Do you own a car? Do you drive it? If you answered yes to these basic questions, then the answer to the “Do I need Auto Insurance” question is: Yes.
In most states you have to have at least liability coverage, in New York State you are required to purchase a minimum amount of certain kinds of coverage. The minimum liability limit in New York State is currently $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage.
If you are able to purchase more protection it makes sense to buy more than the required amount. Available for additional coverage are options like Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Towing/Rental Reimbursement, Medical Payments, Full Glass Coverage, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, Comprehensive, and Collision Coverage. If you opt to have comprehensive and collision coverage, it is important to figure out what deductible amounts you would like to include in your policy.
Besides the legal requirements to have auto insurance, it can also protect you from personal liability in the event of an accident. Inversely it will also help you out if you are hit by someone without insurance.
TYPES OF COVERAGE
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Pays basic expenses for an insured and his or her family in states with no-fault auto insurance. No-fault laws generally require drivers to carry both liability insurance and personal injury protection coverage to pay for basic needs of the insured, such as medical expenses, in the event of an accident.
- Optional coverage for things not usually covered in general policies such as lost wages and childcare expenses. The coverage would be effective due to bodily injury caused by a covered accident.
- Personal Liability refers to the party or parties involved in an accident are solely responsible for any debts accumulated from said accident
Property Damage Liability
- Covers you if your car damages someone else’s property. Usually it is their car, but it could be a fence, a house or any other property damaged in an accident. It also provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against you. It is a good idea to purchase enough of this insurance to cover the amount of damage your car might do to another vehicle or object.
Bodily Injury Liability
- Covers other people’s bodily injuries or death for which you are responsible. It also provides for a legal defense if another party in the accident files a lawsuit against you. Such claims may be for medical bills, loss of income or pain and suffering. In the event of a serious accident, you want enough insurance to cover a judgment against you in a lawsuit, without jeopardizing your personal assets. Bodily injury liability covers injury to other people, not your vehicle or others on your policy.
- Coverage that pays to repair or replace your car after an accident or collision. A deductible can apply depending on the insured’s requests at the start of the policy.
- Covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle, or other object. Pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose.
- Auto Insurance Coverage providing protection in the event of physical damage (other than collision) or theft of the insured car. For example, fire damage, theft or a cracked windshield would be covered under the comprehensive section.
Towing and Rental Reimbursement
- These two options, in addition to comprehensive coverage, pay for the costs related to the towing of a vehicle because of an accident or mechanical failure and the costs of a rental car if the driver’s car is temporarily out of service due to collision or other damage.
Transport Trailer Coverage
- This coverage applies especially to any physical damaged incurred to the transport trailer, in additional the collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Coverage pays for your injuries in the event that you are struck by a hit and run driver or a driver who either has no insurance or not enough liability insurance to cover your injuries.
Full Glass Coverage
- In addition to comprehensive coverage, Full Glass insurance is usually purchased to cover damage caused to plate glass. This does not include side or rearview mirrors.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BI)
- If an insured person is legally liable for an accident, BI coverage pays for injuries/death to people involved in the accident other than the insured driver. BI also pays for legal defense costs if you are sued. Certain exclusions may apply. Refer to your policy.