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Protecting your Family from Uninsured Drivers

If you've been injured in an accident or on the job, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.

Last Updated: 07-21-2023
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

What is SUM/UM coverage, and why is it important to me?

Supplemental Underinsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist coverage is important to your automobile insurance policy. This portion of your policy covers you and your resident relatives up to your purchase coverage. This means that if the person who causes a car accident is uninsured, there is still coverage for you and your household relatives up to the amount of coverage you purchase. This also means that if the person who causes an accident is underinsured, additional coverage may be available up to the amount of your rider. Your SUM/UM coverage compensates you if an uninsured driver hits you.

Underinsured Motorist coverage does not cover the amount you purchase. You have coverage up to the amount of coverage you purchase. In other words, any coverage the at-fault uninsured driver has is deducted from the amount you purchase.

For example, if the at-fault party has the New York State minimum liability coverage of $25,000 and a $100,000 SUM/UM rider. Then the most you could ever recover is $100,000. In basic terms, it means that you have an additional $75,000 available that you would not have had if you did not purchase the SUM/UM rider.

There are many situations where your SUM/UM coverage might be used. But again, this is coverage for you. Even if you have $100,000/$300,000 in liability coverage, it might not mean there is that much available for you. It is a good idea to make sure that you are properly covered.

Contact us at (212) 779-0057 to review your automobile policy coverage so we can explain how the coverage works, each coverage’s limitations, and how it might benefit you.

How To Deal With The Other Guy’s Insurance Adjuster

After an accident, if you are deemed not at fault and file a bodily injury or property damage claim, expect to become very popular with the other party’s insurance adjuster. They will likely request a recorded statement from you. You are not required to do this. Our office recommends never giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. (Note: If your insurance company needs to discuss details of the accident with you, you should cooperate but still exercise caution.)

The adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company probably will also ask you to sign a medical authorization to gain access to your medical records. Do not sign it. There’s no need for them to have more information than necessary. They’re simply fishing for information from past injuries or medical conditions that could damage your claim or limit your ability to collect fair compensation.

The other party’s adjuster may also want to settle your bodily injury claim with you before you’re finished with treatment, sometimes within 24 hours of your filing…think vultures on the Savannah. Remember, they’re not looking to do what’s best for you. They’re looking to do what’s best for them—saving money. Threats to withdraw a settlement offer are empty ones. Don’t settle without talking to an accident attorney.

If adjusters press you to sign a release, confer with your attorney before signing anything. Don’t be intimidated. Again, do what’s right for your circumstances, not theirs. Adjusters can also be charming and friendly and ask seemingly innocent questions. But even a “How are you?” and a response of “Fine” can damage your case.

Call Us if An Uninsured Driver hits you.

Let an experienced accident attorney be your mouthpiece and guide you each step of the way to recover the damages you are owed fully.

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