New York Auto Insurance Quotes and Coverage Guide
New York Motor Vehicle Insurance Questions & AnswersQ: Is auto insurance mandatory?
A: Yes. If you're crazy enough to drive in New York (especially in the Big Apple), you need insurance. And even in the Little Apples, like Albany, Syracuse, and the rest of the state, auto insurance is not just a good idea – it's The Law. So even though you're a busy New Yorker, and there's about a million other things on your mind you consider more important than car insurance (like watching the paint peel on your wall), take the time to educate yourself a little and maybe save yourself some aggravation in the meantime.
You must show a New York Insurance ID Card when you apply for a vehicle registration. The insurance company must also file an electronic notice of insurance coverage with the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify the liability coverage. If a police officer requests your proof of insurance, you must show your Insurance ID Card. Your Insurance ID Card and the electronic notice of insurance coverage together verify your insurance coverage. An Insurance ID Card by itself does not prove liability coverage. The DMV will not accept any insurance ID card issued on January 2, 2002 or later that does not contain a barcode -- and that doesn't mean from the local tavern.
Q: Is New York a "no-fault" state?
A: Yes. New York's no-fault system is intended to lower the cost of auto insurance by taking small claims out of the courts, not to aggravate you, personally. But hey, sometimes it happens. Each insurance company compensates its own policyholders for the cost of minor injuries regardless of who was listening to the Yankees game on the radio, didn't notice their foot was on the gas instead of the brake, and slammed right into the guy selling watches from the trunk of his illegally parked car.
Drivers in the Empire State may sue for severe injuries if the case meets certain conditions. These conditions are known as the tort liability threshold, and in New York, are expressed in verbal terms such as death or significant disfigurement (verbal threshold) and do not include the broken nails you got when your bookie slammed your hand in the car door – even if you did just get them done at Kenneth's.
Q: What type of insurance is required to purchase and maintain a New York tag and registration?
A: Insurance coverage must be a minimum of $25,000/50,000 for injury, $50,000/100,000 for death, and $10,000 for property damage caused by any one accident – because you never know, that guy's watches might be real Rolexes.
Q: I moved to another state, but my vehicle is registered in New York. Do I need to change to out-of-state insurance?
A: No. All vehicles registered in New York must have New York liability coverage. There are no exceptions. If you replace your New York insurance coverage with out-of-state insurance, a lapse in valid insurance coverage occurs. The New York DMV suspends your registration, and the New York DMV can suspend your driver license. The New York DMV must take actions against your New York registration and driver license even if you move outside of New York. This action can affect your ability to hold a valid driver license in your new state. If you register your vehicle in another state, immediately surrender your New York vehicle plates to the New York DMV by mail or someone from the DMV might come and break your fingernails.
Q: What if I fail to keep insurance on my vehicle that I’ve registered in New York?
A: Your insurance company is compelled by law to notify the DMV if you cancel your liability insurance. You are given 10 days from the date of the DMV letter that will be sent to you to prove you do, indeed, have insurance coverage; prove that you sold the vehicle; or show some other proof that insurance coverage was not required in New York (good luck). If you do not have liability insurance, you must surrender your vehicle plates to the New York DMV immediately. Make sure you get a receipt. You must also respond to the letter you receive from the DMV or surrender your license plates to prevent the suspension of your registration and driver license. If your liability insurance is about to lapse, and you do not plan to replace it with other insurance, surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV before your insurance coverage lapses. Or the guy with the watches might still be able to track you down and break your fingernails.
Q: What are some of the conditions that can create a lapse in insurance coverage?
A: Any amount of time that your vehicle is registered but not insured can cause a lapse in your insurance coverage and the suspension of your registration. A lapse in insurance coverage can occur:
-- between the date your insurance is cancelled and the effective date that you begin new insurance, and you do not have other acceptable proof
-- between the date your insurance is cancelled and the date you surrender your license plates or the date your registration expires
-- between the date your insurance is cancelled and the effective date of "other proof" (for example, a vehicle registered in another state, or a vehicle repossessed or impounded)
-- between the date you register your vehicle and the effective date of your new insurance coverage
-- between the date the insurance is cancelled on a registered vehicle and the date a dealer or the DMV issues a registration on the replacement vehicle (transfer of vehicle plates or vehicle registration)
-- between the date the insurance is cancelled and the date the same insurance company reinstates your insurance coverage
If the lapse in the insurance coverage exceeds 90 days, your driver license is also suspended. A long appointment at Kenneth's will not be considered as a valid excuse.
Q: What action does the DMV take if I do not have insurance and I do not surrender my vehicle plates immediately?
A: If you do not have insurance coverage and you do not surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV, start wearing gloves to hide your fingernails and plan on walking because your registration and driver license will be suspended indefinitely. If you had a lapse in your insurance coverage and did not surrender your vehicle plates immediately, your registration is suspended for the same number of days that you did not have insurance coverage, but did hold the vehicle plates. If the time is more than 90 days, your driver license is also suspended for the same number of days as the registration. To reinstate your driver license, you must pay a termination fee of $25 when the suspension ends, but New York will not return your fingernails, even if you say, "Please."