Q: What is Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage?

A: SUM/UM coverage provides for an individual, a family member who lives with that individual or anyone in a car which the individual is operating if a negligent motorist (1) has no insurance or (2) has a low policy limit.

Supplementary Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage applies if another driver causes an accident and has little or no auto insurance coverage. In this situation, an injured party may use their own SUM/UM coverage to obtain additional compensation for the injuries suffered.

The following is an example from NYS Department of Financial Services:

1. An individual has a personal auto insurance policy with Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage of $25,000 and has not purchased Supplementary Uninsured Motorist (“SUM”) Coverage. The individual is riding a bicycle and suffers injuries in an accident with a motor vehicle that leaves the scene (“hit-and-run”). The individual suffers injuries in excess of $25,000. The individual’s insurer pays the $25,000 UM policy limit. The individual’s brother, who lives in the same household, has a separate personal auto insurance policy with SUM coverage of $100,000. May the individual file a claim under his brother’s insurance policy?

2. If the individual is entitled to recover under his brother’s policy, may the brother’s insurer, at the time of renewal, increase the premium based upon the fact that the individual’s claim was filed (and paid) on the brother’s policy?

Conclusions:

1. The individual may file a SUM claim under his brother’s policy for up to $75,000 in SUM coverage.

2. The brother’s insurer may not increase the policy premium as a result of the individual’s claim.

LaMarche Safranko Can Help

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

 

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