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What Is SUM Insurance Coverage and Why Is It Important?

closeup of a car key and a insurance policy on a white surfaceAuto insurance policies typically include several types of coverage. They are listed on the “declaration page,” which is most often on the top of the policy you should have received from your insurance company or agency.

When considering coverage options and insurance providers, many people tend to focus on the portions of the policy related to collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, liability for bodily injury and property damage. However, there is another very important type of insurance coverage to consider, which is known as Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured coverage.

What is SUM Insurance Coverage?

SUM insurance coverage stands for Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage. This type of auto insurance coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured. It is included on all New York State car insurance policies, but the important thing to know is that the limits of coverage may be insufficient to provide protection to you or another occupant of your vehicle if an accident and serious injury occurs.

Here’s how the two coverages work:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage:

In the event that the person who caused the car accident is driving without insurance, the uninsured motorist provision will provide up to $25,000 in coverage for you, and up to $25,000 in coverage to another occupant of your vehicle for injuries you or the occupant sustain in the accident. If you have purchased coverage with limits in excess of $25,000, there will be coverage for injuries up to the limits of coverage.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

In the event that the other driver’s coverage is insufficient to properly compensate you for your injuries, or to properly compensate another occupant of your vehicle for his injuries– provided you have purchased underinsured coverage that exceeds the limits of the other driver’s coverage, you and the occupant will be able to pursue recovery for the value of the injuries up to the available coverage, LESS the amount of coverage you have in this category. Put another way, the other driver’s insurance policy is “credited” with whatever the limits of your coverage are.

Why is SUM Insurance Coverage Important?

Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage is very important for a variety of reasons, including:

  • It provides extra protection. Many drivers carry only the minimum liability insurance of $25,000. For someone who suffers serious or catastrophic injury as the result of a car accident, this amount does not begin to provide fair compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages/benefits, scarring or the permanent impact to the victim’s life caused by the accident. Having sufficient SUM insurance coverage will help to bridge the gap if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has not been socially responsible in purchasing sufficient insurance coverage.
  • It’s required in New York State. SUM insurance coverage is required in New York State, though the required liability coverage limits are too low—only $25,000. Still, your insurance policy must include SUM coverage if you are a New York driver.
  • It can save you money. SUM insurance coverage costs relatively little for the expansive coverage it provides. If you’re seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured and you don’t have sufficient SUM insurance coverage in your policy, it is likely you won’t receive the compensation you deserve. Having enough SUM insurance can help to replace lost wages and benefits that will otherwise not be replaced if you’re involved in a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Review Your SUM Insurance Coverage Today!

Whether you’re shopping for a new auto insurance provider or reviewing your current policy, it’s important to take the time to review your present SUM insurance coverage and obtain a quote for substantial SUM coverage if you don’t already have it. Most drivers aren’t aware of this type of coverage and therefore have only $25,000 in coverage. The small additional price for having at least $250,000 or $500,000 of coverage will prove to be a small price to pay to have peace of mind if you are involved in an accident that results in serious injury and the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.

Contact your insurance company or agent today to discuss your options if you believe your SUM coverage should be increased.

Injured in a Car Accident? Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany Can Help.

A car accident can be overwhelming, but the attorneys at Anderson, Moschetti and Taffany can help make it a lot easier. From helping you navigate dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, determining what coverage is available from the other driver, and from your own policy, to obtaining every dollar that you deserve for pain and suffering, lost wages, and the permanent impact of the injuries on your life, the award winning personal injury lawyers at Anderson, Moschetti and Taffany are here for you.

Jeffrey Anderson, Peter Moschetti and David Taffany each have more than three decades of experience handling car accident cases and are completely versed in the legal principles that govern personal injury law. They have obtained record setting verdicts and settlements for victims of car accidents and have the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain the compensation you are entitled to.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or anywhere in the Capital Region of Upstate New York, contact the award winning personal injury attorneys at Anderson, Moschetti and Taffany at (518) 785-4900 for a free consultation, or fill out the form on our website to schedule your free case review.

Interested in learning more about where to turn for compensation following a car accident? The following resources are a good place to start:

How Will Medical Bills Be Paid if You’re Injured in a Car Accident? – Wondering how your hospital and doctor bills will be paid when you receive treatment following a serious injury sustained in a car accident? Learn about the different sources you can look to for payment of the bills.

What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance Coverage in New York? – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is commonly known as no fault coverage. This insurance covers medical bills, lost wages and other miscellaneous expenses following an accident, with some limitations. Learn more about what to expect from no fault coverage after a car accident.

Editor’s Note: This content was originally published in 2015 but has been updated as of February 2019.

David J. Taffany

About David J. Taffany

Mr. Taffany is an personal injury lawyer and a founding member of Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany, PLLC in Albany. He specializes in all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including complex medical malpractice, products liability and labor law. Read More About David J. Taffany »