MVAIC: Know The Facts
- Dear Readers:
If your business involves auto insurance claims in New York, it is
essential that you know what MVAIC is and how it works. I have
reprinted the following information from the MVAIC website. I highly
recommend that you print this out or bookmark it for reference. --
The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) was
established to pay bodily injury damages and no fault benefits
to "qualified" victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by uninsured
PURPOSE OF THE LAW
Since January 1,1957, owners of automobiles registered in New York
State have been required to furnish proof of financial responsibility
(usually liability insurance) in order to register their vehicles.
In order to provide compensation for innocent victims of certain
types of accidents caused by uninsured or otherwise financially
irresponsible motorists, the New York State legislature passed the
MVAIC Law. Examples of such accidents are those caused by:
1) Uninsured out-of-state motor vehicles.
2) Unidentified hit and run drivers.
3) Uninsured New York motor vehicles.
4) Stolen motor vehicles.
5) Motor vehicles operated without the consent of the owner.
6) Insured motor vehicles. where the insurance is inapplicable to the
7) Unregistered motor vehicles.
In order to be eligible to submit a claim to MVAIC a claimant must be
a QUALIFIED PERSON as that term is described hereafter. Article 52 of
the Insurance Law provides that persons with other available
insurance no longer seek redress from or submit claims to MVAIC.
Instead, such claimants give notice to the insurance company insuring
the automobile which the person occupied, or if the vehicle the
person occupied is uninsured, or if the person is a pedestrian, to
such person's insurance company or the insurer of a resident relative
of such person.
A QUALIFIED PERSON is a resident of New York State or a resident of
another state or country having a substantially similar program
available to New York State residents injured in that state or
country. A QUALIFIED PERSON is someone other than (1) an insured, or
(2) the owner of an uninsured motor vehicle and his/her spouse when a
passenger in such vehicle. An example of a QUALIFIED PERSON is a
pedestrian residing in New York State who does not own a motor
vehicle and does not qualify as an insured person under any
automobile liability insurance policy, who is struck by an uninsured
motor vehicle in New York State.
Automobile Liability Insurance Policies generally contain language
which defines an insured as follows:
Insured. The unqualified word "insured' means:
1) The named insured and, while residents of the same household,
his/her spouse and the relatives of either;
2) Any other person while occupying
(i) a motor vehicle owned by the named insured or, if the named
insured is an individual, such spouse, and used by or with the
permission of either, or
(ii) any other motor vehicle while being operated by the named
insured or such spouse, except a person occupying a motor vehicle not
registered in the State of New York, while used as a public or livery
3) Any person, with respect to damages he/she is entitled to recover
because of bodily injury to which this endorsement applies sustained
by an insured under (1) or (2) above.
MVAIC does not provide benefits for any of the following:
1) Property damage.
2) Injuries or death of an uninsured motorist or his/her spouse, when
a passenger in an uninsured motor vehicle owned by his or her spouse.
3) Injuries or death of a person driving, in violation of a
revocation or suspension of said person's driving privileges.
4) Claims against persons not liable under law. For example, between
husband and wife.
5) Accidents caused by vehicles owned by the United States of
America, Canada, a state, a political sub division of any such
government or agency of any of the foregoing.
6) Accidents occurring outside of New York State.
7) Hit and run claims which did not involve physical contact by a hit
and run motor vehicle.
8) Hit and run claims which were not reported to the Police, Justice
of the Peace, a judge, or the Motor Vehicle Commissioner within 24
hours or as soon as reasonably possible.
9) Operators or passengers on motorcycles are not covered by PIP.
10) "Non serious injures." For the purposes of claims of "non-
economic" loss (i.e., tort damages) only "serious injuries" as
defined by the No-Fault Law, which includes death, significant
disfigurement, fractures, and permanent and long term physical
IF YOU ARE A QUALIFIED PERSON
1) Notify the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation,
located at 110 William Street, New York, New York 10038 of your
intention to make a claim and file an affidavit (sworn statement)
setting forth information including the names of the operator and
owner of the uninsured motor vehicle, if known, and the facts in
support of your claim. Suitable affidavit forms may be obtained on
request from MVAIC, or in stores selling legal forms.
If a claim is based on an accident involving a "hit and run" vehicle
in which the identity of the owner and/or operator is unascertainable
then the affidavit of claim must be filed within 90 days of the
accident date. However, when the owner or operator of the vehicle is
identifiable, effective July 22, 1989, this affidavit must be filed
within 180 days of the accident date. If the claim was originally
against an insured person whose insurance carrier denied the claim,
then the affidavit must also be filed within 180 days after the
receipt of the disclaimer or denial, provided that due diligence has
been exercised to determine whether or not such insurance coverage
Failure to file the affidavit within the appropriate time may cause
your claim to be denied unless you can prove to MVAIC or a Court that
filing was prevented by mental or physical disability, infancy, or
death of the injured person and/or that the affidavit was filed as
soon as reasonably possible.
