Auto Insurance Basics:
There are several basic parts that make up an auto insurance policy, which we will break down below. Some of these are required by state law, while others are optional. Most NY auto insurance policies renew either on a 6 month or an annual basis. Have a general question about auto insurance? Give us a call or ask one of our in-house specialists via email.
Bodily Injury Liability:
This coverage is for any injury sustained by another party resulting from an accident involving your vehicle. So if you cause an accident which injures a third party – this is what would pay for any claims or lawsuits they might file against you. New York State law requires that all policies carry a minimum of $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident.
Covers any damage you may cause to another person’s property. Typically this could include someone’s vehicle, a mailbox, fencing, a building, a guardrail, telephone pole, etc. The minimum coverage required by New York State is $10,000. We always recommend a higher limit because $10,000 is not sufficient to cover heavy damage to a newer vehicle. If you have $10,000 in coverage, and total someone’s $70,000 Mercedes – you can be held personally liable for the $60,000 portion which was not covered.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
Personal Injury Protection or PIP is sometimes called “no-fault” insurance. It covers medical expenses related to an accident for you or any passengers in your vehicle. It is paid regardless of who is at fault in an accident. This is also a mandatory coverage in New York and all policies carry at least a basic limit of $50,000. This coverage also includes benefits for household expenses ($25/day), 80% of lost wages (up to a maximum of $2,000/month), and a $2,000 death benefit. Higher limits are available for an additional fee.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
This coverage protects you in the event that you are hit by someone who does not have insurance, a hit-and-run driver, or a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the damages they caused you. This is also a mandatory coverage in NY and all policies must contain limits of at least $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. These limits cannot be greater than the limit you carry on your Bodily Injury coverage.
Similar to Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payment coverage (often called Medpay) is designed to cover medical expenses for you and your passengers. Medical Payment coverage kicks in if your PIP coverage is exhausted, or in rare situations when your PIP coverage is denied.
This covers physical damage to your vehicle for things not related to an accident, such as: fire, theft, vandalism, collision with an animal, weather, falling objects, etc. Typically you would select a deductible for this coverage which is the amount you would pay toward a loss resulting from any covered damage. Generally choosing a higher deductible will result in a lower premium for this coverage, and vice-versa. This coverage is often required for vehicles that are leased or financed.
Collision covers damage to your vehicle caused by striking another vehicle, a stationary object, or a rollover. Similar to Comprehensive coverage, a deductible applies when you use your Collision coverage (regardless of fault). This coverage is also required if your vehicle is leased or financed.