Keep Yourself Protected When Others Aren't
It is important to have the correct insurance coverage to protect you when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured vehicle, a hit-and-run vehicle or an underinsured vehicle. This coverage is called "SUM" - Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
In New York State the minimum required liability limit is 25/50. This means that if you get in an accident and are at fault, your insurance company will payout a total of $50,000.00 if multiple people are injured, however, the most a single person can receive is $25,000.00. If you have 25/50 liability policy limits, you automatically have 25/50 in SUM coverage. If you have higher liability limits, you can increase your SUM limits to the same amount.
SUM coverage protects you in three situations:
1 - If you are a pedestrian or in a motor vehicle that is struck by a hit-and-run vehicle where there is no information to identify the other vehicle. The only requirement to make a claim for this under your policy is that there is physical contact with your vehicle and the accident was reported to the police within 24 hours. If you are in a hit-and-run accident, it is extremely important to report the accident to the police immediately.
2 - If you are struck by a vehicle with no insurance.
3 - If you are struck by a vehicle with less liability coverage than your SUM coverage. For example, if the vehicle that was at fault has 25/50 in liability coverage and you have SUM limits of 100/300, you can collect an additional $75,000.00 from your SUM policy.
It is extremely important to have your SUM limits equal to your liability limits. You should also consider increasing both limits to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a hit-and run vehicle or the offending vehicle has no insurance or the New York State minimum.
If you have any questions about how your insurance covers you in these situations, give us a call. Our consultations are free and we do not get paid unless you get a recovery.