According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers in New York must have state-issued automobile liability insurance coverage. If they do not maintain this coverage, then the DMV can suspend their license and vehicle registration.
Basic Auto Insurance
According to the New York Department of Financial Services, the minimum car insurance coverage you need to have is:
- $10,000 for property damage in the case of a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a single person in a crash
- $50,000 for bodily injury and at least $100,000 in death coverage for crashes involving two or more people
All insurance policies in the state must include uninsured motorist coverage. The state does not require you to carry SUM insurance, also known as Supplementary Insured/Underinsured Motorists) coverage, but it is normally offered by insurance carriers. If an insurer does offer SUM insurance, then it will be at a limit of $250,000 per person per accident and $500,000 per accident.
Required Insurance Documents
You should carry your insurance card with you at all times, so that you can prove that you are insured if you’re involved in a collision. Your insurance card should:
- Have the same name on the card as the name on the vehicle registration application
- Be for an in-state insurer, because if the vehicle is registered in New York, then New York State auto liability coverage is required
- Be legible. Copies are accepted by the Department of Motor Vehicles as long as the barcode is able to be scanned.
Your Insurance Card
You should have your insurance card ready in digital or printed form in various situations. Some may include:
- If you are stopped by a police officer for traffic violations
- If you get into a crash with another driver
- If you are reapplying for your license
- When your vehicle is being inspected
If you do not have your card on you when it’s requested, you could face fines or other penalties. If you do not carry insurance, you could also face penalties like the loss of your license or heavy fines.
Insurance fraud in New York can be anything from a misdemeanor to a felony. A basic commission of a fraudulent insurance act is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties are as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines
- Class B Felony: A maximum of 25 years in prison, with a minimum of one year
- Class C Felony: Up to 15 years in prison with a one-year minimum
- Class D Felony: Up to seven years in prison with a one-year minimum
- Class E Felony: Up to four years in prison with a year minimum sentence
How to Report Fraud to the State
Car insurance fraud is serious. It costs people in New York millions annually. If you would like to report insurance fraud or believe that fraud may be taking place, call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-TEL-NICB. You can also write to the Insurance Fraud Bureau at:
New York State Insurance Department
25 Beaver Street
New York, New York 10004
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