Auto Insurance Coverage For Travel Outside of New York State.

June 17, 2013

Personal injury auto accidents with no insurance coverage can have devastating results for the injured person.  Given Buffalo’s easy driving distance to Canada, Pennsylvania and Ohio, it is important for drivers to know they will be covered if an accident occurs outside of New York State.  The courts in New York State have addressed the issue of how insurance purchased by New York drivers applies to accidents outside of the state.

The Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State, has held that if you are paying for auto insurance in New York State, the insurance carrier must provide uninsured motorist coverage when an accident occurs outside of New York State with an uninsured driver.  When deciding this, the court also noted that Insurance Law section 5103(e) requires auto insurers to provide coverage “at least in the minimum amount required by the laws of the (other) state.”

This requirement for coverage meeting at least the minimum amount required by the other state has generally been interpreted in favor of the insured person.  If the other state or Canadian province requires more insurance than the New York State driver has, insurance companies are required to raise the amount of coverage provided to the level demanded by the laws of the other jurisdiction.  If, however, New York State requires more coverage, the insured person is entitled to the full amount of the New York coverage should it be needed.

If you have been in a personal injury accident and have any questions regarding how insurance coverage works, please feel free to contact my office at 716-400-0000.