Auto Insurance Information
Auto Insurance - including Poughquag, Lagrangeville, Hopewell Junction and Dutchess County NY
What is Auto Insurance?
Auto insurance provides financial protection against physical damage and/or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise therefrom. Auto insurance may also offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle and damage to the vehicle, sustained from things other than traffic collisions.
New York Auto Insurance Requirements
New York state law requires that anyone who operates or owns a motor vehicle to be financially responsible before they hit the road or even register their vehicles. Your responsibility is considered fulfilled if you have a liability auto insurance policy with no-fault insurance. When you register your car with the New York DMV, you will need to present a valid NYS insurance ID card sent to you by your insurance company or agent.
New York Minimum Required Coverage
The easiest and most recommended way to satisfy the New York law is by purchasing a car insurance policy. As long as you buy a policy with the required minimum limits, you will be able to drive with some protection. The lower the limits, the lower your auto insurance rates, and the greater your potential exposure in the event of an accident. The minimum required coverage includes:
Bodily Injury (BI) liability: a coverage that pays people you injure in an accident up to $25,000 per person, for a max of $50,000 for the injuries of two persons or more in a crash. For accidents that cause someone’s death, a minimum policy in New York will cover up to $50,000 per deceased to a total of $100,000 for two or more persons’ death in a given accident. Even though 25/50 is all you need to legally drive, insurers say that 100/300 are the limits that most New York drivers get.
Property Damage (PD) liability: this coverage pays for the property damage you cause in an accident you are at fault for, up to $10,000 per crash. Higher limits are available for PD as well, and vary by insurer.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): also known as no-fault insurance, this coverage helps pay for medical bills arising from your injuries in a car accident. It doesn't matter who is at fault. Your insurer will still pay you out so long as they're reasonable and medically necessary. All NY licensed auto insurers will offer basic PIP with a $50,000 limit per accident, which covers necessary medical expenses such as hospital, psychiatric, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and long term professional health services if your injuries require so.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): this type covers similar grounds as BI does, except it is for your injuries if you were in an accident caused by a driver who does not have enough BI coverage to pay out to you. If an uninsured driver crashed into your car, your own insurer would pay the medical expenses for you and your passengers up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 in total if there are two or more persons. A hit-and-run accident that is caused by an unidentifiable motorist also falls under this coverage.
Apart from purchasing the minimum coverage at higher limits, you can also increase your protection by buying extra coverage.
Additional PIP: This adds to the $50,000 limit of your basic PIP. Additional PIP will increase your basic PIP coverage limit by either $50,000 or $100,000 per accident, depending on the limit you choose to purchase.
Collision: this coverage pays for damages resulting from collisions with another car or object.
Comprehensive: this coverage provides coverage for accident other than collisions with a car or object. This can include damage or loss from theft, fire, weather, or other such occurrences.
Medical Payments: this coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL): this coverage adds another $50,000 to your basic PIP limit (and also the additional PIP, if you have it). Economic loss refers to monetary expenses, such as the medical bills from treatments, ambulances, and hospitals, that you may need for injuries sustained in an accident.
Supplementary UMBI: this coverage provides extra UMBI protection on top of the mandatory 25/50 minimum through higher coverage limits. It also extends to any accidents you get into out of state involving an uninsured motorist. Higher limits are typically available up to at least 250/500; some insurers may offer more. Your Supplementary UMBI coverage limits may never be higher than your BI limits.
New York requires you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, your lender may require you to have comprehensive and collision coverage.
Why Do You Need Auto Insurance?
In addition to it being required by New York State law, it is really all about protecting yourself financially.
- If you're in an accident or your car is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If you or your car is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
- Not only is having insurance a prudent financial decision, New York requires you to have at least the minimum coverage.
How Much Auto Insurance Do I Need?
Although New York state only requires the minimum amount of liability as specified above, we seldom recommend the minimum requirement. In today's world of expensive vehicles, high medical bills and other's tendency to file a lawsuit, the minimum requirements are not adequate enough to provide you with the protection you need. If you have any assets (your home, investments, retirement accounts, etc), you are leaving these up for grabs.
Once the liability limit is gone in an accident, you are stuck paying the rest out of your own pocket. That is why you buy auto insurance in the first place. To prevent this from happening.
There are too many risks to go without top quality auto insurance. It is not only illegal to be uninsured in New York, but the costs of lawsuits and medical care could be financially devastating. When you need auto insurance, Pepe Insurance Agency makes it certain that you are getting the best possible deal along with the best possible protection.
Our process has always been the same: We listen to your needs and work with you to create a plan that protects what is most important to you.
Bottom Line: Pepe Insurance Agency is here to help you understand your auto insurance policy, help you choose the best coverages that fit your needs and work within your budget. Give us a call or request an auto quote today!
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