2) Report the accident to the police, justice of the peace, a judge,
or the Motor Vehicle Commissioner within twenty-four (24) hours after
the accident if the claim is against a hit and run driver. Failure to
make such report may result in your claim being denied unless you can
prove it was not reasonably possible to make such report and it was
made as soon as reasonably possible.
3) Cooperate with MVAIC in handling your claim. MVAIC may ask you to
supply further particulars of the accident, names or witnesses, the
nature of the injuries, medical expenses, etc. This may be done by
means of forms submitted to you by MVAIC or by an adjuster assigned
to investigate and, in a proper case, negotiate a settlement.
Knowingly filing with MVAIC any necessary notice, statement or
document which is false or untrue, or which contains material
misstatements, is a misdemeanor. Upon conviction thereof, the guilty
person may be fined or imprisoned.
Other than for No-Fault claims, the mere fact that an individual has
sustained injury or death in a motor vehicle accident does not
necessarily entitle said person or said person's representative to
payment. It must be established that the injury or death resulted
from the negligence of the party causing the accident and that the
eligible injured party or deceased comes within the provisions of
the "Comparative Negligence" doctrine. This doctrine apportions the
degree of negligence between parties to an accident for the purpose
of establishing the extent of liability to pay damages by the party
causing the accident predicated on his or her share of negligence.
LIMITS OF LIABILITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT INDEMNIFICATION
Effective January 1,1996 for accidents occurring thereafter, the
maximum recovery for injury to one person is $25,000 and the maximum
recovery for injury to two or more persons as the result of one
accident is $50,000. In case of death the applicable coverage is
The amount that MVAIC is liable to pay is reduced by:
1) Payments by or on behalf of financially irresponsible motorists.
2) Payments by or on behalf of any other person, or entity, jointly
or severally liable for the accident.
3) Payments under any coverage similar to that pro vided by MVAIC.
Any claimant may make his claim in the first instance, either against
MVAIC or against the uninsured person causing the accident. If you
proceed against the uninsured person, you should advise MVAIC and
cooperate with it. This includes providing MVAIC with copies of any
lawsuit commenced against the uninsured motorists and other persons
or entities against whom liability and damages are sought. If you
should either settle with the uninsured motorist, or recover a
judgment against said person without the prior consent of MVAIC, you
may have cut off your right to any further payment by MVAIC. You may
have also cut off any possible claim against other persons
responsible for the accident. If you proceed against the uninsured,
however, be sure to timely file with MVAIC to protect your rights.
If you are paid by MVAIC, it becomes the owner of your claim against
the uninsured motorists.
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION
As of December 1, 1977, a law went into effect which required MVAIC
to pay certain PIP benefits to a QUALIFIED PERSON irrespective of
fault and whether or not such person's acts contributed to the
If you are injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident
involving a financially irresponsible motorist, including hit-and-
run; and you have complied with certain statutory requirements, MVAIC
will pay you up to $50,000 for your reasonable and necessary hospital
and doctor's bills, certain related expenses (e.g., transportation to
and from medical providers), as well as for loss of earnings up to
certain prescribed amounts.
It is important to note that in the event a lawsuit is commenced
against the financially irresponsible motorist, the fault, if any, of
the "QUALIFIED PERSON" would be taken into consideration by the Court
or a jury. However, in the case of No-Fault payments fault is not a
If a "Qualified Person" is killed as the result of any accident by a
financially irresponsible motorist, a prescribed death benefit
payment of $2,000 will also be paid by MVAIC in accordance with the
A qualified pedestrian injured or killed by an uninsured motorcycle
is covered for PIP benefits, etc.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM
MVAIC, a corporation created by the New York State legislature is not
a part of the government and receives no tax money. MVAIC is composed
of all the motor vehicle liability insurers doing business in New
The money needed to fund MVAIC for claim payments and claim and
administrative expense is derived from assessments levied upon its
member companies in proportion to their respective premium writings.
These assessments are passed on to purchasers of motor vehicle
liability insurance as part of the premium.
(If you are not sure whether you are an "Insured" or a "Qualified
Person" proceed as if you were a "Qualified Person" and advise MVAIC
of any insurance coverage you believe may exist.)
This above summary has been published by MVAIC to acquaint the public
with the principal provisions of the program established by the MVAIC
Law, Article 52 of the New York State Insurance Law and the No-Fault
Law . It does not intend to provide legal advice or to set forth all
the provisions of the respective statutes, nor all the provisions
required of insurance coverages, nor to discuss any of them in legal
detail. Persons needing or desiring more complete information should
read the law and the applicable insurance contracts or consult with a
Our office hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. You can
contact us via telephone, fax, regular mail or e-mail.
110 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038
General Information: info@...