If you haven’t heard of SUM insurance, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know what it is, and even fewer people have it. But it is absolutely essential when you want to rest assured that insurance will cover your car accident claim. So, why haven’t you heard about SUM insurance? Most likely because your insurance company has not discussed it with you. As a New York car accident attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates, we work with insurance companies all the time and have unfortunately seen many cases fall through because someone did not have SUM insurance. I’ll tell you more about why this type of insurance is key to any car accident claim. If you have questions about your case, I am happy to answer them during a free consultation.
Why is SUM Insurance so Important?
SUM insurance (Supplemental Underinsured Motorist coverage) is in all honesty the most important car insurance you can buy. In a nutshell, SUM insurance supplements or adds to the amount of liability insurance that the at-fault driver has. If, through their own negligence, they cause you a serious injury, SUM insurance can significantly increase your claim, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars or more as part of your car insurance policy.
To see if you have this type of coverage, check your declarations page. If you have only the minimum amount of sum insurance ($25,000/50,000), it could be wise to consider raising it to at least one million dollars. Because sum insurance isn’t expensive, it is typically worth the investment.
What Happens if I Don’t Have SUM Insurance?
If you do not have SUM insurance and get into a car accident, you may find yourself with serious injuries you are unable to pay for. This is unfortunately a scenario I see all too often: someone gets in a major accident with $5 million in damages, but the driver who caused the accident only has $100,000 in liability coverage available. This means the victim receives only $100,000 for injuries that are life-threatening or life-altering.
The good news is that this is completely preventable if you purchase a high limit of SUM insurance. If you have SUM coverage within your own policy, it will be added to the other driver’s coverage. In the example I used above, you would get the $100,000 from the faulty driver’s carrier plus the amount of your SUM coverage.
Something important to remember is that SUM cases can be complicated, as you have to file two separate claims. This involves a lengthy permissions process with your own insurer, as well as a separate lawsuit. Due to the level of complexity, it is best that you work with a New York car accident attorney who clearly understands how these cases work. Buttafuoco & Associates has handled many such cases, and we may be able to help you, too. You can find out more by calling for a free consultation.
Why Have I Never Heard of SUM Insurance Before?
Most people do not know about SUM insurance, and it’s often because their insurance broker hasn’t mentioned it to them. Insurance companies do not want to sell SUM insurance: recent reform of SUM laws in New York mean that the government requires insurers to sell this insurance, and to make it available up to the amount of the driver’s liability coverage. However, insurance companies don’t advertise SUM insurance because it requires them to pay more than they would have to otherwise and isn’t good for their bottom line. The trial lawyers organization that I am a member of was part of the fight to get these laws in place via the Driver and Family Protection Act. This was incredibly important to us because we know that having sufficient coverage is essential to clients’ recovery after a car accident.
Get Help With Your SUM Claim Today
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have successfully maximized compensation in a number of SUM claims, some for millions of dollars. As a first step, make sure you have SUM insurance. Hopefully you will not find yourself in a serious accident where you have to use it, but if you do, get in touch with Buttafuoco & Associates. We have helped clients recover fair compensation in many of these cases and fight hard to recover everything you are entitled to.
Consultations are always free at 1-800-NOW-HURT.