Comprehensive Auto Insurance in New York State
In the State of New York, drivers are legally required to carry liability insurance on their vehicles. This type of insurance protects you, your passengers, and others on the road from the damages that can occur in an accident, preventing you or someone else from having to pay for things like medical care and property damage.
While liability insurance is a requirement, there are several other types of auto insurance that you can carry in New York, and these types of insurance are considered optional. One type of optional coverage is comprehensive.
What is Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage helps to pay for the damages that occur to your vehicle in the event that it is damaged or totaled in an incident that is not a considered a collision. In other words, this type of insurance protects you from damages that are considered “acts of God”, such as a tree branch falling on top of your car while it is parked on the street, or large hail stones. Since you cannot control events that are considered “acts of God” and cannot predict when and where they will occur, these types of accidents and the damages that they cause would be covered by a comprehensive insurance policy.
What does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?
As mentioned, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of any damages that occur as a result of an accident that does not occur while you are driving your vehicle. Some examples of accidents that comprehensive insurance would cover include:
- Any natural disaster, such as heavy rain storm, a hail storm, a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, or a mudslide
- Civil unrest
- Impacts with animals, such as a deer (however, an accident that occurs because you swerved to avoid hitting an animal usually isn’t covered by comprehensive insurance.)
- Falling objects, such as trees, branches, or scaffolding
- Acts of terrorism
- Cracked, broken, or shattered windows
How Comprehensive and Collision Insurance Differ
While both comprehensive insurance and collision insurance both help to cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, these two types of policies differ.
With collision insurance, only damages that occur as a result of driving your car into something else – another vehicle, a lamp post, a street sign, or a tree – are covered; this type of insurance will not pay for damages that occur when you are not driving your car. Furthermore, it will not pay for damages that are associated with driving your vehicle into an animal, such as a deer.
Comprehensive insurance covers the damages that are related to accidents that are beyond your control and usually when you aren’t driving your vehicle. For example, if a hurricane were to flood your car or if a deer suddenly jumped out in front of you while you were driving and damaged your vehicle, your comprehensive insurance would help to cover the cost of repairs or to replace your car.
Since these types of insurance cover different events, you might want to consider carrying both.
Is Comprehensive Insurance Required in New York?
As mentioned, comprehensive insurance is not a requirement in the State of New York. However, if you took out a loan to cover the cost of your vehicle or if you are leasing it, your lender may require you to purchase a comprehensive insurance policy. This type of policy will help to protect the lender from any damages that might occur if your vehicle is damaged in an accident that is considered an “act of God”.
Comprehensive Insurance Deductibles
Just like any other type of insurance, comprehensive insurance has deductibles. In other words, you will be required to pay a certain amount before your insurance carrier will cover any damages to your vehicle.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000, you would have to pay $1,000 toward damages before your insurance provider would kick in and offer any coverage. Then, your insurance company will only cover the cost of damages that go up to your limit. In other words, if your policy has a limit of $20,000, your insurance provider will only cover up to $20,000 in damages, less deductibles. Typically, the limit of your comprehensive coverage will be equivalent to the amount that your vehicle is worth.
Why Purchase Comprehensive Coverage in New York?
Though it isn’t required, comprehensive insurance can be a very wise investment. Weather-related events, such as blizzards and hurricanes, are not uncommon in New York. Furthermore, deer and other types of wild animals are often a problem that motorists encounter.
Having comprehensive insurance can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have the financial protection you need should your vehicle be damaged or totaled as a result of an accident that was out of your control.