How to protect yourself from under insured motorists
By Chris Patsos on 6/22/21

Do you have enough SUM insurance? 

$25,000 for a shattered leg with permanent scarring after being struck by a hit and run vehicle?  This is what happens when you don't have adequate Supplemental Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist or SUM/UM coverage.  Do you or someone in your household own a car?  Do you have enough SUM/UM insurance coverage?  Have you even heard of SUM or UM insurance coverage?  Most likely you have not; well, read on! 

Too many times I have had the experience of having a client who was badly injured in a motor vehicle accident, only to find out that the at fault vehicle involved in the accident had no insurance or inadequate insurance. SUM/UM is available to provide insurance protection in such situations.  Unfortunately, most people are unaware that they even have SUM/UM coverage, let alone the amount of that coverage.  And most people only have the minimum limits of SUM/UM coverage, which is $25,000/$50,000.

 SUM/UM is coverage to potentially compensate YOU for injuries you sustain in an accident when the responsible or liable party has either no or inadequate insurance (including hit-and-run accidents).  This coverage applies whenever you, or any related member of your household, are a driver (of any motor vehicle), a passenger (in any motor vehicle), or a pedestrian (includes bicyclist). 

As an example, a person struck as a pedestrian (includes bicyclist) by a hit and run vehicle, would be compensated solely out of their SUM/UM policy.  If that policy is at the minimum amount permitted under New York law, it would be $25,000.  After reducing for the typical attorney's fee, you would receive only 2/3 of that amount.

 You are allowed to have the dollar limits of your SUM/UM coverage be as high as, but only as high as, your bodily injury coverage (the coverage that protects those you injure).  So, as an example, if you have bodily injury coverage of $250,000/$500,000, I highly recommend you have the same SUM/UM limits to protect yourself and your family.

 Do yourself a favor and check your automobile insurance policy today and make sure you have ENOUGH SUM/UM.  I am available to review your policy for free.  Fax your Policy Declarations Page to me at (212) 949-9088 or call me at (212) 949-8080.  Don't wait until it's too late!!

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