In New York, all drivers are required to purchase several types of car insurance. Luckily, if you take a driver safety class, you can get a discount on your car insurance. This article contains more information about New York car insurance law, requirements, programs, discounts and rates.

Car Insurance Requirements

In New York, you must purchase the following car insurances for your registered vehicles:

  • Liability car insurance
  • No-fault auto insurance
  • Uninsured motorist insurance.

Liability Insurance

Liability car insurance will help you cover the cost of property damages and injuries resulting from an accident that you cause. This policy does not cover your own personal costs. The following are minimums limits of liability insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for injuries to one person
  • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people
  • $50,000 for death to one person
  • $100,000 for death to multiple people
  • $10,000 for property damage.

No-Fault Insurance

New York also requires you to purchase no-fault or PIP insurance to help you cover your own medical expenses regardless of who was at fault after an accident. This policy has a limit of $50,000 per person to cover the following:

  • Your medical expenses resulting from accidents
  • 80% of lost income due to injuries suffered after an accident. The required limit is $2,000 per month for up to 3 years
  • A $2,000 death benefit plus $50,000 limit
  • Up to $25 of daily expenses for up to 1 year.

PIP policy will cover your medical costs before your health insurance. If your medical costs exceed your PIP coverage limit, your health insurance will come into effect.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage

Your New York car insurance policy must also include uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance policy will cover the cost of injuries that are brought by uninsured drivers. This insurance policy will not cover property damage. The following is the minimum limit for uninsured coverage:

  • $25,000 for injuries to one person
  • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people.

Proof of Insurance

When registering your car, you must show proof of insurance. Proof of insurance can be an insurance ID card issued by your car insurance when you purchase their coverage. This card must be issued to the DMV and a copy kept in your car all the time. Your car insurance provider must notify the DMV when you purchase required minimum car insurance from them. The DMV will then verify the status of your car insurance electronically with your card. You must also show proof of insurance when you are pulled over by a police officer.

Optional Car Insurance

You have the option of purchasing additional insurance coverages. These coverages are optional and they may include:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical and funeral services
  • Towing and labor.

NOTE: New York car insurance laws do not require both collision and comprehensive coverages. However, these two insurance policies may be required by your lender if you are financing your car through a loan.

Violation Fines and Penalties

If fail to purchase car insurance, you must surrender your car’s license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicle immediately. If you fail to do so, your driver’s license and car registration will be suspended indefinitely. If your car insurance lapses, you must renew it or surrender your plates to avoid your driver’s license or car registration suspension. To reinstate your suspended driver’s license or vehicle registration, you must pay $100 fee.

Avoiding Suspensions

The easiest way to avoid car registration or drivers license suspension is by surrendering your license plates to the DMV. However, for car insurance lapse that lasts less than 90 days, you will have the option of paying a fine instead of plates surrendering. The cost of fine depends on the length of car insurance lapse as shown below:

  • $8 per day for the first 30 days
  • $10 per day for a period of 31 to 60 days
  • $12 per day for a period of 61 to 90 days.

New York Automobile Insurance Plan

If you are considered a high risk driver, you may find it hard to get a company to insure your car. But good news is; you can insure your car through New York Automobile Insurance Plan. These association share the risk associated with damages and injuries caused by high risk drivers. Car insurance through the plan is more expensive than that offered by open market insurance companies. Through this plan, you will be assigned a car insurance company to insure your car with the required car insurance. A car insurance company assigned to you through this plan must offer coverage for a minimum of 3 years.

NY Car Insurance Fraud

Many car insurance companies in New York lose a significant amount of money through fraud. The burden caused by these frauds trickle down to consumers. This leads to increased car insurance premiums. Some of the car insurance frauds include:

  • Staging car accidents
  • Lying about property damage
  • Lying about injuries
  • Overcharging medical costs by medical care professionals.

Reporting Car Insurance Fraud

You can help reduce the cost of New York car insurance by reporting any suspected car insurance fraud. You can report tips by:

  • Calling (800) 342-3736
  • Faxing a tip to (212) 709-3555
  • Mailing a complete copy of a Suspected Fraud Report to: New York State Department of Financial Services Insurance Frauds Bureau One State Street New York, NY 10004

New York Car Insurance Discounts

You will be offered a discount on your car insurance if your car has:

  • Automatic seat belts or air bags
  • Factory-installed daytime running lamps (DRL)
  • A factory-installed anti-lock braking system (ABS).

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program

If you are a resident of New York, you can receive up to 10% discount in your collision and car liability insurance premiums if you take an accident prevention course through Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP). These Department of Motor Vehicle approved courses are meant to provide a review of traffic laws and safe driving. These courses are privately run and can be taken online or in a classroom. They can last up to 320 minutes. By taking a DMV course, you can not only qualify for a cheaper insurance premium, but also reduce the points that you may have earned on your driver’s license as a result of accidents.

Most Stolen Cars in New York

If your car is always a candidate for theft, you are more likely to pay higher car insurance rates. This is the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in New York according to www.nicb.org:

  1. Honda Accord and Honda Civic
  2. Dodge Caravan
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Nissan Maxima
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Ford Econoline E350
  7. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  8. Toyota Corolla
  9. Ford Econoline E250.