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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Carrying car insurance: State requirements for coverage

It is a requirement of the law to keep up-to-date auto insurance on your vehicle. The least insurance you can have is called liability insurance; it provides you with enough coverage to pay for damages and medical expenses in the case of a crash.

There are some different things you should know about insuring your vehicle in New York. Like many other states, it has rules and regulations that apply to anyone who owns a vehicle.

One such rule is that you have to insure a vehicle at all times, whether or not it's being driven. Additionally, that insurance needs to be in the same name as the vehicle's registration. Most people carry paper versions of their registrations; if you have an electronic device that will display your insurance, you may display it in that manner for the police or anyone who needs to see it.

The state of New York does not accept out-of-state insurance policies for its residents. You must obtain insurance from a company that is licensed to sell it to you within the state through the NYS Department of Financial Services.

What happens if someone doesn't have car insurance?

If you don't have car insurance, you shouldn't be behind the wheel. If caught, you could face fines. If you're in an accident, it's possible that you could be liable for the full cost of any injuries or expenses the victim accrues. It's not worth the trouble you could be in; carry the appropriate insurance. If you're caught without it, be prepared to defend yourself; you could face serious penalties.

Source: New York Department of Motor Vehicles, "Auto Liability Insurance," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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