Accident in Another State?

Accident in Another State?

Auto insurance  can be tricky to determine just whom is at-fault, which state laws are held in effect, and what the proper course of action to take is when filing a claim. For New York residents (and those in the Tri-State area and Five Boroughs), this is certainly a concern, with day trips to New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania within an hour being a great way to get away from the urban life. But what happens when an accident occurs in another state, or involving another person from out-of-state?

This can certainly get confusing fast. That’s why having an insurance advisor  can separate fact from fiction and get your claim settled quickly. Let’s take a look at a real-life example:

Suppose that you are a New York resident and have an automotive insurance policy. While driving in Connecticut to visit relatives, you’re struck by another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle is from Massachusetts.

What happens?

When it comes to time file your claim, don’t be surprised if you’ll have difficulties collecting on your claim for injuries.

As a reference:

  • New York and Massachusetts are “no-fault”  states
  • Connecticut is an “at-fault” state

Connecticut is an at-fault state, so it seems that the accident should follow those state rules. However, the Massachusetts-based insurance company denies being at fault and recommends that you use your own insurance (New York) to cover your medical bills.

If you were severely injured, would this be frustrating to know that, despite not being at fault, you still have to foot the bill? For instance, a broken leg requires an average of $7,500 in medical bills, with a 3-day hospital stay costing on average $30,000. That can financially ruin a

The general rule is that auto insurance should follow the state law. In this instance, the New York-based no-fault insurance will most likely pick up the bill because the insurers in Massachusetts and Connecticut have conflicting and ambiguous state laws that insurance companies may exploit to delay payment. Other times, inexperienced and low-cost auto insurers  may not know or follow the law, giving you a denial by default.


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At RiskBlock, we help you by advising you on what steps you need to take to ensure that you and your family are properly protected – even out of state. In a situation like we described, having an insurance advisor can help sort out the individual state laws and work on your behalf to get the claim you deserve.

Saving money (with cheap insurance carriers) is important until, it matters… then quality insurance and a trusted advisor is what you need. Contact us today to start being covered by industry experts.


Author: Liam Dai
Lead Insurance Advisor for RiskBlock. Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the author or insurance agency for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the insurance coverage, not to provide specific insurance advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no professional advice and professional client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a licensed professional insurance agent in your state. All scenarios are different and unique to the situation.