What Is SUM Coverage And Why Do I Need It?

What Is SUM Coverage And Why Do I Need It?
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What Is SUM Coverage And Why Do I Need It?

Drivers in New York are required to carry auto insurance to protect themselves and others in the event of a car crash. While not entirely common, there are drivers on the road that are operating a motor vehicle with insufficient or no insurance coverage.

If a driver causes an accident, but does not have enough liability coverage, SUM coverage will kick in to help pay for your losses. So, what is SUM coverage and how does it work?

What is SUM Insurance Coverage?

SUM stands for supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and protects you if you are injured in an accident by a driver that is uninsured or underinsured. The term “uninsured” means that the at fault driver has no insurance while “underinsured” means that the liable driver has less liability insurance coverage than you do and it is not sufficient to properly compensate you for your injuries.

Insurance companies are required to offer SUM coverage, and if your policy includes it, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to receive compensation for injuries that are beyond the liable driver’s policy limits.

Do I Need SUM Coverage If I Have No-Fault?

In New York State, every automobile driver carries no-fault insurance coverage, which will help to pay for medical bills if you are injured in a car accident. However, no-fault does not compensate you for all your damages including pain and suffering, lost wages or earning capacity or future medical expenses. Those damage items are covered by the at fault driver’s liability coverage.

However, when a liable driver does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance (or no insurance) to cover your injury-related damages, SUM may be used to cover your damages up to the amount of SUM coverage purchased.

What Are My Options For SUM Coverage?

By New York State Law, every insurance carrier must offer SUM coverage at a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injuries and $10,000 for property damage. Since the cost of a serious injury can easily exceed these limits, you should have more than this minimum amount.

However, it’s important to note that your SUM coverage cannot exceed the bodily injury coverage amount on your own insurance policy. For example, if you’d like to increase your SUM coverage to $50,000 per person, you must also do so for your bodily injury liability coverage.

If you’d like to choose to opt out of SUM insurance coverage, you must notify your insurance company and let them know you would not like SUM coverage on your policy — although removing this coverage is not recommended.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to contact a trusted personal injury attorney who understands the in’s and out’s of what is SUM coverage. For a free consultation with a member of our experienced injury law team, contact Cellino Law 24/7 at 800-555-5555.

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