NBP Insurance » Auto Insurance FAQ

New York State Auto Insurance FAQ

How can I get a quote for auto insurance?

We have a free rate quoting service on our site. You’ll receive auto insurance quotes from numerous carriers.

Do I need to purchase insurance before I buy a new car?

If this is your first car, yes, you’ll have to buy auto insurance before you drive your shiny new car off the dealer’s lot.

However, if you already have an auto policy, that will generally cover your new automobile for a period of up to 30 days after you buy it. Once that 30-day period is up, you’ll have to talk with your insurance company to insure that new vehicle.

I’ve just been in an accident. How will the insurer issue the check to repair my car?

It depends on whether or not you’re in a first-party or third-party claim situation. In a first-party situation, your insurer will likely make the check out to you and the body shop. In a third-party situation, it’s likely that the at-fault party’s insurer will make the check payable to you alone.

A first-party situation is when you make a claim with your insurer. A third-party situation is when you make a claim with another party’s insurer.

What can I do to protect myself against uninsured drivers?

Purchasing uninsured/under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can protect you against uninsured drivers. In many states, UM coverage is required by law.

UM coverage will pay for medical bills and pain and suffering if you are hit by an uninsured driver. In some states, UM property-damage coverage is available. If your car is crunched by an uninsured driver and you have UM property-damage coverage, you’ll be able to get your car fixed under this coverage, rather than using your collision coverage.

Generally speaking, UM property-damage coverage carries a lower deductible than collision coverage.

Which coverages pay for damages to my vehicle?

Depending on what kind of damage your car suffers, one of your physical damage coverages – comprehensive or collision insurance – will pay for the damages.

If your car is hit by a deer or other animal, stolen, catches on fire, or is vandalized, your comprehensive coverage will kick in. If you crash into something and crunch your car, your collision coverage will kick in.

Both of these coverages are optional and, of course, adding them to your policy will raise your insurance premium.

Do states require drivers to buy liability insurance?

Most states mandate all drivers provide proof of financial responsibility at registration time or after an accident. Essentially, that’s proof that you can pay for an accident. You can do this one of two ways: Post a bond for between $10,000 and $50,000, or buy auto-liability insurance. Most people choose the latter because they don’t have thousands in cash lying around.

Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are the only states that don’t require drivers to provide proof of financial responsibility at any time.

My teenager just got a driver’s license and the insurance rates are through the roof. Do I have to add him/her to my policy? Do I have any other options?

It usually makes good financial sense to add your teen as a driver to your existing policy, but only after he or she gets a permanent license. In addition, if you’re driving an expensive car, it might make more financial sense to buy your teen a safe, older vehicle and get him or her a policy of his or her own.

What is an SR-22?

SR-22 is a form that shows that you have auto insurance. It is required by the state for delivers who are high risk. Here are some of the reasons a state might require you to file an SR-22 form:

  • DUI (drunk driving)
  • Serious moving violations such as reckless driving
  • Racking up a lot of highway points in a short period of time
  • Being pegged as a habitual traffic offender
  • Causing an accident while uninsured.

Regulations vary from state to state, but high-risk drivers usually have to carry SR-22 insurance for three years. To find out more about regulations specific to your state, choose your state from the pull-down menu above.

More insurance companies are now willing to sell policies to drivers who have SR-22 status; however, those policies are going to be more costly than a standard auto policy.

Can I demand OEM parts in the repair of my vehicle?

Yes, you can always request original equipment manufacturer parts after you’ve had an accident. Currently, however, some insurance companies might make you pay extra for OEM parts.

Do I have to use my insurer’s body shop for repairs?

That depends on your policy. Sometimes, you and the insurance company agree on a predetermined course of action after you’re involved in an accident. That often includes the use of an insurance company chosen auto-repair facility.

If your policy does not have such a stipulation, you can then choose the body shop that repairs your vehicle.

I’m moving to another state temporarily. Do I need to purchase coverage in that state?

If you are moving for more than six months, the proper procedure is to purchase coverage in your new state. That way, you can avoid any potential questionable coverage issues.

Keep in mind, however, that your current insurance policy says you are covered in all 50 states.

What should I do if I just had an auto accident?

You should inform your insurance company right away. Make sure you’ve gotten a copy of the police report and the other party’s (or parties’) insurance information.

Remember, just because you inform your insurer of an accident doesn’t mean you’re making a claim.