Uninsured And Underinsured Motorists
In this article, you will learn about…
- The definitions of uninsured and underinsured motorists.
- The benefits of paying a little extra for Supplemental Underinsured Motorist insurance.
- New York State’s motor vehicle insurance requirements.
How Common Are Uninsured Or Underinsured Drivers Across New York State?
Let’s break these terms down into two categories; uninsured, meaning you are driving completely without insurance, and underinsured, meaning that you are driving with insufficient insurance.
People in New York drive without insurance. This doesn’t happen that much because of the risks of driving without any insurance and because such drivers could face criminal charges.
For example, if you are using your cell phone while driving or pulled over for running a stop sign, and the officer looks at your driver’s insurance and sees it has lapsed, (or worse, that you don’t have any in the first place), you will face serious consequences.
Sometimes there are understandable reasons for driving without insurance. Sometimes insurance coverage lapses. You might think that you have insurance, but it ran out because you forgot to pay the premiums. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen that often. An underinsured driver is much more common.
The underinsured situation is where you are driving, there’s an accident caused by someone else, and you have been seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance was the minimum amount required by New York law, $25,000, which is not very good news at all. This is because their insurance policy limit of $25,000 will be the maximum amount that you can recover for your medical bills.
If you, the injured party, were wise enough to purchase Supplemental Underinsured Motorist insurance (SUM) then that would increase the amount of insurance that you have. For example, if you have a $100,000 SUM policy, you get $25,000 from the other driver and another $75,000 from your insurance. In that way, you would end up with a total of $100,000.
Drivers getting SUM is critical because in the event you need it, it can be a lifesaver, and it does not cost much.
Are There Specific Car Insurance Requirements In New York State?
Under New York state law, you have to have a minimum of $25,000 of coverage. Whereas, the most the insurance company would have to pay out no matter how many claims there were would be $50,000.
If you’re in an accident where all four people involved got hurt, the insurance company of the defendant would only be paying each of you $12,500. However, if there was just a regular uninsured motorist policy, where the driver of the car hurt people, you could be compensated and end up with $25,000.
Does New York State Require Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
New York State requires drivers to have an insurance policy with a minimum of $25,000. This is crucial because insurance protects every driver on the road. Just imagine if you hurt somebody and were expected to compensate them in the amount of $25,000. Now imagine you have $25,000 provided for through Supplemental Underinsured Motorist (SUM) insurance.
What Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
In the event there isn’t sufficient minimal coverage, Supplemental Underinsured Motorist (SUM) insurance will pay more. It’ll make sure to compensate you so that you have proper coverage for your pain and suffering from your injury.
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have When They’ve Been Involved In An Accident With An Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist?
Unfortunately, people think that if they’re in an accident, they will automatically get a significant substantial financial settlement, regardless of the facts and circumstances.
In New York State, we always need to prove both liability and injury. If we can do that, then you have coverage. Even if you are 100% in the right, the defendant is in the wrong, and you have a very serious personal injury, it’s not automatic that you are going to get that big payout.
We have to know how much insurance the defendant has–if they have coverage at all. Sometimes the other driver doesn’t have insurance. So that’s why it’s important to have the coverage afforded by Supplemental Underinsured Motorist (SUM) insurance. If you choose to pay a few extra bucks a year, you could be looking at $100,000, not at $25,000.
For more information on Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists In NY, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 208-2444 today.