SUM coverage or Supplemental Underinsured Motorist coverage – what is that and what does it mean? If you were to take a look at your declarations page on your auto policy (the declarations page will list out the policy limits) you most likely won’t even pass the slightest remarks on the SUM abbreviation, most people just look for the premium at the bottom of the page and that’s it but the SUM provision is very important and I will tell you why using a hypothetical example.
Let’s say you’re driving through an intersection in Manhattan one evening and a car blows a stop sign or red traffic light and slams into your vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle is completely at fault for the accident. As a result of this collision, you sustain serious, significant and debilitating injuries and should be entitled to a significant amount of compensation for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings. Now let’s say that the driver of the other vehicle only took out a car insurance policy for the New York state minimum, which is a $25,000 policy. That driver is not wealthy, has no assets or additional monies to collect from. This means that you, who have been significantly injured by this driver can only collect the $25,000 policy from this driver even though the value of your injuries far exceeds that amount. That is where SUM comes into the fold to protect you. Supplemental uninsured motorist coverage provides an option to car owners to pay a little extra on their premium to provide for SUM coverage in the event you’re struck and injured by a vehicle that maintains a smaller policy than you do. This type of insurance, which is typically affordable, allows you to be compensated for injuries under your own vehicle or homeowner or tenant’s insurance policy. Insurance providers must provide you with this coverage according to New York law. So let’s say, for example, your vehicle was $100,000 SUM coverage. This means that if you were to collect the full $25,000 from the negligent driver, you can then seek to obtain the remaining $75,000 ($100,000 – $25,000) from your own insurance policy and in doing so you shouldn’t be penalized by your own insurance company. Let’s say the vehicle that hit you had a $100,000 policy and your Supplemental uninsured motorist coverage is $300,000. If you were to obtain the $100,000 policy, you could seek to collect up to $200,000 in additional compensation from your own insurance company.
For you to be able to seek monies from your own carrier for SUM coverage you must:
- Have a car insurance policy and SUM limit that is greater than the policy on the vehicle that caused your injuries.
- Obtain the full policy limits of that vehicle i.e. if they have a $25k policy, you must get the full policy in order to proceed to seek compensation from the SUM policy.
- Request SUM consent from your carrier prior to settling the underlying claim.
- Apply for SUM arbitration.
The four points listed above are just some of the requirements needed to file for SUM arbitration and this is why you should seek the advice and representation of an experienced car accident attorney in New York City. The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Darren T Moore PC are here to help you 24/7. Call us for a free consultation at (917) 809-7014.
According to New York State’s Department of Health, there were 12,093 hospitalizations each year between 2012 and 2014 because of motor vehicle traffic-related injuries, meaning 61.5 out of every 100,000 residents were hospitalized. Additionally, there were 136,913 emergency department visits on average annually during that same period as a result of traffic-related injuries. Thus, it is clearly important to have sufficient insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident make sure that you:
- Seek medical attention.
- Call the police (at least within 24 hours of the accident) and have the police make a report of the accident and the parties involved.
- Take photos/videos of all damage and injuries sustained.
- Request details and contact information from any witnesses.
Supplemental uninsured motorist coverage is worth the additional cost, especially if you work in an industry that requires you to maintain strong health to work and in which you are entitled to a pension following 20 years of service.
Speak To An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
The Law Offices of Darren T. Moore PC in New York can assist you after an accident by:
- Filing a No-Fault application (within 30 days of your accident) to cover your medical treatment and bills
- Filing the application for SUM (Supplementary Underinsured Motorist) Arbitration with the American Arbitration Association
- Representing you during your examination under oath
- Providing your insurance carrier with all the medicals and authorizations that they are entitled to, in order to help them with the claim evaluation process.
Call The Law Offices of Darren T. Moore PC and his team of car accident attorneys in Manhattan, NYC today at (917) 809-7014 for a free consultation. We continuously strive to achieve “MOORE JUSTICE” for all clients.