New York Car Insurance Requirements
The Empire State is one of 12 states operating under no-fault laws for car insurance. The no-fault model limits personal injury lawsuits and put the onus for protecting drivers on individual insurance companies. As such, rates in New York tend to be slightly higher than average.
Every motorized vehicle in New York State is required to be covered by some sort of insurance. For passenger vehicles that could mean a cheap car insurance policy offering minimum liability coverage or a top-of-the-line product with liability, comprehensive and collision, and any other extras your insurance company offers.
The minimum requirements in New York State are expressed as 25/50/10. However, that three-digit expression is different in New York than in most other states. The numbers represent:
- $25,000 per accident for bodily injury to a single individual; $50,000 per accident is available for multiple victims
- $50,000 per accident for the death of a single individual; $100,000 per accident is available for multiple deaths
- $10,000 per accident to cover property damage
Registering Your Vehicle in New York
In order to register your vehicle in New York State you must present valid proof of insurance by way of a carrier issued insurance ID card. That ID card is the only acceptable proof of insurance in the state. Keep in mind the Department of Motor Vehicles is very fussy about insurance ID cards. For example, the name on the card must match the name on the registration, even if the owner of the car is someone completely different.
New York State has an electronic reporting system in place, making it virtually impossible for you to get away with allowing your insurance to lapse. Your insurance company must notify the state’s database immediately upon the lapse or cancellation of your policy. If that happens, and you have not surrendered your registration plates, you’ll receive a notice in the mail.
Allowing your insurance to lapse will result in a registration suspension until you purchase a new policy. If you purchase new insurance within 90 days you’ll be able to get your registration reinstated after paying the associated penalties. If you fail to get insurance within that 90-day window your registration and license will be suspended indefinitely.
If you’re caught driving without insurance expect a fine of up to $1,500 and a civil penalty of $750 in order to reinstate your registration. The same penalties apply if you allow someone else to drive your vehicle without adequate insurance coverage. If you fail to pay your fines, your license will be suspended until such time as you do.