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UPDATED: Apr 19, 2017
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Today there are thousands of pizza joints operating in the five boroughs of the Big Apple, with millions of people getting behind the wheel to drive to them throughout the week with all of them needing car insurance. New York is a huge city that takes up less than one percent of all the land mass in the state and yet has almost half of the population.
If you are considering a move to the city that never sleeps, here is what you should keep in mind with purchasing car insurance in New York City.
The first thing you should do is enter your ZIP code above and compare cheap car insurance for FREE!
New York Auto Insurance Facts
There are more than 6,300 miles of roadway networking the city and keeping people connected. In addition to pizzerias and other restaurants, New York City offers an incredible cultural mix of entertainment and businesses.
The average New Yorker will spend 40 minutes a day getting to his job, due largely to heavily congested streets.
New York has strict requirements when it comes to state car insurance. They don’t allow just any company to open its doors and start offering insurance policies.
The requirements for offering insurance are strict, and the companies are strictly regulated. This is one reason why all cars registered in New York State must be licensed by insurance companies that are based in New York or have the authorization to do business in New York.
Requirements for Car Insurance in NYC
New York wants its citizens to be protected, so New York car insurance requires some of the highest state minimum coverage requirements in the nation.
When purchasing your insurance, here are the items you will be required to have before you can drive your car to the best pizzeria in the world:
- $25,000 for injury in an accident to an individual with $50,000 coverage for all people involved in the accident
- $50,000/$100,000 coverage in case of death
- $10,000 total coverage for property damage caused in an accident
- $50,000 personal injury protection for your own medical bills in the event of an accident
- $25,000/$50,000 uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
These state minimum requirements are required of all drivers in the NYC area. Failure to comply with these requirements carries stiff penalties.
New York City Insurance Laws
The most important thing to remember when driving in New York is that it is a No-Fault state. A “no-fault” policy means that each driver in a car accident is covered by his or her own car insurance. The insurance companies do not worry about assigning fault and making the other company pay. They are expected to pay for the injuries and property damaged caused to their client, regardless of whether it was the other person’s fault.
All cars registered in the state of NY are required by law to have NY state insurance coverage.
There are no exceptions to this requirement. People who are found to have insurance coverage from a company that is not authorized in the state will find themselves dealing with a suspended license.
Liability coverage is required to be in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. Before a car can be registered, drivers must present two original copies of their vehicle insurance cards. One card will go in the automobile while the other will be left on file with the DMV. Car owners who do not comply with this law may have their licenses suspended.
There are several events that can cause a lapse in coverage. Something as simple as changing from one company to another can cause a lapse in coverage. Failure to pay premiums can cause a lapse in coverage, as well as simply selling the car.
The penalties for letting the insurance slide can be severe, such as:
- Lapses in coverage anywhere from one to 90 days will incur heavy monetary penalties that increase daily
- Lapses that go beyond the 90-day deadline can result in both a loss of the registration of the car
- The state may, at that point, demand that the plates be returned. Failure to do so can result in the loss of driving privileges as well as the vehicle’s registration
It is also important to note that insurance companies registered and operating within New York City are required to notify the state immediately of any lapses in insurance coverage.
Acquiring new insurance, changing companies, or dropping insurance a car that is sold will all result in state notification. Drivers in New York City should take care to ensure that they never experience a lapse in insurance coverage for any reason and are always obeying the laws!
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Companies Offering Car Insurance in New York
There are many car insurance companies offering New York car insurance. Here are just a few examples:
- 21st Century
- State Farm
- All State
- Country Wide
Here are some things to keep in mind when comparing different insurance companies:
- Available Ratings – A.M. Best, JD Power, and Standard & Poor’s all offer honest reviews and ratings on insurance companies. Take the time to review the information they have compiled to discover who has the best customer service, the best payment history and which ones are the most solid financially. Choose a company that will still be around in a few years to help you.
- Reputation Matters – When comparing different car insurance by state, talk to friends and family members in the New York City area. Let them know that you are looking for new insurance and see which companies they recommend. Ask them specifically why they like the company.
- The Claims Process and Paperwork – Some companies have extensive requirements for filing a claim, creating undue stress at an already difficult time. Talk to the customer service rep or your agent to find out what’s involved in filing claims and how much paperwork you might be looking at.
- Customer Satisfaction – It’s true that you’re looking for low rates, but you also want a solid company with a strong customer service history. Look at the big picture and choose a company that will stand behind you in addition to offering low prices.
Insurance agencies can offer you a level of personal service that you just won’t get through the companies regular channels.
If you like the idea of getting to know a personal agent on a first name basis, then you will want to go through a New York City auto insurance agency.
You don’t have to go through an agent, but there are many benefits to doing so, such as:
- They live in your area, so they’re familiar with the unique needs and demands of the borough you reside in
- They may be able to help you get additional discounts
- They can also get you valuable information on other insurance policies such as life and home
- They can help you navigate the claims process
New York City Rates for Car Insurance
New York City is densely populated and driving through the city can be dangerous. In 2009 alone, car accidents throughout the city cost taxpayers more than $4 billion. The fact is that every year more than 3,700 people are seriously injured in car accidents, and more than 300 will lose their lives.
Despite rising gas prices and fewer people driving, insurance rates in the city continue to climb. Average rate increases nationwide are between two and three percent, but in New York, they increased seven percent over the last year.
The average driver in New York City with a clean driving record and a moderately priced car can expect to pay well over $200 a month for car insurance.
Luxury cars and some foreign cars will have even higher rates, and the rates will also increase if you are involved in accidents or have a high number claims. One should look for cheap state car insurance and find ways to save money!
According to the New York Daily News, part of the reason rates are going up is due to fraud.
Community groups are fighting back against this phenomenon by pushing for lawmakers to make it a felony to stage an accident for personal gain. They are also pushing to have fraudsters barred from receiving future payments through the No-Fault system.
There are some ways to bring your New York auto insurance rates down. Rather than choosing to carry less coverage, ask about a higher deductible. Raising the deductible can help lower rates substantially. You also might want to talk to the company about discounts for safe driving classes.
Senior citizens may also be able to receive discounts for taking defensive driving courses.
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