Supplemental Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Jed Dietrich, Esq. and His Top Rated Team of Lawyers at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Fight to Obtain the Best Result Available for People Injured in Car Accidents In Buffalo, New York
In New York State, drivers must carry a minimum bodily injury liability policy of $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. However, frequently your injuries may exceed the amount that the minimum coverage will cover.
A bill signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December, 2017, known as the “Driver and Family Protection Act,” helps protect New Yorkers who are injured by cars that are uninsured or underinsured. Now, automobile insurance policies entered into after June 18, 2018 will automatically have supplemental underinsured/uninsured motorist (SUM) coverage that is equal to the bodily injury liability coverage available, unless the policyholder explicitly opts out.
Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of aggressive, tenacious and hardworking car accident lawyers in Buffalo, New York will fight to obtain the best result available for you, including pursuing a supplemental underinsured/uninsured claim if you were hurt by an underinsured or uninsured driver. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 716-839-3939. We will come to you and there is never a fee until we WIN for you.What Is SUM Coverage?
Supplemental underinsured/uninsured motorist (SUM) coverage is a type of automobile insurance coverage that protects you if you were hurt by a driver who is underinsured or uninsured. SUM coverage provides additional protection once the defendant underinsured/uninsured driver’s policy has exhausted. A policy is exhausted once the defendant’s entire bodily injury liability policy limits have been paid out. Once the underlying policy has exhausted, you can potentially recover up to your SUM coverage maximum.How Does SUM Coverage Work?
Your SUM Coverage Maximum
- Defendant Driver’s Policy Limit
Additional Coverage Available
If the driver that hit you is uninsured, and your SUM policy covers a maximum of $100,000.00, then you will have up to $100,000.00 in coverage.
If the driver that hit you is underinsured, carrying New York State’s minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000.00, and your SUM policy covers a maximum of $100,000.00, then you will have up to $75,000.00 in additional coverage if the underlying policy exhausts.
In order for SUM coverage to become available, several requirements must first be met.
Provide written notice of intent to make a SUM claim as soon as possible. A claimant must provide written notice of their intent to make a SUM claim. Failure to do so may result in a denial of coverage. Additionally, once a lawsuit has been filed, copies of the Summons and Complaint and other suit papers must be forwarded to your insurance carrier.
Contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of top rated car accident lawyers in Buffalo, New York at 716-839-3939 to preserve your rights.
Obtain an offer of the defendant’s policy limits. Before SUM coverage will become available, all liability policies covering the defendant must first be exhausted. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain an offer of the defendant’s full policy limits. However, in order to be eligible for a SUM claim, prior to settlement for the defendant’s full policy, the claimant must first get the written permission of the SUM carrier to settle.
The defendant’s bodily injury limits must be less than those of the claimant. For defendants to be considered underinsured, their limits must be less than those of the person that they hit. If the claimant’s bodily injury policy limits are equal to or greater than those of the defendant, SUM coverage will not be available.
The claimant must be an insured person within the scope of the policy. Typically, a claimant must fall within the definition of the policy’s insured persons in order to be eligible for SUM coverage.
Generally, SUM coverage will apply to:
- The named insured;
- The named insured’s spouse;
- Relatives residing in the same house as the named insured or their spouse; and
Occupants of the vehicle covered by the SUM policy and/or driven by the named insured or their spouse.
A car accident must have caused the injuries. To trigger a SUM claim, an accident must have been the cause of the claimant’s injuries. Accidents that are staged or otherwise fraudulent are not eligible for SUM coverage.
The car that the claimant was in at the time of the accident must be covered by the SUM policy. If the claimant is in another vehicle that he or she owns, such as a motorcycle, but that vehicle is not covered by the SUM policy, then they will not have SUM coverage available.
If you, or a loved one, were involved in a car accident you may be eligible to make a supplemental underinsured/uninsured motorist claim. Contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of top rated Buffalo, New York car accident lawyers at 716-839-3939. We are top car accident lawyers in Buffalo, New York.3 Most Frequently Asked Questions About SUM Claims in Buffalo, New York
How do I know if I have SUM coverage?
SUM coverage is now mandatory in New York State, so you will likely have at least $25,000.00 unless you have explicitly waived your coverage. You can find out whether you have SUM coverage by obtaining a copy of your automobile insurance policy declaration page from your insurance company or agent.
What types of accidents could SUM coverage help compensate me for?
SUM coverage could be applicable to accidents involving:
- Motor vehicles not covered by a liability policy;
- Motor vehicles involved in a hit-and-run; and
- Motor vehicles that are underinsured.
How can I get SUM coverage if I have been involved in a hit-and-run?
Claimants involved in a hit-and-run accident must take additional steps in order for SUM coverage to kick in. This includes proving that the hit-and-run vehicle came into physical contact with the claimant and providing a sworn statement to the SUM carrier within 90 days of the accident.
Evidence to prove that the hit-and-run vehicle came into contact with the claimant includes:
- Eyewitness reports;
- Photographs or video recordings of the accident;
- Filing a police report; and
- Medical treatment following the accident.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!