Your ‘SUM’ Auto Insurance

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Q: I was injured in an auto accident, but the other driver had only $25,000 of liability coverage.  He says that was all his company would sell to him.  He was ‘high risk’ before our accident.  No wonder: as the accident proves, he is risky for sure.  Now my friends say I should have had SUM coverage.  What is that?

A: ‘SUM’ stands for ‘Supplemental Underinsured Motorist’ insurance.  I am sure that you do have it, but apparently not enough.  Your insurer was required to give you at least $25,000 of SUM coverage, but that gets eaten up right away by the $25,000 that the other driver had.  As it turns out, you needed more.  When you have only the minimum $25,000 of SUM coverage, it is good only for a driver who is totally uninsured.  If he has any liability coverage, in New York, then it is at minimum for $25,000.

The more that you are willing to assume that other drivers out there are underinsured, the more you should buy the same amount of SUM coverage as liability coverage.  Because not everybody is underinsured, the cost of SUM insurance is considerably less than that of your own insurance.  Ask your agent.

In these tough times, you may not feel like spending your hard-earned money on something that seems like an option.  The trouble is that the guy who slams into your car may have felt the same way when deciding to skimp on his own insurance.  How much extra will you spend?  Only your agent knows for sure.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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