Nobody enjoys paying their auto insurance bills. However, in New York state, where the roads are frequently congested and the weather is unpredictable, paying for auto insurance is a prudent investment. It’s also a legal necessity, with consequences for New York drivers who don’t have the bare minimum coverage.
New York State Law Requires Auto Insurance
For registration of your car in New York, you must have automotive liability insurance issued by the state of New York. Failing to do so could result in both your car’s registration and your New York driver’s license being suspended. You’ll require at least the following amount of liability insurance:
- For a single accident, $10,000 in property damage
- A person engaged in an accident is entitled to $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death.
- $50,000 for physical harm and $100,000 for death in an accident involving two or more people.
Even if you aren’t driving the vehicle, you must maintain this coverage while your registration is active. (There is an exception for motorcycles; you can cancel your insurance without fear of suspension if you store your vehicle for the winter, but you’ll need to reactivate it before you can legally ride your motorcycle on public roads.) You must have New York State coverage for a New York-registered vehicle. In addition, your insurance must be issued in the name of the vehicle registrant and must stay in the name of the vehicle registrant.
Insurance proof from New York
Since the DMV requires that you have a particular level of vehicle insurance, you’ll have to show documentation that your vehicle is covered. There are two options for accomplishing this. To begin, your insurance company will provide you with two genuine New York State Insurance Identification cards when you acquire insurance. In addition, your insurance company will send electronic notice of insurance coverage to the DMV. The DMV requires both an electronic notice and an insurance card. Take one of your Insurance Identity cards with you when you register your vehicle; the DMV will retain this card on file.
Your other NYS Insurance ID card, as well as your registration slip, should be kept in your vehicle. If a police officer stops you for a traffic violation, they may ask you to show it to them. You should also have your insurance information on hand if you are one of the causes of traffic collisions.
Discounts and Costs of Insurance
You’ll want to think about several coverage options, from theft to weather damage. Insurance premiums can add up quickly, but keeping them in check isn’t tricky. First and foremost, do not purchase any tickets! DMV reports are sent to insurance companies, and if you’re convicted of a moving infraction, you should expect your premiums to rise. Second, drive cautiously. If you cause an accident and are found to be at blame, your insurance rates may increase.
New York State requires drivers to complete a state-approved Defensive Driving course in order to receive a mandated insurance reduction. If you finish this course, you will be eligible for a 10% discount on your auto insurance. If you have points on your driving history of New York, you may be able to remove up to four of them by taking the course, which may help prevent your insurance premiums from rising.