You’re driving across Main Street with the green light, when another vehicle lurches into the intersection. It’s going the opposite way, and is too far into the intersection to avoid. You try to swerve, but your car sideswipes the vehicle and your body jolts violently inside your vehicle. You’re shaken, and you pull over to the side. Other cars honk and whip around the crash. It happened so fast, and now your car is dented, and your head and neck feel sore. Good thing you have auto insurance. They’ll cover everything, right?
That depends. You could find yourself out thousands of dollars or more, paying for your own medical bills and vehicle repairs, if you didn’t purchase the right type of insurance for your accident.
Do you assume you have “full coverage” when it comes to insurance? Most people think that having the minimum legally required insurance in New York, protects them. That is unfortunately not the case usually. Having inadequate policy limits can negatively impact your insurance claim, especially if the other driver says you were to blame!
NEW YORK’S MINIMUMS ARE:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
- Uninsured motorist protection is required to be provided at the same minimum bodily injury limits required for liability insurance.
If your “liability insurance” to pay for accidents you cause isn’t high enough, the injury victim can sue you directly for more money. For example, a broken leg by itself can cost $35,000 to treat—far more than the $25,000 required minimum! To prevent being sued in such a situation, consider raising your liability threshold by upping your policy limits. Trust us – it can go a long way toward protecting yourself from a lawsuit.
Uninsured Motorist protection (UM) and Underinsured Motorist protection (UIM) are important if the driver who negligently entered the intersection wasn’t insured at the time of the accident or did not have enough coverage to cover all of your medical expenses. That is how UM/UIM can protect. If you don’t have UM/UIM coverage (which is required by New York law), you may not be able to recover additional compensation. Our NYC car accident lawyers recommend buying as much uninsured motorists coverage as you comfortably can, because this kind of policy can protect you in a hit-and-run accident and if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough liability coverage on their policy.
Another helpful type of insurance is collision coverage. If fault is contested, or you bump into a parked vehicle or object, collision will pay for the repairs to your car, minus the deductible. Comprehensive coverage is another good option, which covers almost everything but collisions! This includes road-related damage, like hitting a pothole; weather-related damage, like damage from a hailstorm; or hitting a deer in Upstate New York. It may be more expensive right now, but it may pay off in the long run if anything like this were to happen.