Being involved in an accident can bring up a lot of concerns. Along with being injured, you may be concerned about insurance issues. Here is some information about common car accident insurance concerns.
Making a Claim if the Driver Didn’t Have Insurance
In every automobile insurance policy in New York State, an insurance company must offer what is called SUM coverage which is an acronym for Supplementary Uninsured Motorists protection. In most cases, it is what we call unified endorsement and covers people who are uninsured or under-insured. Essentially what that means is if I’m involved in a motor vehicle accident and the vehicle that is at fault and strikes me does not have insurance, I’m able to go to my own insurance company and that insurance company will step in and pay benefits to me, not only for my wage loss and medical, but for my personal injuries as well. Essentially what they do is step into the shoes of the other car accident insurance company to cover my injuries.
Also, in that same endorsement, there is a thing called under-insurance. Let’s say that I’m involved in a motor vehicle accident and I have under-insurance benefits of $500,000. If I get into an accident with someone who only has $25,000 of coverage, I would first go to the insurance company of the defendant or at fault vehicle and get the $25,000 policy from that insurance company. At that point I would then be able to go to my insurance company and I would be eligible to receive an additional $475,000 from my own insurance company. That number is calculated by taking my insurance coverage, my SUM coverage which is $500,000, and subtracting from that what the other insurance company had, which is $25,000.
Insurance Policy Limits
There are limits of insurance that cover the person who caused the injury or accident. When you’re in a car accident, you have insurance limits that you carry under your own policy to protect you in case that person is either underinsured or uninsured. Just focusing on that one, small issue today, we can talk about the importance of keeping adequate coverage on your own policy to cover your family in the time of need.
A lot of insurance agents will explain this to their clients, but many won’t. Especially in this day and age of buying insurance online and getting the cheapest quote, what you don’t understand is that there are little riders. You could pick to choose whether you want rental coverage, how big your deductible is, how much you carry in no-fault limits, and you also choose what you are uninsured or underinsured limits are to protect yourself.
That’s critically important because if you’re struck by somebody who leaves the scene, or by somebody who has no insurance, or someone who has minimal insurance limits, you can still get a very important and significant recovery if you protect yourself through the purchase of supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. People who price these limits out are often surprised at how cheap they are in comparison to any of the other coverages they’ve already purchased.
If you want to file a claim, getting representation can only benefit you. Our experienced Buffalo personal injury attorneys are standing by waiting for your call.