New York State law requires that every NY issued auto insurance policy provide a minimum of No-Fault insurance coverage of $50,000 for “basic economic loss.” This PIP (personal injury protection) coverage protects every person in a car and it includes payment for these types of accident-caused expenses: all necessary medical expenses, lost wages up to $2,000 per month, all other reasonable and necessary expenses, and a $2,000 death benefit.
No – Fault Coverage In New York
As a “No-Fault” benefit, every vehicle occupant receives these benefits without any proof of a driver’s fault or negligence in causing the crash. This New York no-fault insurance coverage is important for our clients who are hurt in a vehicle accident; we actively work with our clients to make sure that the insurance company pays for all medical care and treatment that they and their doctors feel is medically needed.
New York law also provides a way to obtain more “no-fault” coverage than the NY State minimum: an option to buy additional coverage through either APIP (additional PIP) or OBEL (optional basic economic loss). Both of these options provide extra protection beyond the mandatory $50,000 coverage. You must pay an additional premium for both APIP and OBEL coverage.
What Is APIP Coverage?
APIP coverage provides a higher overall policy limit and the right to receive more than the $2,000 in lost wages benefits. It is typically offered in increments of $50,000. There are different types of APIP coverage and one can purchase APIP protection for lost wages, medical expenses or additional expenses.
What Is OBEL Coverage?
OBEL coverage also provides additional coverage of up to $25,000 beyond the $50,000 in basic economic loss coverage (total of $75,000). This coverage is triggered after the mandatory PIP coverage of $50,000 is exhausted. With OBEL coverage, the injured person decides who will receive the money. For instance, you may have the OBEL coverage reimburse your physical therapist or be paid to you for your lost wages. This coverage only becomes available after you have exhausted the initial $50,000 of basic economic loss coverage.
Benefits Of APIP & OBEL Coverage
Both APIP and OBEL coverage are valuable to consider when you buy or renew your auto insurance in New York because with the levels of current wages and medical costs, the NY minimum can leave an insured person or their family member with many unpaid medical bills and lost wages that can affect your ability to support yourself and your family.
An auto accident can easily leave an injured victim with financial hardship and the inability to pay their normal bills for food and their home or apartment. For example, wage benefits under the minimum no-fault policy only provide 80% of your lost wages with a maximum of $2000 per month (eg. only up to $24,000 for an entire year). Additional APIP coverage will allow you to increase that monthly amount so more of your monthly salary is covered. For example: if you earn $4000 per month, you can purchase an APIP policy that will increase your lost wage earnings to $4000 per month. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and are unable to work and earn your living to support yourself and your family, APIP will cover 80% of $4000; the underlying no-fault policy will pay the first $2000 and APIP would cover the remaining amount.