Our Queens Car Accident Lawyer Explains What is SUM Insurance in New York
No one plans to be injured in a motor vehicle accident, but a person can plan ahead if they are. One of the most important aspects of planning is acquiring the appropriate Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage, also known as SUM. This is an additional insurance policy endorsement that provides a motorist extra coverage for uninsured motorist coverage (formally known as UM) and underinsurance coverage (formally known as UIM). Both of these separate forms of coverage have been combined under SUM coverage after New York State agency consolidation by the Insurance Department. Insurance questions can always be difficult, and our Queens car accident lawyer explains these common important aspects for victims and their families.
What is UM Coverage?
UM coverage is when an uninsured motorist caused a motor vehicle accident which results in personal injuries or damages. It could also be when there was a hit-and-run accident and the perpetrator is not found. Having UM coverage ensures payment if the defendant does not have insurance, the policy is declined, or the defendant flees. This is mandatory in New York.
What is UIM Coverage?
UIM coverage is underinsured coverage which is used to cover a victim’s injuries if a defendant does not have enough insurance. For example, if a victim’s injuries are worth $250,000 but the defendant only has $25,000 in insurance, which is the minimum coverage per person per accident in New York, the victim may only recover $25,000. But if the victim purchased IUM coverage of $500,000, the victim would be entitled to collect $25,000 from the defendant and the other $225,000 from UIM. This type of insurance is not mandatory, but it is optional.
Consolidating UM and UIM Into SUM
These two types of policies can be confusing for motorists. Insurance companies would also play games with their different policies to further confuse individuals. As a result, some victims would have gaps in coverage. This means there are situations where victims could be entitled to more money than they could recover in an action.
The NYS Insurance Department promulgated regulations to combine these two types of coverage into SUM. This made it easier for victims to know what they are purchasing and their rights, as well as harder for insurance companies to create gaps in coverage.
What is SUM Insurance in New York?
SUM is a win for individuals and their families against greedy insurance companies. It allows a person to purchase additional insurance coverage at a reasonable rate to protect the person and his or her family. This is extra coverage is used for the victim and members of his or her family in the motor vehicle. It is not an additional liability insurance policy for another person, it is just coverage for the victim. This means whatever premium is purchased is used right for the person paying for it.
Here at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C., our Queens car accident lawyer recommends that individuals have a minimum of $250,000 extra for SUM coverage but should try to get $500,000 if they can afford it. This is important compensation which is used to protect the rights of a victim in a serious motor vehicle accident. SUM coverage only benefits the victims and is not additional liability insurance, which means the money on premiums comes back to you in the form of a claim if you are ever seriously injured.
Call our Queens Car Accident Lawyer for More Insurance on SUM Coverage, or If You Have Been Seriously Injured in a Queens Car Accident
While again, no one plans to be in a car accident, one can plan for the emergency. And our experienced Queens car accident lawyers at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C. can help. We have dedicated our practice to helping individuals and their families in their time of need. If a reckless, careless, or downright negligent person cause you serious personal injuries, contact us today by dialing 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here to get started with our legal team. There is NO upfront financial risk to start for our firm.