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By New York State law, every insurance carrier must offer Supplemental Uninsured Motorist (SUM) Coverage. This type of coverage is extremely important if you’re ever seriously injured by a driver who is underinsured, uninsured, driving a stolen vehicle or commits a hit and run against you. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured and has little-to-no assets, your compensation comes from your Supplemental Uninsured Motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver is insured, their Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage will compensate for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering until that coverage is exhausted. Your SUM coverage will then make up the difference of the compensation you’re entitled to until it is exhausted. Many drivers choose the minimum amount for both BIL and SUM coverage, and if this is the case, you could be at a loss to recuperate your damages. Especially if the at-fault party has little-to-no assets. Choosing the minimum amount for these two types of coverage can lead to a serious financial crisis.
The minimum coverage New York State insurance carriers offer is $25,000 for one person, $50,000 per occurrence, and $10,000 for property damage. But what could this amount really do if you are seriously injured? How would this scarce amount of money help fully compensate for your damages? And what if other family members were seriously injured in this type of accident? In many cases, it simply won’t help at all. $25,000 is a grossly inadequate amount to compensate for damages in a serious personal injury case.
In a vast majority of the car accident cases we’ve seen, the at-fault driver had the minimum Bodily Injury Liability coverage or was not covered at all with little-to-no assets. It’s not always the case, but many times it is. This is why it’s imperative to consider a higher amount for your Supplemental Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you choose the minimum, and the at-fault party is uninsured and with little-to-no assets, you won’t receive compensation from their insurance company, nor will you be able to get compensation from them through a lawsuit. If the at-fault party has the minimum amount of BIL coverage, you’re entitled to that compensation, but it will do little to recuperate for your damages if you’re seriously injured.
As you may know, insurance brokers get commissions based off of their sales. Some won’t tell you about how important it is to have a high SUM coverage to protect you and your family residents. Why? Because they know you may think having a higher-than-minimum SUM coverage will create a drastically higher monthly premium. The last thing insurance brokers want to do is scare you away from an insurance package, and the first thing they want to do is make the sale. So, some don’t push you to have a higher SUM coverage out of fear of losing that sale. But if you actually calculate the annual add-on, it’s not that bad. And it’s worth it.
We urge you to get a simple quote online to see how much money will be added on to your annual premium if you raise your SUM coverage. Whatever amount of money that is, compare it to the amount of money you would lose if you were hypothetically hit by an underinsured or uninsured driver, whether you were in a car or pedestrian accident, and sustained serious injury. You wouldn’t be able to work, you’d experienced hefty medical bills, both your car and your life could be totaled – the list could go on and on. You’ll probably come to the realization that it is most definitely worth it to get the highest SUM coverage you can afford. If you have a high SUM coverage, you and your family residents are protected in case you’re injured by an underinsured or uninsured driver. We simply cannot overstate how very important a high SUM coverage is.