What is SUM \ Underinsured Motorist Coverage & Why You Should Have IT
Supplemental Underinsured & Uninsured Motorist Coverage (SUM Coverage) is an important part of your automobile insurance policy in that it specifically protects YOU & your family against uninsured or underinsured drivers.
When you take out standard automobile LIABILITY coverage, this coverage covers anyone who may be injured due to your negligence. It covers the injury sustained by the other party.
SUM coverage covers YOU & YOUR FAMILY. It is protection for yourself & your loved ones.
This is how it works: You purchase SUM coverage from your carrier up to the dollar amount of liability coverage you purchase. So if you purchase a $100,000 in liability coverage you can also purchase a $100,000 in SUM coverage.
UNINSURED: If you or a family member are injured in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle is UN-Insured, you can receive compensation from your SUM coverage. Under normal conditions you would collect from the other divers insurance policy. However, if the other driver is uninsured than there is no way to collect. This is where SUM comes into play. If you have $100,000 SUM coverage with your policy, you can collect up to $100,000 from your policy for any injuries you sustain due to the fault of the other (uninsured) driver.
UNDER-INSURED: The same principles apply as with Uninsured coverage's above but here is the difference. While uninsured applies where there is NO coverage, Underinsured applies where there is coverage but the dollar amount is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries. If you are injured due to another's fault and they carry NYS minimum coverage of $25,000, all you would be able to recover for your injuries is $25,000. However, if you have $100,000 in SUM coverage you can now recover $25,000 from the other vehicle and an additional $75,000 from your own SUM policy (for a total of $100,000).
BE SMART & PROTECT YOURSELF ! Insurance carriers are very content to NOT sell you SUM coverage. SUM coverage means potential claims and potential payouts against them. However, if you are smart you will inquire with your carrier and purchase this very important coverage. If you are purchasing liability coverage (as you MUST !) to protect others from your potential negligence than it only makes sense to also purchase SUM coverage to protect yourself & your family.
If you have any questions concerning SUM coverage call The Law Office of Frederick Altschuler with your concerns.