New York Car Insurance Laws: How Much Coverage Do I Need?

New York drivers must have 25/50/10 liability, plus $50,000 in personal injury protection and 25/50 in uninsured motorist coverage.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by Jessica Barrett
New York
state law requires drivers to carry $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
car insurance
, and $10,000 per accident in property damage liability. Additionally, residents must have $50,000 in personal injury protection and 25/50 in uninsured motorist coverage. 

Car insurance coverage requirements in New York

New York’s car insurance laws require drivers to carry
liability insurance
, as well as a variety of other additional coverages. 
The state minimum requirements include $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in
bodily injury liability
coverage and $10,000 per accident in
property damage liability
Alongside these liability limits, drivers are expected to have the following:
$50,000 in additional coverage for death for a person who passes after an accident
$100,000 in additional coverage for death for two or more people who pass after an accident
If you cause an accident and other people are injured or their property gets damaged, liability insurance will pay for those costs. This could be anything from medical expenses for the other driver to the cost of fixing the dent in their car's door.
app screenshot
shopping for auto insurance
, knowing everything you need for a sound insurance policy in New York is crucial. 
Using the
app, you can input your New York state amounts and compare car insurance quotes based on your driver profile.

New York no-fault insurance: Personal injury protection and uninsured motorist

Since New York is a
no-fault state
, each driver’s liability insurance covers them for damages—regardless of who was at fault for the accident.   
But to help pay for personal medical expenses, motorists are required to have the following limits for
uninsured motorist coverage (UM)
personal injury protection (PIP)
$25,000 per person in uninsured motorist coverage
$50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage
$50,000 per accident in personal injury protection

New York’s spousal liability coverage—what is it?

As of August 2023, all New York car insurance plans automatically include spousal liability coverage. This will apply even if you aren’t married unless you opt out. 
If you want to opt out of this add-on auto insurance coverage, you must notify your insurance company and sign a declination form provided by the New York State Department of Financial Services. You can complete this electronically or physically and your insurance provider must store it on file.
Supplemental spousal liability insurance protects you if you are harmed in a car accident caused by your spouse. With extra spousal liability coverage, you can seek compensation from your own insurance company as a result of your spouse's responsibility for the car accident.

Is minimum coverage the most cost-effective option?

New York car insurance requirements are more extensive than some other states—and for a good reason.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 1,099 fatal crashes in New York in 2021. In an early estimate report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only saw that number continuing to climb to at least 1,148 in 2022 based on previous data.12
With the addition of UM, PIP, and wrongful death coverage, New York drivers are protected in a variety of situations. Yet, the coverage limits for a standard New York car insurance policy are still relatively low. 
Did you know? The average claim for bodily injury liability in 2021 was $22,734, while the average claim for property damage was $5,314, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III).3
By increasing your coverage limits past the minimum requirements, you can be confident that your insurance company can cover any damages you cause, protecting you, your assets, and your future income from potential personal injury lawsuits. 
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New York residents can raise their coverage limits through the additional PIP, optional basic economic loss (OBEL), or supplementary UMBI add-ons. 
Before you raise your limits, use Jerry to see how your rates will change with different amounts and add-on options.
You could also consider switching to a
full coverage policy
. Whereas the state minimum insurance covers damages and injuries for other parties, a full coverage option covers you, your passengers, and your vehicle in collision and non-collision-related events. 
When you’re leasing or financing a vehicle, lenders often require owners to have a full coverage policy in place, complete with
comprehensive coverage
collision coverage
New York drivers tend to pay higher-than-average insurance rates for both the state minimum limit and full coverage policies. Currently, it costs around $2,892 annually for a minimum insurance policy, and $3,153 per year for full coverage. 
But the average doesn’t equate to what you will pay. It can give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay, but most drivers will receive different quotes based on their specific driver profile and coverage requirements.

Expert Insurance Agent Insight

Data Journalist
One of the easiest ways to find savings on some of your larger car expenses, like insurance, is to shop around. Our survey shows that more than half of Americans simply never do.
To find your ideal quote, it’s best to start by comparing liability insurance coverage rates from multiple insurance companies. By comparing quote for both car insurance solutions, you can make sure you’re always on top of the latest savings opportunities while choosing the best coverage for you. 
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Additional optional coverage in New York

To further your existing New York auto insurance policy, you can also opt for insurance add-ons or extra
types of coverage
Gap insurance
: Gap insurance will cover the difference between your car’s actual cash value and the amount remaining on your
car loan
or lease after a total loss.
Medical payments (MedPay)
: Similar to PIP, MedPay pays for medical bills for you and your passengers, regardless of who’s at fault. However, it does not cover lost wages.
Rental car reimbursement
: Helps to cover the cost of a rental car (up to policy limits) while your vehicle is being repaired following a covered loss.
Roadside assistance
: Often known as towing and labor coverage, roadside assistance provides towing, flat tire repairs, locksmith services, and other services.

Penalties for driving without insurance in New York

Driving without insurance
in New York is considered a criminal offense. If you’re unable to provide
proof of insurance
, you could face the following penalties:
  • Fines between $150-$1,500 each time you’re found without proof of insurance
  • Vehicle registration and
    license suspension
  • Potential imprisonment for up to 15 days
  • Potential car impoundment 
reinstate your New York driver’s license
, you may need to pay a $750 fee to the New York DMV. 


How much is car insurance in New York?

The average cost of a minimum insurance policy in New York is around $2,892 annually. For a full coverage option, drivers generally pay $3,153 per year. 

How long can you go without car insurance in New York?

You should never go without car insurance, no matter where you live. If you own a vehicle, you are required to register it with the New York DMV and have your insurance provider notify them of your active policy. If you experience a
lapse in coverage
, you may be subject to fines from $240 to $900. 

How many cars can I insure in NY?

Policies vary depending on the insurance company—but most providers allow drivers to have up to 4 or 5 cars under one policy. 

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