance since December 7 and was not covered at the time of the accident. What’s happens to the person in this case? How does this effect me and future car insurance companies?