People typically assume that insurance will cover their losses after a crash in New York. Insurance companies spend millions of dollars every year advertising to make people feel like they can trust in the quick and generous resolution of their claims, and most people buy into the idea that insurance will protect them.
Unfortunately, the automotive insurance system in New York has some significant gaps that could ultimately cost you money after a crash. Your own insurance policy largely protects you from financial losses if you cause a crash, not when you get hurt by another driver.
There are two somewhat common scenarios in which a driver may find that they have losses from a wreck that insurance won’t cover. When will insurance leave you with uncovered expenses after a New York crash that you did not cause?
When the other driver has inadequate insurance
New York only requires $10,000 in property damage liability coverage and $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability protection that increases to $50,000 if two or more people get hurt in the same crash.
Unfortunately, such low coverage requirements mean that some drivers will get hurt in a crash and not have enough insurance for even their surgery and hospitalization, let alone their lost wages. While you also have your own no-fault personal injury protection coverage, that could still be far too little for your losses.
Low levels of property damage coverage could also mean that a driver who loses their vehicle after a crash won’t have enough money from the insurance company the purchase of reliable replacement vehicle.
When the other driver doesn’t have insurance
While there are many drivers in New York without enough insurance, there are also drivers who don’t have any insurance at all. They may have canceled their policy shortly after registering their vehicle or may have failed to make a renewal payment, resulting in lapse coverage. Experts estimate that 4.1% of all drivers in New York don’t have insurance.
The risk is always there for you to get into a crash caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance or who has coverage but just not enough. Thankfully, mandatory underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy could help cover your losses. You may also need to consider a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.
Learning about how insurance works can help you protect yourself after a motor vehicle collision.