In an ideal world, everyone would be able to share the road safely. In the event of car crashes, the resulting costs would be easy for people to manage. In reality, drivers of many skill levels share the road, and the resulting costs can be staggering. For these and other reasons, it's crucial for drivers to have auto insurance. Drivers in the state of New York are no exception. As a no-fault state, New York has strict laws on the books about auto insurance requirements, and it's important to heed them.
It's every New York State driver's responsibility to be aware of the minimum insurance requirements. Pleading ignorance is not an effective strategy. In many cases, the basic insurance requirements fall woefully short of the kind of coverage that people actually need. A great way to drive home this point is by considering who is on the road in the Empire State at any given moment. By realizing that they are sharing the road with millions of other drivers - many of whom are young and experienced - people are more likely to invest in higher levels of coverage and superior protection.
Who Drives in New York State?
Learning a little about driving statistics in the state of New York is an excellent way to understand why exceptional coverage is so important to have. According to the United States Census Bureau, New York had an estimated population of 19,570,261 in 2012. It's a huge state, and the Federal Highway Administration reports that 11,210,783 people were licensed to drive as of November 2012, which means that 57.3 percent of the population are legally capable of getting behind the wheel and operating motor vehicles.
While it may be true that insurance companies don't take gender into consideration while calculating premiums for auto insurance, it's still interesting to see how many men drive in the state of New York versus how many women. The Federal Highway Administration reports that 5,772,229 people, or 51.49 percent of all licensed drivers, are men. 5,438,554 people, or 48.51 percent of all licensed drivers, are women.
Age is an important factor that is considered by car insurance companies in the state of New York. Young drivers have higher premiums because they are considered riskier. In the state of New York in November 2012, there were 334,991 drivers aged 19 and below, which equals about 3 percent of all licensed drivers. The largest group included people between the ages of 50 and 54. It totaled 1,130,811 people, or 10.3 percent of all licensed drivers. The drivers in that group are more likely to have many years of experience behind the wheel and generally enjoy lower premiums as a result.
Auto Insurance Requirements in New York
People must be able to provide proof of financial responsibility in order to drive in the Empire State, and the only way to do that is by showing proof of New York State liability insurance. Drivers should make sure to buy their policies from companies that are licensed by the New York State Insurance Department. They also need to make sure that their policies meet these minimum requirements:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $50,000 in coverage for the death of one person
- At least $100,000 in coverage for the deaths of two or more people
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
Insurance companies electronically report insurance coverage information to the DMV. Drivers who allow their policies to lapse face suspensions of their driver's licenses and registrations. Uninsured people who are involved in car accidents face the revocation of their licenses and registrations for at least one year.
Fines of up to $1,500 may be levied against people who drive without insurance. It costs another $750 for a driver to get his license back from the DMV.
Insurance must be maintained even if a vehicle isn't going to be driven. The only way to get around that is by turning in the plates of any car that isn't being used.