How to protect yourself financially before you’re in a car crash in New York

There are few things that can be more financially catastrophic than if you are hit through no fault of your own by motorists who is not adequately insured. Oftentimes, the minimum insurance does not begin to cover the amount of damage that you can sustain in even the most minor of accidents. According the the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2011 alone, there were over 307,000 car accidents in New York State resulting in 128,000 accidents with injuries. In order to protect yourself in this situation, I recommend that you contact your insurance company or an insurance agent to discuss obtaining SUM coverage. SUM coverage provides extra insurance above and beyond your own insurance in the event that the driver who was at fault was not adequately insured. This coverage, while somewhat pricey, will provide you relief in the event that this unfortunate circumstance happens to you. The number of drivers who carry minimal insurance makes up the vast majority of drivers. So in the likely event that you are hit by another vehicle through no fault of your own, and you are seriously injured, the driver who hit you will likely have the minimum insurance. As you can imagine, $25,000 to not go very far when it comes to making up for your lost wages and pain and suffering. The chart below gives you the amount of insurance per person and accident that the states minimally require. If you are seriously injured in a car accident in New York, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

State Liability limits         (in thousands of dollars) Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage required?
Alabama 25/50/25 No
Alaska 50/100/25 No
Arizona 15/30/10 No
Arkansas 25/50/25 No
California 15/30/5 No
Colorado 25/50/15 No
Connecticut 20/40/10 Yes
Delaware 15/30/10 No
        D.C. 25/50/10 Yes
Florida 10/20/10 No
Georgia 25/50/25 No
Hawaii 20/40/10 No
Idaho 25/50/15 No
Illinois 20/40/15 Yes
Indiana 25/50/10 No
Iowa 20/40/15 No
Kansas 25/50/10 Yes
Kentucky 25/50/10 No
Louisiana 15/30/25 No
Maine 50/100/25 Yes
Maryland 30/60/15 Yes
Massachusetts 20/40/5 Yes
Michigan 20/40/10 No
Minnesota 30/60/10 Yes
Mississippi 25/50/25 No
Missouri 25/50/10 Yes
Montana 25/50/10 No
Nebraska 25/50/25 No
Nevada 15/30/10 No
New Hampshire Not required. If elected: 25/50/25 Yes
New Jersey 15/30/5 Yes
New Mexico 25/50/10 No
New York 25/50/10 Yes
North Carolina 30/60/25 Yes
North Dakota 25/50/25 Yes
Ohio 12.5/25/7.5 No
Oklahoma 25/50/25 No
Oregon 25/50/10 Yes
Pennsylvania 15/30/5 No
Rhode Island 25/50/25 No
South Carolina 25/50/25 No
South Dakota 25/50/25 Yes
Tennessee 25/50/15 No
Texas 30/60/25 No
Utah 25/65/15 No
Vermont 25/50/10 Yes
Virginia 25/50/20 Yes
Washington 25/50/10 No
West Virginia 20/40/10 Yes
Wisconsin 50/100/15 (current); 25/50/10 (effective 11/01/11) Yes
Wyoming 25/50/20 No

David B. Snyder, Esq.

6876 Buckley Road

Syracuse, NY 13212


Mr. Snyder is licensed to practice in New York where he practices personal injury work in Syracuse; he cannot offer legal advice in other states. This blog is meant to be a public service and not an attempt to solicit business. Moreover, my posts

cannot be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. Unless I am retained in a matter and have completed a full investigation of the underlying facts and law, I cannot give an opinion on which to rely. Furthermore, unless your matter concerns New York law, I am not licensed to practice or give specific legal advice in your state.


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