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New York Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Posted on 03/06/24

New York State has some of the top roads for riding your motorcycle, whether you are interested in riding up to the Adirondacks or prefer riding along the Appalachian mountain ranges, there is no denying the exhilaration that comes with taking your motorcycle out on a gorgeous day.

However, whether you currently own a motorcycle or are considering a new bike purchase, it is important to ensure you are protected. New York has strict motorcycle insurance requirements you must follow if you hope to avoid fines and be able to get the financial support you need in the event of a motorcycle collision.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in New York State

New York State has strict auto insurance requirements for both standard vehicles and motorcycles according to The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These generally include minimum auto insurance requirements and personal injury protection requirements.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

According to The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), there are mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in place, specifically with regard to liability insurance requirements in the event of a car accident or personal injury. These include:

  • $10,000 in property damage liability coverage
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $25,000 per person in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per person if a victim suffers fatal injuries
  • $100,000 per accident if multiple victims suffer fatalities

You must renew your motorcycle registration every year, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For your renewal request to be granted, you must show proof of auto insurance coverage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

All motorists are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance policies. The law states you must have at least $50,000 per person for economic damages. However, motorcyclists may find it more difficult to access their PIP coverage, as many insurance policies do not allow injury victims to collect PIP coverage if they are injured while operating a motorcycle, according to the New York State Department of Insurance.

New York Motorcycle Insurance FAQ

What happens if you fail to maintain auto insurance coverage in New York?

According to the New York DMV, when your auto insurance lapses, the insurance company notifies the DMV. The DMV will then require you to turn in your license plates. If you do not return them, you may be subject to penalties that include up to 15 days in jail and fines not to exceed $1500 if you are found driving without insurance coverage.

Do I need to purchase options insurance for my motorcycle?

You are under no legal requirement to purchase optional insurance. However, adding medical payments coverage (MedPay), under or uninsured motorist coverage, gap insurance, and comprehensive or collision can only protect you in the event of a collision.

Are there specific requirements to get a motorcycle license in NY?

Yes, before you can get your motorcycle license in New York, you must pass a written and road test. You need a motorcycle junior operator’s license or a motorcycle operator’s license to drive a motorcycle anywhere within the state of New York. However, if you have an active motorcycle operator’s license in another state, you can still ride your motorcycle within NY.