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Auto Insurance: What Am I Required to Carry in New York?

In the state of New York, in order to register your car and obtain license plates, motorists are required to carry liability insurance, no-fault coverage, and uninsured motorist coverages. So what exactly are these types of coverage?

Liability Coverage: 25/50/10
Liability insurance protects you (the driver) against the harm your car, or any car you drive with the owner's permission, might do to other people and their property.

Liability insurance coverage protects you and anyone you allow to drive your vehicle if a claim is made against you by another person (third party), alleging that you were negligent or otherwise at fault for an auto accident. Simply put, liability coverage will make payments on your behalf to an individual, if your car is involved in an accident that results in serious injury to that individual or damages their property.

New York State law mandates a minimum limit of third-party bodily injury liability coverage that drivers must carry. The minimum requirements are as follows:

- $25,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death), or $50,000 for any injury resulting in death, sustained by any one person in any one accident

- $50,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death) sustained by two or more persons in any one accident, or $100,000 for any injuries resulting in death sustained by two or more individuals in a single accident

- $10,000 per accident for property damage protection (for example, damage to another's car or property)

Taken as a whole, these minimum liability coverage requirements are often referred to as 25/50/10 coverage, in reference to the minimum amount required by each category of injury.

No-Fault Coverage
No-fault coverage, also referred to as personal injury protection, is generally used to cover medical fees, lost earnings, and other expenses that a driver, passenger, or pedestrian injured by your vehicle may incur.

New York State law requires that all drivers carry $50,000 minimum in no-fault insurance coverage. Furthermore, New York's no-fault laws prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle without insurance or even allowing another individual to drive their vehicle without insurance. Penalties for doing so can include license suspension, loss of vehicle registration, fines, and/or tickets.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Protect Yourself!
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are involved in an accident with an individual who lacks adequate insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover damages resulting from an accident with an individual who lacks sufficient or no coverage at all. By not having uninsured motorist coverage, drivers risk having to pay for damages out of pocket, should such an accident occur.

Uninsured motorist coverage is required by law in the state of New York in the amount of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.

Get Insured! It's the Law!
As previously mentioned, automobile insurance is required by law in the state of New York. If you are caught operating an uninsured automobile or if you allow another person to drive your uninsured automobile, your license will be revoked for at least one year. This penalty also applies in the event you are involved in an accident without insurance. Furthermore, violations of this law can result in stiff monetary fines and, in some cases, incarceration.

For more information about New York auto insurance requirements and certified state insurance dealers, visit the New York State Department of Financial Services website at Additionally, if you or a loved one have been injured as the result of an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Securing representation can result in, among other things, damages covering medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and future lost earnings. 

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