New York State Car Insurance Requirements
No one really wants to pay their car insurance bills. But in a state like New York – with its often busy roads and weather, both of which make accidents an inevitability – paying for insurance is a wise investment. And it’s also a legal requirement, with repercussions for those New York drivers who don’t carry the minimum amount of coverage.
Mandated New York Auto Insurance Coverage
To register your car in New York, you must carry New York State issued automobile liability insurance. Failure to do so may result in suspension of both your car’s registration and your New York drivers license. The minimum amount of liability coverage you’ll need:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
This coverage must remain in effect while your registration is valid, even if you’re not using the vehicle. (There is an exception for motorcycles; when you store your bike for the winter, you can terminate your insurance without having to worry about suspension. But you’ll need to reactivate that insurance before you can legally ride your motorcycle on public roads.) You must carry New York State coverage for a New York-registered vehicle. And your insurance must be issued in the name of the vehicle registrant and remain in the registrant’s name.
Proof of New York Insurance
Since the DMV requires you to have a certain amount of vehicle insurance, you’ll need to provide proof that your vehicle is actually insured. There’s two ways to do this. First, when you purchase insurance, your insurance company will give you two original New York State Insurance Identification cards. Your insurance company will also send the DMV an electronic notice of insurance coverage. The DMV requires both the electronic notice and an insurance card. When you go to register your vehicle, you’ll need to bring one of your Insurance Identification cards with you – the DMV will keep this card on file.
You’ll want to keep your other NYS Insurance ID card in your vehicle, along with your registration slip. You may be required to show it if you are stopped by a police officer for a traffic infraction. You’ll also want to have your insurance information handy if you are involved in a traffic accident.
Insurance Costs and Discounts
There’s a variety of coverage that you’ll want to consider, from theft to weather damage. Insurance costs can add up, but keeping them reasonable isn’t terribly difficult. First – don’t get any tickets! Insurance companies receive DMV reports and if you’re convicted of a moving violation, you can count on your rates increasing. Second – drive safely. If you’re involved in an accident, and you’re at fault, your insurance rates can skyrocket.
New York State offers a mandatory insurance discount for drivers who voluntarily take a state-approved Defensive Driving course. Completing this course earns you a 10% discount on your auto insurance. If you currently have points on your New York driving record, you may be able to reduce up to 4 of those points by taking the course – this may also keep your insurance rates from going up as well.