Legal Review: Understanding New York Car Insurance Coverage

After purchasing your car insurance you will receive a declaration page from your insurance company detailing the amount and type of coverage you have for specific incidents. Below are some of the most important areas to understand.

Bodily Injury Coverage

If you are involved in a car accident with one or more other cars a claim or lawsuit may be made against you for personal injury. This claim could be made by a passenger in your car or the driver or passenger in the other car(s). New York State law mandates that your insurance carrier must provide at least $25,000/$50,000 in coverage for this claim. Many car owners in Suffolk County chose to increase that amount of coverage. It is common to see Suffolk County car owners with Bodily Injury coverage in the amount of $100,000/$300,000, $250,000/$500,000 or even higher.

Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage

Regular bodily injury coverage applies to all passengers in your car if an accident is caused by the driver’s negligence. However, if the passenger is the spouse of the driver, the coverage will not apply.

Insurance companies in New York are required to offer the car owner an opportunity to purchase Supplemental Spousal liability coverage. This coverage covers the liability of the car owner if their spouse is injured or killed due to their negligent operation of the car. With this coverage the spouse can make a claim up to the amounts of the bodily injury limits.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

This coverage is used to pay to repair damage that you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. In New York State the requirement is that insurance companies provide at least $10,000 for third party property damage liability coverage. Many cars in Suffolk County are worth far more than $10,000. For that reason many Suffolk County car owners purchase a higher amount of this type coverage. Property damage limits of $25,000, $50,000 and higher are available for an additional premium.

Collision Coverage

This optional insurance, is when your own insurance company pays you, without regard to fault, for damage to your car caused by a collision with another car or any other object or your car overturning. Collision coverage has a deductible option that is generally between $500 and $1,000.

Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage is used when your insurance company pays you, without regard to fault, for damage to your car from all causes, other than collision, such as theft (of your car or some of its parts), fire, flood, windstorm, glass breakage, vandalism, contact with an animal, or contact with falling or flying objects.

Comprehensive coverage has a deductible option that is generally between $500 and $1,000.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — No-Fault Benefits

If you are injured in a car accident in New York State you will most likely receive Personal Injury (PIP) benefits from the insurance carrier of the car you were in. This type of coverage is commonly referred to as “No-Fault” benefits.

New York State requires your insurance company to provide at least $50,000 in basic No-Fault benefits. Many car owners in Suffolk County purchase additional coverage.

A car owner may raise the limit of basic No-Fault coverage to $100,000 or even higher. Accident victims in Suffolk County often sustain very serious injuries that require surgeries or hospital stays; in these cases the basic $50,000 in coverage can be exhausted quickly.

In addition car owners can purchase Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) coverage from their insurance company. This increases the No-Fault coverage by $25,000. After the basic amount is exhausted the OBEL can be designated by an injured person to be applied specifically to payments for loss of earnings from work (wage loss), for rehabilitation, or to all elements of basic economic loss.

Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (SUM) Coverage

This coverage includes bodily injury protection against negligent actions of an uninsured or hit-and-run motorist. The minimum amount of this coverage is $25,000/$50,000. For an additional premium you can purchase additional coverage limits.

This coverage is also used if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle that does not have enough coverage to compensate you for your bodily injury. This is known as underinsured coverage.

The Law Office of Carl Maltese Understands Car Insurance Coverage

The Law Office of Carl Maltese has been representing car accident victims for over fifty years. During that time, we have handle thousands of cases that involved New York State Car insurance. We have always been able to explain to our clients how car insurance affects their personal injury claim.

If you have been in a car accident, contact the Law Office of Carl Maltese at (631) 543-8811 for a free consultation. At your free consultation we will be happy to answer any and all questions about your car insurance.

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