Auto Liability Insurance In New York

Last Updated on December 26, 2020

If you are going to drive a vehicle in New York State, you must carry auto liability insurance. In fact, all vehicles that are registered in the Empire State have to be covered by this type of insurance. The New York Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law requires it. In other words, liability insurance is a legal requirement and if you are caught driving a vehicle without this type of insurance you will face stiff fines, could lose your license and registration, and may even have to serve jail time.

What is Auto Liability Insurance?

liability coverage new yorkLiability insurance is a form of car insurance that covers the cost of damages that occur when the driver of a vehicle causes an accident. There are two components of auto liability insurance that drivers are legally required to have in the New York State:

The bodily injury component of liability insurance will help to cover the cost of any injuries that a third party sustains as a result of an accident that a driver causes. This includes transport via an ambulance as well as any medical care that is required.

The property damage component of auto liability insurance will help to cover the cost of damages that are done to someone else’s property in the event that the driver of the insured vehicle causes an accident. Property can include someone else’s vehicle or a building, for example.

What does Auto Liability Insurance Cover?

The bodily injury component of this type of insurance will cover injuries or fatalities that a third party experiences in an accident, including:

The property damage component of auto liability insurance will cover damages to a third party’s property as a result of an accident that you caused. Property can include:

  • A vehicle
  • A building
  • A mailbox
  • A fence

What Auto Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Auto liability insurance will only cover the injuries or damaged property of a third party. For example, if a passenger is injured in an accident or another driver’s car is damaged in an accident, liability insurance will assist with any medical needs or repairs. However, it will not cover the injuries that the insured driver sustains. It also will not cover the property damage of the insured driver, such as his car.

Auto Liability Coverage Requirements in New York State

All vehicles that are registered in the New York State must carry auto liability insurance that offers a minimum of 25/50/10 coverage. These numbers indicate the amount of coverage that is required for bodily injury for a single person, bodily injuries for multiple people, and property damage.

In other words, the minimum requirements for auto liability insurance coverage are as follows:

  • $25,000 to cover the cost of injuries that a single person sustains in the event of a car accident.
  • $50,000 to cover the injuries that two or more people sustain in a car accident
  • $10,000 to cover any property that is damaged in a car accident

Coverage Limits for Auto Liability Insurance

The amount that an insurance provider will pay out for a claim that is covered by an auto liability insurance policy is subject to coverage limits. As mentioned, in New York State, the minimum coverage limits are 25/50/10. Your insurance agency will only cover the maximum amount for your coverage limits.

In other words, if you have the minimum limit of $25,000 in coverage for bodily injuries for one person, your provider will only cover up to $25,000 in medical care. Similarly, if you only have the $10,000 minimum requirement for property damage, your insurance provider will only pay up to $10,000 worth of repairs. Any amounts that exceed the limits established in an auto liability insurance policy are the driver’s responsibility to pay.

Drivers do have the option to purchase additional coverage above the minimum limits. For instance, if you would prefer, you can purchase $20,000 for bodily injury for a single person, $100,000 for the bodily injuries of two or more people, and $20,000 for property damage repairs.

Of course, purchasing additional coverage beyond the required limits will increase the cost of the insurance; however, it might be worth your while to invest in more coverage. Why? – Because the damages and medical care that are often associated with motor vehicle accidents can add up quickly. The limits can be met rather quickly, and once they are, you will be responsible for paying for any additional medical care or repairs that are required. Getting more coverage and paying more for your auto liability coverage could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

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  1. Leif Easterson says:

    When did the minimum 25/50/10 get established.

    1. New York Motor Insurance says:

      Hi Leif,
      New York established the compulsory insurance requirement law in 1956 and the current no fault system has been in place in New York since 1977. Each state has slightly different requirements for minimum insurance, and not all states operate on a no-fault system like New York does. There are even some states that don’t have the compulsory insurance requirement law in effect. Insurance is handled at the state level, which is why there are so many different laws and regulations with each state.