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02 August 2012

New Law Requiring SUM Coverage Awaits Governor Cuomo’s Signature

A new insurance bill that was passed by the NY Assembly and State Senate on June 21 could become a helpful addition to the New York State Auto Accident Laws; it will require insurance companies to include supplementary underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (SUM) in their policies at the same coverage level as the insured’s own liability limits, instead of leaving it as an optional coverage.

How Will The New Sum Coverage Bill Affect Me?

Current auto insurance law only requires insurance policies to provide uninsured motorist coverage at the minimum state limit of $25,000/$50,000. Such a small policy frequently will not cover all damages caused by accidents for policyholders and their passengers, often when an uninsured or underinsured driver causes the injuries. SUM is an add-on protection that extends the uninsured coverage to underinsured motorists, and it  covers the injured person’s damages if the motorist causing the accident has low liability limits; any limit lower than the limits purchased by the insured injured person and their family.

Lipsig Law Firm And NYS Trial Lawyers Association Supports The Sum Bill

The Lipsig law firm and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) supports the new bill, since this new  law  allows for consumer choice while saving taxpayer money, since fewer auto accident victims will have to rely on Medicaid and public benefits after they were injured and exhausted the low insurance limits of the offending vehicle.

Current insurance procedures leave many motorists paying for high limits that protect them only when they are sued for damages. However, when they or their families are injured during accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists, they receive little or no protection from their own policies, although this coverage is very affordable and is available to them.  The new SUM coverage law corrects a flaw in the current New York State auto accident insurance law procedures, and will be a welcome change for New York’s insured motorists.