No one ever anticipates getting into a car accident and when it does happen it can be traumatizing. While you may feel confident that you will be covered financially by the other driver’s insurance company, if the driver’s policy is limited, then you’re only able to receive the amount it covers. It’s important to protect yourself from bad drivers who have small insurance policies and the best way to do so is to ensure you have sufficient UM/SUM coverage on your policy.
Minimal insurance in New York
Did you know that in the state of New York, the minimum requirement for liability insurance is only $25,000? Combine that with the trend that many bad drivers continually tend to insure themselves for the minimum required limits due to the cost of insurance increasing and you could find yourself in a bad financial situation in a car accident. If you find yourself seriously injured due to an accident with a bad driver, $25,000 may not even begin to cover what you need. With car insurance rates on the rise, increasing an average of 4.68% over the most recent five years of data, it’s safe to assume this trend will continue.
How to protect yourself
The only way to protect yourself from drivers with limited insurance, drivers with no insurance at all, or from a hit and run, is to ensure that you have sufficient UM/SUM coverage on your own car insurance policy. UM/SUM coverage is known as Uninsured Motorist / Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage and protects you when you really need it. Every policy in the state of New York comes with at least $25,000 in Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but you could choose to add up to at least $250,000 in this coverage with a relatively small increase to your premium.
Benefits of UM/SUM coverage
It’s important to take a deep look into your car insurance policy before finalizing the paperwork. While many people pay attention to the liability limits of your policy in the event that you cause an accident and are sued, it’s equally important to ensure your UM/SUM coverage is sufficient in case you need it. This level of protection is crucial should you become the victim of an accident where the driver has limited insurance, no insurance, or flees the scene.
UM/SUM coverage not only protects you if you are the driver of a car that gets hit, but it also protects you if you are the passenger in another car, if you are riding your bicycle, or even if you are out walking your dog. Even though your benefits are reduced by the amount you recover from the bad driver, having adequate coverage will make it so you don’t have to worry if you are seriously injured by a person who doesn’t have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries.
One example of how this could be a major help is if you are seriously injured by a driver who has only $25,000 in liability coverage. If you have $250,000 of UM/SUM benefits and you recover $25,000 from the bad driver, you could get up to an additional $225,000 from your own insurance company.
Personal Injury Lawyer in New York
Mark T. Freeley, the North Shore Injury Lawyer, is passionate about helping clients every step of the way and that begins with education. Recently, he has put together an updated sample insurance policy which has coverage suggestions as a resource for you. If you’re interested in having Mark review your car insurance policy and answer any question you may have free of charge, give him a call at 631-495-9435 to get the help you need today.