New York Auto Insurance Basics


New York city is known for its major traffic jams, overflow of cab drivers and a regular influx of visitors and tourists. The suburbs are not quite as congested but they have their share of fender benders. So what do you look for when you are purchasing car insurance? Here are the basics of New York auto insurance.

Besides protecting you and your family in the event of a car accident, auto insurance is purchased to cut your financial liabilities that are a result of someone stealing your car, someone breaking into your car, or anything other than an accident that results in damage to your car.

New York mandates the minimum amount of liability coverage you are required to carry. If you still have financing on your vehicle, your lender will require you to provide proof of insurance coverage. If you do not do this, appropriate coverage will be purchased for you by the lender at their own higher premiums. They are not going to shop for the least expensive coverage for you so make sure you maintain your own coverage even if you are planning on selling your car or you just don’t drive it anymore.

Liability coverage comes in three forms – bodily injury, property damage and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Bodily injury protects your assets if you were the cause of the accident where others were hurt or even killed. Property damage covers replacement or repair of autos that were damaged in the accident. And uninsured motorist covers your costs whether the other person who caused the accident has insurance of not enough insurance.

Unless you have the money to pay for repairs to your vehicle in the event of an accident, you should invest in collision coverage. Even though it is not mandatory it just may save you money in the long run.

Comprehensive coverage will insure your car if it has been damaged by anything other than an accident. Natural disasters such as floods, accidental fires, and any type of vandalism to the vehicle are usually covered by comprehensive insurance.

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, covers medical expenses for you and others injured in the accident if you are at fault. You choose your own levels of coverage ant the rates are based accordingly.

And even though insurance seems to cover everything, the extra costs you might have to still come up with include, deductible amounts, exclusions to your policy, and any costs that exceed the amounts that have been predetermined in your policy.

Read your policy completely and ask your insurance rep to answer your questions and explain anything that you are not sure of. It is better to know upfront exactly what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t. Don’t wait for an accident to find out. It just may be too late.