Automobile Insurance

These questions and answers are for consumers of financial products seeking answers regarding Automobile Insurance questions. If you are a business, Industry or regulated entity, please check our industry questions.


Are there any ways to reduce my premium with regard to youthful drivers?

Various insurers offer discounts geared toward youthful drivers. You may qualify for a reduced premium, if a youthful driver attends college over 100 miles away (i.e. “resident student”), meets certain academic requirements (i.e. “good student”), or has taken a driver’s education course.

Would my policy be non-renewed if I’m involved in an accident or convicted of a moving violation?

This depends on your insurer’s underwriting guidelines. Generally, an insurer is allowed to non-renew up to approximately 2% of its policies per year based on objective criteria. Insurers are required to provide a notice stating the specific reason for non-renewal of the policy. You should also be aware that your premium is likely to be increased for a three-year period via a surcharge if you’re convicted of certain traffic violations (e.g. speeding more than 15 MPH over the legal limit, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting or driving while intoxicated).

Will purchasing a brand new vehicle have an effect on the insurability and cost of a policy?

Premiums charged for physical damage coverages (Collision and Comprehensive) are based on the estimated cost of future claims for damage to, or loss of, the vehicle. Higher-priced vehicles generally cost more to insure. Please refer to Sections X. Rating Basis For Physical Damage Coverages and XI. Difficult-To-Insure Vehicles of the Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance for specific vehicle information regarding this matter. It is also recommended that you obtain an insurance quote prior to purchasing a new vehicle.

What is a transportation network company (“TNC”)?

A TNC is a person or entity that is licensed pursuant to VTL Article 44-B and is operating in New York State exclusively using a digital network (usually a smartphone application) to connect passengers to drivers who provide prearranged trips.  Examples of TNCs include UBER and lyft.

At what point is a driver considered to be using or operating a vehicle as a TNC vehicle under VTL Article 44-B?

A driver is using or operating a vehicle as a TNC vehicle when the driver is logged onto a TNC’s digital network or when the driver is engaged in a prearranged trip.

When does a prearranged trip begin and end?

A prearranged trip begins when a driver accepts a passenger’s request for a trip through a TNC digital network, continues while the driver transports the requesting passenger in a TNC vehicle, and ends when the last requesting passenger departs from the vehicle.

Does VTL Article 44-B apply to livery vehicles, taxicabs, for-hire vehicles, limousines, black cars, or buses?

No.  Livery vehicles, taxicabs, for-hire vehicles, limousines, black cars, and buses are excluded from the definition of a TNC vehicle in Article 44-B.  Therefore, these vehicles are not subject to Article 44-B and must comply with all other state and local laws and regulations.

Does VTL Article 44-B apply to shared expense carpool or vanpool arrangements?

No.  VTL Article 44-B does not apply to shared expense carpool or vanpool arrangements.  Shared expense carpool and vanpool arrangements must comply with all other state and local laws and regulations.

May a driver use or operate a leased or financed vehicle as a TNC vehicle?

A driver who leases or finances his or her vehicle should review the terms of the leasing or financing agreement before using or operating his or her vehicle as a TNC vehicle to ensure that doing so will not violate the terms of the leasing or financing agreement.

Does VTL Article 44-B apply to all of New York State?

No.  VTL Article 44-B does not apply to a prearranged trip originating in New York City.  A vehicle picking up a passenger in New York City, even though a TNC digital network was used, must comply with all other state and New York City laws and regulations.

Does VTL Article 44-B apply if a TNC driver picks up a passenger outside New York State?

No.  VTL Article 44-B does not apply if a TNC driver picks up a passenger outside New York State.  VTL Article 44-B only applies when a TNC driver picks up a passenger in New York State (but outside New York City).

Does VTL Article 44-B apply if a TNC driver picks up a passenger in New York State (but outside New York City) and drops off the passenger outside New York State?

Yes.  VTL Article 44-B applies if a TNC driver picks up a passenger in New York State (but outside New York City) and drops off the passenger outside New York State.

Does VTL Article 44-B apply if a TNC driver picks up a passenger in New York State outside of New York City and drops off the passenger in New York City?

Yes.  VTL Article 44-B applies if a TNC driver picks up a passenger in New York State outside New York City and drops off the passenger in New York City.

