There are different kinds of insurance for your vehicle, and many drivers find all of the options a bit confusing. New York has liability insurance for those with vehicles, as well as no-fault medical coverage. There are also supplemental forms of coverage that you can purchase to protect yourself.
For example, Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage is an optional kind of protection you can add to your policy. Not only is it a smart idea to have SUM coverage on your policy, but you likely also want to invest in a high maximum benefit for that coverage.
How does SUM coverage work?
When you get into a crash and either have serious injuries or major property damage losses, the other driver’s insurance policy covers you. It pays for the repairs to your vehicle, the cost to buy a new vehicle and your medical expenses. Your no-fault coverage also protects you and anyone in your vehicle from minor medical expenses.
However, many drivers don’t carry enough liability insurance. Others let their policies lapse. Your SUM coverage allows you to make a claim against your own policy for expenses from a crash caused by a driver whose policy doesn’t adequately protect you.
In order to meet the claim against the SUM coverage, your losses need to exceed the standard coverage available. The policy of the other driver or the compensation you already received should not exceed the maximum benefit of your SUM coverage. In other words, paying slightly more for a higher limit on your SUM coverage will ensure that it applies in more cases and gives you the maximum amount of protection against future financial losses.
What happens if you don’t have enough SUM coverage?
Adjusting your insurance coverage for a possible future car crash is a good move, but it’s not one that everybody makes ahead of time. If you have already gotten into a crash caused by a driver with low insurance coverage or elapsed policy and you don’t have adequate SUM coverage on your own policy, a civil lawsuit may be your only way to recover your losses.
Understanding how insurance works in New York can help you maximize your protection and seek compensation after a serious crash.