When Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Isn’t Enough

When Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Isn’t Enough

Car insurance is a prerequisite for registering a vehicle in New York State, but is having insurance enough on its own? Like most states, New York State has regulations specifying the minimum car insurance coverage types and amounts necessary to register and drive a vehicle. But often, these minimums aren’t sufficient when policyholders are faced with the reality of the costs incurred if they’re found at fault in an accident settlement. Car insurance policies adhering to state minimums may not be large enough to cover extensive damages or payouts for significant settlements.

Drivers must carry New York State issued automobile liability insurance in order to register their vehicle in the state, and unregistered vehicles are prohibited from being on the roads. The state mandates for car insurance liability coverage required are:

  • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

It may be uncomfortable, but it can be helpful to think through what those coverage limits mean in a practical sense. If your teenager runs through a stop sign and causes a multi-vehicle crash, would $10,000 take care of the property damage they caused? Is $25,000 enough to cover the long-term pain, suffering, and medical costs of someone who sustains a debilitating injury in an accident when you were at the wheel? And, in the tragic event you or another driver on your policy caused an accident resulting in the loss of more than one life, would $50,000 be adequate compensation for the loved ones of those who died?

None of us want to think about the possibility that we or someone we love could potentially be the cause of serious injury to, or the death of, another human being. We tend to think that things like that happen to other people – it wouldn’t happen to us. Most of us like to think of ourselves as cautious, safe drivers, and many people are. But, accidents, especially those caused by inclement weather, distracted driving, or other external factors, can happen to even the most careful drivers among us.

According to the most recent data available from the New York State Department of Health, for each year between 2012-2014, unintentional motor vehicle/traffic accidents in the state were responsible for:

  • 1,098 deaths
  • 12,093 hospitalizations
  • 136,913 emergency department (ED) visits

During the same time period, in Warren County, New York, traffic-related injuries were the primary cause of injury-related deaths. While we want to take all steps to ensure we’re driving as safely as possible at all times, it’s unrealistic to believe being involved in, or at fault for, a vehicle accident causing injury or death is out of the realm of possibility. That’s why it’s so important that we also make sure our insurance coverage will be enough if the worst happens.

Since most of us aren’t insurance experts, figuring out if what we have is really enough can be overwhelming. O’Brien Insurance agents are happy to review your existing car insurance policies with you, explain some of the costs that can result from accident claims, and help you understand what your current coverage includes. O’Brien Insurance has found that in the overwhelming majority of instances where they review someone’s present coverage, they’re able to increase coverage limits while reducing overall insurance costs by bundling policies. What could be better than more coverage for less money?

O’Brien agents take the time to explain how different types of insurance policies work. Since they’re local to the greater Glens Falls area, they’re invested in the community and care about their clients and their families. There’s no one better to help walk you through something as complicated and sensitive as understanding if you’ll have enough insurance coverage in an emergency. Contact the seasoned independent agents at O’Brien Insurance today!

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