Many people are aware that if they are in an accident that is their fault, they have car insurance to cover injuries that are sustained by the other driver. But what if you are in a car accident that is the fault of another driver and that driver only has the minimal insurance limits of $25,000/$50,000? How is it fair that you pay for insurance that covers $100,000 or $300,000, but if you are injured you may only be covered for $25,000?
That is where Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (SUM) Coverage comes into play. New York law requires insurance companies to offer SUM Coverage which provides coverage for accidents caused by negligent motorists who have no insurance or limits of insurance below those you carry on your policy. You may select SUM coverage in limits up to the Bodily Injury Liability Limit on your policy.
It is worthy to note that New York law requires insurance companies to provide Statutory Uninsured Motorist Coverage which provides insurance coverage to you for injuries received if you are in a car accident with a negligent motorist who has no insurance at all. Yet, that coverage is only $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in the event of death. Your policy will automatically include these limits. However, Statutory Uninsured Motorist Coverage is very limited, not only because of the low coverage, but because the coverage only applies if the car accident happens in New York State.
It is also worthy to note that SUM Coverage is not automatically provided. It is the recommendation of this writer that you purchase SUM Coverage to adequately protect yourself if you are in a car accident. Please call your auto insurance provider to check your coverage and if necessary, obtain additional coverage.