Auto insurance is crucial for drivers, offering financial protection against accidents, theft, or damage. Regularly reviewing your policy is essential, as not all policies are equal. Understanding your policy helps prevent surprises and ensures adequate coverage, especially in New York.

At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we understand the frustrations with insurance claims. We are dedicated to helping you navigate these challenges and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation if you need expert guidance.

Here are four critical aspects to check on your auto insurance policy in New York.

#1 Liability Coverage Limits

Liability coverage is one of the most fundamental components of your auto insurance policy. It covers the costs of injuries and damages to others if you are at fault in an accident. The liability coverage minimum limits in New York are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

While these are the state-mandated minimums, they may not be sufficient to cover all expenses in a severe accident. It's advisable to consider higher limits to protect your assets better. For example, if you cause an accident resulting in medical expenses exceeding your coverage limits, you could be personally liable for the difference. Higher liability limits provide additional peace of mind and financial protection.

#2 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

New York is a no-fault state, meaning your own insurance policy pays for your lost wages and medical expenses, regardless of who caused the accident. This is covered under Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The minimum PIP coverage in New York is $50,000 per person. PIP covers:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Essential services like child care if you are not able to perform them due to your injuries

It's essential to review the PIP coverage on your policy to ensure it adequately covers your potential expenses. If you frequently drive with passengers or have a higher risk of accidents due to your commute, you may consider increasing your PIP limits.

#3 Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Despite mandatory insurance laws, some drivers in New York operate vehicles without insurance or with insufficient coverage. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with such a driver. New York requires UM/UIM coverage with the following minimum limits:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

This coverage guarantees that your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs are taken care of if the at-fault driver is unable to pay. Given the significant number of uninsured or underinsured drivers, having sufficient UM/UIM coverage is essential.

Review your policy to ensure these limits are sufficient for your needs, and consider higher limits if you want additional protection.

#4 Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

While liability, PIP, and UM/UIM coverages protect you and others in various situations, they do not cover damage to your vehicle. Collision and comprehensive coverages fill this gap.

  • Collision coverage covers car damage caused by accidents with other vehicles or objects, no matter who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage covers damage from non-collision incidents such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and hitting an animal.

Although Collision and Comprehensive coverage is not legally required in New York, your lender probably will require them if you have a loan or lease on your car. Even if your vehicle is paid off, maintaining these coverages can save you from significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of damage or loss. Consider the value of your vehicle and your ability to cover repairs or replacement costs when deciding on these coverages.

Additional Considerations

  • Deductibles: Review the deductibles on your collision and comprehensive coverages. Higher deductibles will lower your premium but can increase your out-of-pocket costs in the event you need to file a claim.
  • Discounts: Most insurance companies will offer you savings on your policy for safe driving, bundling policies, having safety features on your vehicle, and more. Ensure you are taking advantage of all applicable discounts to reduce your premium.
  • Policy Exclusions: Be aware of any exclusions or limitations in your policy. These could include restrictions on rental car coverage, roadside support, or coverage for custom parts and equipment.

Regularly reviewing your auto insurance policy ensures that you have the appropriate coverage for your needs and financial situation. In New York, understanding and optimizing your liability limits, PIP, UM/UIM coverage, and collision/comprehensive coverages can provide robust protection on the road. Speak with your insurance agent to make any necessary adjustments to your policy and ensure you are fully protected.

Understanding your auto insurance policy can save you from financial hardship and provide peace of mind, knowing you are well protected against the uncertainties of driving.

Regularly revisiting these aspects of your auto insurance policy will help ensure that you are covered and can drive with confidence on New York's roads.

Need Legal Help? Our Attorneys Can Assist With Your Insurance Claim

Navigating car insurance claims can be complex, but taking the right steps increases your chances of success. Important actions include promptly reporting accidents, providing accurate information, understanding your policy, seeking timely medical treatment, carefully evaluating settlement offers, and consulting with an attorney.

At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to guiding you through the insurance claim process. If you face issues with your claim or need expert assistance.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Fri, 06/28/2024 - 05:21

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