What insurance is required to act as a TNC driver?

A TNC driver must always have in force a policy of insurance in satisfaction of the financial responsibility requirements set forth in VTL Article 6, including UM coverage and personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance.  In addition, a TNC driver, or the TNC on the driver’s behalf through a group insurance policy, must maintain insurance that recognizes that the driver is a TNC driver and provides financial responsibility coverage in accordance with VTL Article 44-B while the driver is logged onto the TNC’s digital network and while the driver is engaged in a prearranged trip. 

What insurance limits does VTL Article 44-B require when a vehicle is being used or operated as a TNC vehicle?

When a driver is logged onto the TNC’s digital network (Period 1), the insurance policy must provide at least $75,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident; at least $150,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and at least $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident (“75/150/25” coverage).  The policy must also include uninsured motorist (“UM”) insurance, and personal injury protection (“no-fault”) insurance.

When a driver is engaged in a prearranged trip (Period 2), the insurance policy must provide at least $1,250,000 for bodily injury to or death of any person and injury to or destruction of property; supplemental uninsured/underinsured (“SUM”) insurance of $1,250,000 and personal injury protection (“no-fault”) insurance.

May more than one insurer or policy provide the financial responsibility coverages necessary to satisfy VTL Article 44-B?

Yes.  The financial responsibility coverages required by VTL Article 44-B may be provided to a TNC driver in a single policy or through a combination of multiple policies, including a TNC group policy, which may be issued by more than one insurer.

Does VTL Article 44-B require that a driver have physical damage coverage when the vehicle is being used or operated as a TNC vehicle?

No.  VTL Article 44-B does not require that a driver have physical damage coverage covering the driver’s own vehicle when the vehicle is being used or operated as a TNC vehicle.  However, nothing prohibits a driver from purchasing or an insurer from offering physical damage coverage.  In addition, some TNC group policies may provide physical damage coverage for the vehicle under certain circumstances.

Must the TNC group policy be issued by an insurer authorized to do an insurance business in New York State?

A TNC group policy must be issued by an insurer authorized to do an insurance business in New York State unless the insurance is not available from authorized insurers.  In such a case, the group policy may be obtained from an unauthorized insurer through a New York-licensed excess line broker.  The excess line broker must comply with the Insurance Law and regulations promulgated thereunder, including Insurance Law §§ 2105 and 2118 and 11 NYCRR 27 (Insurance Regulation 41).

What are the consequences if a TNC group policy is issued by an insurer not authorized to do an insurance business in New York State?

The New York Department of Financial Services does not regulate insurers that are not authorized to do an insurance business in New York State.  As a result, these insurers are not subject to all of the Insurance Laws and regulations promulgated thereunder.  They also are not required to file their rates with the Department for prior approval and are not subject to a New York guaranty fund in the event the insurer becomes insolvent or goes out of business and cannot pay claims.

If the insurer that issued the policy the driver used to register the vehicle also offers coverage for when the driver is using or operating the vehicle as a TNC vehicle, may the insurer offer different liability limits (“split limits”) for the TNC coverages and non-TNC coverages?

Generally, liability policies used to satisfy the financial responsibility requirements under the VTL may not include split limits.  A liability policy must provide the same level of coverage under all circumstances.  However, the new law permits separate liability limits to satisfy the TNC requirements under Period 1 or Period 2 but only to provide for the increased limits necessary to comply with the minimum requirements of VTL Article 44-B.

For example, a “25/50/10” policy is a policy that provides the minimum financial responsibility coverage required under VTL Article 6.  This means that the policy must provide at least $25,000 for bodily injury to and $50,000 for the death of one person in any one accident; at least $50,000 for bodily injury to or $100,000 for death of two or more persons in any one accident; and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.  If a driver purchased additional coverage for Period 1 to satisfy VTL Article 44-B, then the policy may be endorsed with 75/150/25 coverage, which would apply only for Period 1 TNC operations.

However, if the driver had purchased higher coverage, such as 100/300/25 coverage, then the insurer may not limit the TNC Period 1 coverage to only 75/150/25 coverage.   The driver must be provided the full 100/300/25 limits for all coverages.