Q: What insurance coverages are drivers required to have?

A: In New York State, insurance coverages of $10,000 is required for property damages for a single accident; $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident; For two or more people involved in an accident: $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death. Often drivers carry more than the minimum coverage and can also carry an umbrella policy which is an insurance policy that provides coverage over and above what is provided in a driver’s automobile policy.

From the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:

Do I need insurance? Yes. To register a vehicle in New York State you must have New York State issued automobile liability insurance coverage.  If you do not maintain the coverage, the DMV can suspend your vehicle registration and your driver license.

What kind of insurance do I need? New York law requires that you have auto liability insurance coverage. The minimum amount of liability coverage is

  • $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

Your liability insurance coverage must:

  • remain in effect while the registration is valid, even if you don’t use the vehicle (there are exceptions for motorcycles 1)
  • be New York State insurance coverage, issued by a company licensed by the NYS Department of Financial Services and certified by NYS DMV – out-of-state insurance is never acceptable
  • be issued in the name of the vehicle registrant, and remain in the name of the registrant at all times 2

More information on required insurance coverages

The New York State Department of Financial Services website has more information about insurance coverages, liability insurance and insurance companies licensed in New York: http://www.dfs.ny.gov.

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