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The Essential Guide to Auto Insurance Lingo for Drivers in New York & Pennsylvania

May 22, 2024

Auto Insurance

The Essential Guide to Auto Insurance Lingo for Drivers in New York & Pennsylvania

Whether you're a seasoned driver or a new license holder, navigating the complex auto insurance jargon can feel like deciphering a foreign language. Let's continue reading to break down some of the most common yet confusing auto insurance terms for drivers in New York and Pennsylvania.

Understanding Your Coverage Options

  • Comprehensive Coverage:

    This coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by events other than collisions. Think of it as coverage for the unexpected. In New York and Pennsylvania, comprehensive coverage is optional but highly recommended. Examples of covered events include:

    • Theft
    • Fire
    • Vandalism
    • Weather events (hail, falling objects)
    • Animal collisions
  • Collision Coverage:

    This coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle if you collide with another car or object. Like comprehensive coverage, collision coverage is not mandatory in NY or PA. However, if you have a financed car, your lender will likely require it.

Understanding Deductible

This is the amount you'll pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in for a covered claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and get into a $1,000 accident, you'll be responsible for the first $500, and your insurance will cover the remaining $500. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your monthly premium, but be sure you can comfortably afford the upfront cost in case of a claim.

Understanding Liability Coverage

It protects you financially if you are found at fault for an accident and injure someone else or damage their property. There are two main types of liability coverage: 

  • Bodily Injury Liability (BI):

    This covers medical expenses for people injured in an accident you cause up to your policy limit. New York requires minimum BI coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, while Pennsylvania requires $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

  • Property Damage Liability (PD):

    This covers repairs to another person's vehicle or property damaged in an accident you cause. New York requires minimum PD coverage of $10,000 per accident, while Pennsylvania requires $5,000.

State-Specific Considerations

While both New York and Pennsylvania require minimum liability coverage, there are some key differences to consider. New York is a "no-fault" state, meaning that regardless of who caused the accident, your own insurance will, in most cases, pay for your medical bills and lost wages up to a certain limit.

Additional Coverage Options

Many other coverage options are available, depending on your needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM):

    Protects you if the driver who hits you doesn't have insurance (uninsured) or doesn't have enough insurance (underinsured) to cover your damages.

  • Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay):

    Pays for your medical bills and those of your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for an accident, up to the policy limit.

Navigate the Complexities of Your Auto Insurance Policy with Our Experts

The best way to navigate auto insurance is to understand your specific policy. Don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable advisors at Tompkins Insurance Agencies if you have any questions about your coverage or need help choosing the right options for your needs. Contact us today for a free auto insurance quote, and let us guide you through the process. Call us at 1-888-261-2688 to get started.

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The Essential Guide to Auto Insurance Lingo for Drivers in New York & Pennsylvania
The Essential Guide to Auto Insurance Lingo for Drivers in New York & Pennsylvania