For most New York drivers, there is an understanding and an automatic obligation
that owning and operating a motor vehicle means the driver must insure
a vehicle. However, not all drivers play by the rules. In fact, many people
chose to drive without having insurance coverage on their vehicle.
Experienced Newburgh motor vehicle accident attorneys know that motorists can protect themselves from other uninsured or under
insured motorists by taking the simple step of adding additional coverage
to their own policies. The added protection is called Supplemental Underinsured
Motorist (SUM) insurance and it can be used to combat the uninsured driver
and or the driver who only has minimum coverage. Of course you may note
that you already have such coverage because it is a New York requirement.
So what else can you do? Increase the amount of your SUM coverage because
it only protects you from uninsured or minimally insured drivers if your
coverage is greater in value as compared to the at-fault driver’s coverage.
What SUM coverage does is protect you when your injuries and damages exceed
the limits of your auto insurance policy if you were in a
car accident. The difference between your losses and the lower value of your insurance
is bridged by the SUM component of your policy. In short, it protects
you from other negligent drivers who may cause significant and substantial
injuries; injuries that cost more than your policy will compensate you for.
In short, liability coverage protects you from potential civil liability
and SUM coverage compensates you if the other driver doesn’t have
enough or any coverage at all.
The general rule of thumb is to have SUM coverage equal to the value of
your liability coverage. And remember, compensation through your auto
policy serves to protect you and your family from the devastating effects
of an auto crash; a bread winner’s loss will cause ripple effects
throughout the household.
You should also note that additional SUM coverage is available at a slight
cost; most certainly so as compared to the high costs of health care and
the loss of wages. Motorcyclists are also encouraged to purchase insurance
with SUM, because
no-fault insurance does not cover motorcyclists.
The minimum amount of SUM coverage in New York is $25,000/$50,000. It will
cover the injuries caused to both the driver and the passengers. But only
up to a maximum of $50,000 total for all persons combined, and a maximum
of $25,000 for any one person. These are the standard limits if another
driver negligently caused a collision with your vehicle.
The additional costs of increased SUM coverage will vary depending upon
several factors that your insurance carrier can advise you on; but the
additional coverage could be as little as a only a hundred or two hundred
dollars for an entire year.
Learn more about general car insurance issues and an overview of important
issues in the latest article by our law firm
available by clicking here. Read about no-fault insurance and how it applies to your car accident claim by
clicking this link. Do you know what your “dec sheet” is? Read about your declarations
sheet and how to interpret it
in our post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.