Getting suitable car insurance is a bit more involved than hunting for the lowest premium. Knowing the types of protection available and the insurance requirements for New York State drivers will help you determine the right coverage for your situation. There are five types of auto insurance coverage: liability, collision, comprehensive, medical, and uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Almost every state requires you to carry a specified minimum amount of liability coverage in order to drive legally. Liability coverage pays for the damage caused by you in an accident that was your fault. In other words, it covers bodily injury and property damage of others. It does not cover any damage to your own body or vehicle, but it protects you financially in the event that you cause harm to someone else. Without liability insurance, you would be responsible for paying the entire cost of the accident out of pocket.
Damages to your vehicle resulting from an accident are covered by collision protection, even if you were at fault. As the name implies, collision coverage pays for damage that occurs when you collide with another object. Losses from non-crash incidents, such as theft or weather damage, are not covered by collision insurance. For those events, you'll need comprehensive coverage.
The purpose of comprehensive coverage is to deal with situations that are totally out of your control. It will protect you from damages or losses due to fire, vandalism, theft, hitting an animal, and certain natural disasters. Unfortunately, however, "comprehensive" insurance doesn't cover every possible scenario. For example, most insurers won't pay for damage due to freezing, even though it's weather-related. They don't usually pay for vehicle breakdowns, either.
Comprehensive coverage is optional, except in cases where lenders require it as a condition of financing your vehicle. If you own your vehicle outright, but it's new or expensive, then you may wish to consider investing in such coverage anyway. Just be sure to discuss with your insurance agent or broker what losses are excluded from the policy before making this decision so that you won't receive any unwelcome surprises.
The three types of auto insurance coverage that we've described so far will protect you from experiencing major financial losses due to events that are unpredictable or accidents that are found to be your fault. But what about injuries suffered by you or your passengers in a case where someone else was at fault? If you weren't at fault, then the other driver's liability coverage should pay for your damages, but you can purchase your own medical coverage for additional protection.
Medical coverage is usually optional, but certain no-fault states, including New York, require you to buy a form of it called personal injury protection, or no-fault insurance. It will pay the costs associated with treating your injuries, regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist
Not everyone on the road is a law-abiding citizen. If you happen to get hit and injured by someone who drives without insurance, then you won't be able to collect from a liability policy that doesn't exist. In that situation, uninsured motorist coverage will pay your medical expenses, as well as your lost wages if you're unable to work while healing from your injuries. Many states require uninsured motorist coverage solely for bodily injury and allow the policyholder to decide whether or not to carry property damage protection, so you might consider getting collision coverage for peace of mind.
Those who do follow the law but purchase only just enough insurance to drive legally are nevertheless a potential threat to your wallet. Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when you're hit by someone who has the minimum insurance required by the state, but the damages and expenses are greater than the coverage limits of the at-fault driver's liability policy.
New York State Auto Insurance Minimums
To drive legally in The Empire State, you must have the minimum coverages required by the NYS auto insurance laws. The minimum liability insurance in NY is $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. In addition, you must carry "no-fault" coverage at a minimum of $50,000. Uninsured motorist coverage in NY is mandatory as well, and the minimums are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. For more information about New York State auto insurance, visit the FAQs page at the Department of Financial Services website.
New York State Car Insurance Quotes
The cost of car insurance in New York varies from one insurer to the next and depends on a lot of factors, including where in the state your vehicle is kept. Not surprisingly, areas with the highest populations have the highest rates due to the greater probability of accidents occurring. Other factors that affect your premium include but are not limited to:
- The level(s) of coverage and any additional coverages you select
- The age, condition, and industry safety record of your vehicle
- Age, gender, and safety record of all covered drivers
- Your driving habits (your estimated annual mileage and whether the vehicle is used for work or recreation)
- Your driving record, personal safety record, claims history, and reported accidents
- Your credit score
At Bryant Asset Protection, we appreciate that you have several choices when it comes to choosing an auto insurance company. Not all carriers are created equal, though. The lowest premiums may be tempting, but they tend to come with subpar service. We take pride in representing only companies that provide their clients with superior service and protection levels. Bryant Asset Protection staff are trained specialists who provide independent advice to current and prospective clients with regard to insurance coverage and billing. We're always available to offer advice and assistance with claims, changes to your policy, and other value-added services.
Bryant Asset Protection offers New York State car insurance for residents of Albany, Delmar, Troy, Saratoga Springs, and the rest of the Capital Region. We invite you to send us an email or call us at either (518) 439-1141 or 1-800-439-6051 for a free, no-obligation auto insurance quote.