Craig Rosenbaum | January 22, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
If you own or are considering purchasing a motorcycle in New York, you may be wondering whether you will need motorcycle insurance. In this guide, you’ll find all the details you need to ensure you are legally compliant with the motorcycle insurance requirements in New York.
New York Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
New York has requirements for liability, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured motorist coverage.
The state of New York requires specific liability insurance minimums when registering a motorcycle.
Liability Insurance minimums are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for total bodily injury if multiple people are hurt in an accident
- $10,000 for property damage
- $50,000 for death per person
- $100,000 for death if multiple fatalities occur
Keep in mind that renewal of the motorcycle registration is required each year, and the policy must be shown at each registration renewal.
Personal Injury Protection
Like many other states, New York also requires personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for motorists. But unlike some states, this coverage requirement also applies to motorcycles.
However, PIP insurance for motorcycle riders is complicated in New York. While you’re required to carry PIP insurance on your motorcycle, most policies don’t allow you to collect PIP benefits if you are injured on your motorcycle as a rider or passenger.
If you hit a pedestrian while driving your motorcycle, for example, the injured pedestrian might access benefits through your PIP coverage. But if you were also injured, you likely would not be able to receive benefits from your PIP policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You’re also required to carry uninsured motorist insurance that meets the same minimum coverage amounts as your liability coverage. You may opt for additional coverage. This helps cover you in the event you or a passenger are injured by someone driving a vehicle without the required insurance coverage.
If you cause an accident and your insurance policies do not completely cover the damage incurred during the crash, you may be personally liable for any excess expenses. Thus, minimums should be taken at face value.
To further protect yourself and your assets, you may want to consider a policy that provides greater coverage.
What Are the Penalties for Failing to Maintain Coverage in New York?
In the state of New York, insurance companies automatically notify the DMV if an individual’s insurance policy lapses. The state requires that individuals return their license plates to the DMV prior to the end of the insurance policy.
If plates are not returned, a fine is automatically issued to the driver.
In addition to the initial fines, individuals who are found to be driving without insurance are subject to a penalty of up to $1,500 or 15 days in jail. The DMV may also impound your motorcycle and suspend your driver’s license.
What’s worse, if you are involved in an accident, you will be personally liable for any damages or injuries caused as the result of your negligence.
Should I Purchase Optional Insurance Coverage for My Motorcycle?
While purchasing additional liability coverage may be a good idea, you may also want to consider additional underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage (MedPay).
Underinsured coverage will compensate you for the difference in your medical expenses should another driver’s policy not fully cover them.
MedPay is a no-fault personal policy that can help cover medical treatment and loss of income, regardless of whose fault the accident actually is.
You may also opt for additional PIP coverage. Carefully review any additional policies you choose to look for motorcycle exclusions.
What Injuries Can Occur from Motorcycle Accidents?
While motorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, a fall or accident can result in significant injuries.
These may include:
Thus, it’s important to have all the insurance coverage you need in place should a serious accident occur.
Are There Special Requirements to Obtain a Motorcycle License?
Motorcyclists are required to obtain a motorcycle operator’s license or motorcycle junior operator’s license. Individuals with a motorcycle operator’s license from another state or country are permitted to drive their motorcycles within the state.
To obtain a motorcycle license in New York, you must pass both a written and a road test.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention and file a police report. You should document the crash, take pictures, and collect the contact and insurance information of anyone involved in the accident.
In addition, ask for the contact information of any witnesses who happened to see the collision.
Documentation, a police report, and witness testimony can be very helpful if you have been injured and decide to file a lawsuit against anyone who may have caused the accident.