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Isn’t New York a No Fault State?

Insurance Lesson: This is a long post, but one with info that I think you need to know. Here is a question I get all the time- “Isn’t NY a No Fault state”?
There are 2 parts to this answer: Yes it is, but that doesn’t mean what you think it means.
It means that if you are involved in an automobile accident (something with 4 wheels), you don’t have to wait outside the hospital for the at fault person to show up and pay the bill. Your own policy will pay your medical bills and bills for passengers in the car up to the policy limit. The mandatory limit is $50k. You may be able to purchase more.
New York is really a “regardless of who is at fault, your own policy provides protection for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, and may include a variety of other services if you or your family are injured in a covered accident” state.  No-fault, is probably just catchy.
Well, then who is at fault in my accident? Why does it matter?
NY State is a comparative negligence state. In any accident the companies investigating may find you are 100% at fault, 99% at fault 50% at fault, or any other number they deem you are at fault. They do this be assessing damage, and police reports. This is important when determining if one carrier will get money back, and if they will be able to recover your deductible or a portion of it. What if I slide off the road in the snow and hit a guardrail? Isn’t that the snow’s fault? Nope, that one is your fault. What about deer? Damage from deer is paid under a different portion of the policy…. we can talk about that another day.

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