The state of New York is home to the world’s greatest city. But if you’re ever feeling cramped there’s plenty of room to stretch out—most of the state is farmland, meadows, mountains, rivers, and lakes. But whether you’re taking a trip to Niagara Falls or just heading upstate to enjoy the countryside, you don’t want to set out without car insurance.

Of course, if you live in the City, on average you’ll pay significantly more in car insurance premiums than the rest of the nation. All the traffic, bad weather, and terrible road conditions means there’s a lot of claims in the city, and car insurance companies set their rates to reflect their risk of loss.

But savvy shopping can help you can find savings. If you want to find the cheapest car insurance in New York, you can compare quotes from multiple insurance companies online. Let OnlineAutoInsurance.com help you find the right carrier. All you have to do is answer a few basic questions, and you can compare premiums from multiple car insurance companies that operate in your area with no obligation to buy.

But before you start shopping for a car insurance policy, you need to understand the minimum requirements and decide whether or not that will be enough to protect you and your assets if you’re ever in a car accident. What’s minimum coverage, and what are some other options to consider?

New York Car Insurance Laws

The state of New York requires vehicles to have certain auto insurance coverage before they can be registered and license plates can be issued, and insurers are required to report the status of all policies as a way to track down uninsured vehicles. New York car insurance laws require the following coverage as a minimum:

Liability Coverage

  • $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person, or $50,000 for any death, as a result of an injury sustained in an at-fault accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury coverage for multiple people, or $100,000 total coverage as a result of multiple deaths
  • $10,000 coverage for damage to any vehicle or structures you’re liable for in an at-fault accident.

Because of New York’s no-fault laws, each driver’s own Personal Injury Protection benefits will cover the costs of medical expenses, as well as reasonable related costs due to your injuries, such as lost wages or rehabilitation therapy.

Your Bodily Injury policy will only pay if the other party sues you for damages that exceed their benefits, or for certain qualifying injuries. It will also help you pay an attorney to represent you and legal fees. The no-fault law doesn’t apply to property damage, and there is no restriction on property damages you can be sued for.

No-Fault Benefits/Personal Injury Protection-(PIP)

Your PIP coverage protects you and your passengers from bodily injury as a result of an accident occurring in New York state. It will also cover pedestrians injured by your vehicle. This coverage was designed to speed up the claims process so people injured in car accidents can recover as quickly as possible, without the stress of waiting for insurance claims to come through. The policy will pay medical bills and lost wages, as well as related expenses, like in-home care, that you incur due to injury in a car accident.

  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person in the policyholder's vehicle, as well as pedestrians injured by the insured vehicle.

There are exclusions to this coverage under a few circumstances. This coverage will not apply if a person:

  • Is injured as a result of committing a felony or crime
  • Is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Receives intentional, self-inflicted injuries
  • Is injured while operating, or as a pedestrian involved in an accident with a motorcycle or ATV

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury per accident
  • $50,000 per person in case of death
  • $100,000 total for multiple deaths

This coverage protects policyholders and their families or passengers for bodily injury as a result of a car accident with an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run accident within New York state. Uninsured motorist coverage does not provide any protection for the insured vehicle's own damages.

Penalties for having an uninsured vehicle can include the suspension of vehicle registration or driver’s license along with penalty fees. If you are having trouble finding car insurance you can afford, see how the New York Automobile Insurance Plan can help. It’s far more expensive to drive without insurance.

Optional Coverages to consider

Though the above policies will be enough to keep you legal to drive, there are many instances where they won’t fully protect you. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of the following additional policies:

Optional Basic Economic Loss (APIP or OBEL)

This policy extends the limits to your PIP coverage (usually in increments of $50,000), and doubles the amount of lost wages it will pay out per month from $2,000 to $4,000. If you make more than $2,000 a month and your family depends on your income, you should strongly consider extending your benefits.

Supplementary Uninsured Motorist

This will extend your Uninsured Motorist Coverage to apply in out-of-state accidents. If you spend a lot of time driving out of state, this policy may be worthwhile for you. Even if you have full coverage, making an insurance claim through your uninsured motorist policy won’t raise your rates nearly as much as other claims.

Comprehensive and Collision

Also known as Full Coverage. Comprehensive insurance will pay for damages outside of human control, such as fire or hail, and will repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or vandalized. Collision coverage will repair your vehicle, or replace it if it’s totaled, no matter who’s at-fault in an accident. If you’re still paying off your vehicle, you’ll be required by your lender to carry full coverage.

Medical Payments

This policy will pay for medical bills, dental care, and funeral expenses, like PIP. Typically, however, it will only pay out after PIP benefits have been exhausted. There are some exceptions, though. If your claim was denied because of the exclusions listed on your policy, your MedPay will still cover you. If you drive a motorcycle or ATV, you should consider adding this policy.

What Determines NY Car Insurance Rates?

Car insurance rates vary widely from one driver to another due to the factors used to determine rates. Your age, sex, marital status, driving record, address, and vehicle information such as make and model, type, and frequency of use are among the many factors used to determine rates. No single insurance carrier will offer the best rates to everyone.

Adding additional policies, adjusting your limits, and changing your deductible will all change the price of premiums. You can experiment with this to find the best value on car insurance, but you shouldn’t skip coverage you need to save money. A bad car accident will cost a lot more money than carrying insurance that actually protects you!

Even after you purchase your policy, your rates are subject to various surcharges and may change significantly if you ever have to file a claim. Once you’re covered, you should regularly compare rates to make sure you’re still getting the cheapest car insurance you can find. Even the New York Insurance Department suggests obtaining several car insurance quotes from multiple car insurance companies in order to find the best deal.

Get New York Auto Insurance Quotes Online

OnlineAutoInsurance.com helps shoppers find multiple car insurance rates with one simple process. New Yorkers can instantly compare carriers based on price, quality, brand, claims practices, reliability, service, coverage provided, and more.

The best part? There's no need to speak to an insurance agent to get quotes. You only need to provide basic information about drivers and vehicles that will be covered under the policy, and you’ll be able to compare rates within a few moments. When obtaining quotes, answer all questions accurately or your rates may vary significantly when you actually purchase a policy.

Once you choose an insurance policy that keeps you covered, you can purchase it online and get proof of insurance from the comfort of home. So don’t hesitate— start comparing rates today.