Updated: Apr 30, 2021
An astonishing 15 percent of New York drivers are driving without valid car insurance!
So what happens when you get into a car accident and the vehicle that hits you has no car insurance? If you don't have SUM coverage on your car insurance policy, you could be SOL!
First, what is SUM Car insurance? SUM stands for Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist.
This type of coverage is extremely important if you’re ever seriously injured by a driver who is underinsured, uninsured, driving a stolen vehicle or by a driver who commits a hit and run against you. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your compensation comes from your SUM coverage. If the at-fault driver is insured, their Bodily Injury Liability coverage will compensate for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering until that coverage is exhausted. Your SUM coverage will then make up the difference of the compensation you’re entitled to until it is exhausted. Many drivers choose the minimum amount for their insurance ($25,000) so if what you should be fairly compensated for based on your injuries exceeds that amount, you may be out of luck.
The SUM coverage in your insurance policy will then step in, and provide coverage for you and/or members of your household up to the limits purchased by you.
For example, lets say you are rear-ended by a vehicle at a traffic light. You are seriously injured and the pain and suffering your injuries caused you would equate to $200,000. On top of that, due to your injuries, you couldn't work for 3 months and lost $25,000 in pay as a result. In a perfect world, you'd be entitled to $225,000 from the driver/vehicle that hit you. If that vehicle only has the minimum amount of insurance required by NYS, $25,000, you would have no way to recuperate the remaining $200,000 that is owed to you, and you'd be SOL, If you have SUM coverage on your own policy, this coverage would step in, and pay you what "the balance", until your SUM policy is exhausted, or you're fully compensated.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident, let's talk!