Insurance Coverage and Motor Vehicle Accidents
We’ll admit that automobile insurance is not the most exciting topic to discuss, but having the right amount and type of insurance is critical. It’s always a good time to check your policy to make sure that it’s up to date. The White Plains automobile accident attorneys at Worby Groner Edelman LLP are experienced in dealing with insurance coverage, and how it applies to motor vehicle accidents.
Minimum Level of Insurance and How to Protect Yourself
The minimum level of coverage you can maintain on a New York automobile insurance policy is $25,000. We mention this for two reasons. First, you want to make sure that your own policy is for a higher level, because if an accident is your fault, you want to have sufficient coverage for the damage that you might cause to someone else. Second, and just as important, if someone else is at fault, that person’s policy may only have $25,000 in available coverage to pay your damages. Attorneys in our firm have seen too many cases of car accident victims with serious injuries who are unable to recover anything more than $25,000 due to the amount of coverage that the at fault owner carries. Imagine a scenario in which you’re involved in an automobile accident that is completely someone else’s fault that causes you serious, permanent injuries. Even worse, imagine if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, where you are unable to identify the vehicle that hit you. In both of these scenarios, if you are inadequately insured, you may well find out that your recovery will be limited to a mere $25,000. Even if you can identify a minimally insured driver, do you think you can then go after that driver’s personal assets? You can try, but people who are insured for only $25,000 are unlikely to own recoverable assets.
Supplementary Underinsured Motorist Coverage (SUM)
Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself against someone who has the minimum level of coverage. While New York requires all automobile insurance policies to include $25,000 of Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage, New York also law provides for a type of insurance coverage called Supplementary Underinsured Motorist coverage, popularly known as SUM. This type of insurance provides you with protection if you are involved in an accident with someone who carries less coverage than you do. If you have this coverage, your own carrier provides coverage for you up to the amount of your own coverage when someone else is at fault.
Your insurance company won’t tell you this, but SUM coverage is very inexpensive, and in fact is among the least expensive types of insurance that you can buy. So take a good look at your insurance policy. Do you have only the minimal amount of coverage? Do you have SUM coverage equal to the amount of your liability coverage? You may save money now, but you’re not doing a very good job at protecting yourself. Even policies with liability limits far in excess of the minimum sometimes don’t have SUM coverage.
Review Your Policy and Don’t Be a Victim
Don’t let yourself be in the position of finding out that you are inadequately covered only after an accident occurs. Take a minute today to review your automobile insurance policy, so that you’re aware whether you have sufficient insurance.
It’s bad enough that you were involved in an accident in the first place. You’ve already been injured, and suffered through the trauma and inconvenience of the accident itself. Don’t let yourself be a victim a second time. The automobile accident attorneys at Worby Groner Edelman LLP have many years of experience in handling SUM claims. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. We’ll evaluate your case quickly, and answer all of your questions. We’re available to come to you if your injury prevents you coming to us. We’ll fight for your interests, and do everything we can to obtain the maximum recovery available, and we won’t charge you a fee unless we make a recovery.