According to a recent study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), approximately
one in seven motorists nationwide get behind the wheel without car insurance.
Having the appropriate level of auto insurance is necessary not only because
it protects drivers from liability if they cause an accident or injure
someone, but also because it is required by law. With the exception of
New Hampshire, every state - including New York - requires drivers to
carry insurance or some other proof of financial responsibility.
New York Drivers Must Have Insurance
In New York, driving without car insurance is a serious offense. Under
New York law, every vehicle driven on a public road must carry at least
liability insurance. The insurance is not tied to the driver, but rather
to the vehicle. This means that a driver could face penalties for driving
an uninsured vehicle - even if his other vehicles are insured.
New York is a 25/50/10 state, which means that each driver must carry at minimum:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 per incident injury coverage
- $10,000 in property damage coverage
Penalties Can Be Severe
The penalties for driving an uninsured vehicle in New York can affect a
driver both financially and practically. Those who drive an uninsured
vehicle in New York face a driver's license suspension lasting at
least one year. If the driver of an uninsured vehicle is in an accident,
he may receive not only a minimum one year driver's license suspension,
but also a civil penalty of $750 - which must be paid before applying
for a new license - a fine of up to $1,500, and up to 15 days of jail time.
In recent years, technology has enabled law enforcement to become increasingly
adept at discovering whether a driver has a valid insurance policy. Previously,
some drivers would make one insurance payment, cancel their policies,
but keep their insurance cards to present in the event of an accident
or traffic violation. Today, however, police have access to a wide variety
of tools that allow them to see whether a given policy is still valid.
Contact a Traffic Violation Attorney
If you have received a citation for driving without insurance, speeding,
or other traffic or license offense, contact an experienced traffic violation
attorney. A knowledgeable traffic violation lawyer can assess your case
and advise you of your options. For more information, contact an attorney today.