Do Insurance Companies Go After Uninsured Drivers?
New York has always had a very transparent no-tolerance policy for uninsured drivers. The law requires insurance companies to have licenses under the State Department of Financial Services.
In this case, the insurance company also must inform the Department of Motor Vehicles every time a driver is insured or uninsured.
All vehicle drivers must notify their companies before their coverage lapses or ends. If not done in time, or the at-fault driver has an unfortunate accident such as a high side motorcycle crash, the insurance company can suspend the license, and the driver may have to pay hefty fines.
Penalties Imposed For Uninsured Drivers
Any uninsured driver could face severe fines and even jail time for approximately one year for accidents on New York roads. The penalty doesn't discriminate between the victim and the driver. Any uninsured driver or one with lapses in their insurance will have to pay the fine.
The fine can be up to $1,500 to $2,000 for uninsured drivers, with an additional $750 civil penalty to reinstate the license from the DMV.
Penalties for Insurance Lapses
Insurance companies will inform the DMV regarding any lapses in a driver's insurance policy. The company can then revoke your license and charge a daily fine until the driver reinstates the coverage.
New York imposes the following daily fines for insurance lapses:
Up to $8 per day from 1 - 30 days ($240 in total)
Up to $10 per day from 31 – 60 days ($300 in total)
Up to $12 per day from 61 – 90 days ($360 in total)
Up to $900 in total for over 90 days
However, uninsured drivers can give up their plates and registration to the DMV if they can't meet the above mentioned fines.
Showing inefficiency in doing either within 90 days will result in a full license and registration suspension. The only way to reinstate the license would be to pay the civil penalty of $750 to the DMV.
What Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage Is
Insurance agencies created this policy to protect insured drivers from uninsured ones. It can either be in the form of:
Bodily damage insurance
Property abuse insurance
Note that UM coverage cannot exceed a driver's liability coverage. The at-fault driver will pay, for example, $50,000 for UM coverage if that's the amount in your liability coverage. You can check out this article to see how much you can claim for anxiety after a car accident too.
What Is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?
Unlike UM coverage which covers expenses with a driver with no insurance, Underinsured Motorist coverage stands for individuals whose insurance isn't enough to pay back all incurred costs. This policy is also in two forms:
UIM bodily damage insurance
UIM property abuse insurance
In such situations, if the victim's claim is more than the liability insurance limit of the one at fault, the underinsured coverage will have to keep paying until all costs are balanced.
What UIM and UM Coverage Do
Most insurance agencies sell both of these products. They also protect the drivers from similar losses, such as:
Emotional and physical compensation
UM, and UIM coverage policies typically start paying when your injury protection (PIP) and health insurance run out. These two policies will also cover the remaining costs of collision coverage policies.
How to Proceed Following an Accident
Whether you're an at-fault driver, or a no-fault one, contacting your insurance company right after an accident is the best way to go. It is also smart to contact an auto accident attorney in Long Island NY.
Collecting substantial proof of your claim can also back you up in the upcoming weeks.
Contact the police and create an official report of the event
Talk to those around and write down what they saw (who was at fault, who was speeding, etc.)
Take pictures and videos (if able to) of the accident scene as evidence. Insurance agencies always investigate after accidents, so it's wise to have proof of your innocence and claim in advance
Collect your medical report and proof of bodily damage from your doctor, as this will help with health insurance in the future
Reach Out To an Expert Car Accident Attorney in New York
Contact The Law Office of Carl Maltese for legal help following a vehicle accident as a no-fault/at-fault driver in New York.
Call us at (631) 857-3703 for a free consultation.