Maintaining Sufficient Insurance and Never Be Uninsured
If you are like most people with a car in New York, you have a lot to consider related to owning or leasing that vehicle. You have to find a place to park the car, maintenance and repairs, alternate side parking/street cleaning rules, snow and ice in the winter, and the inevitable parking ticket.
However, the most important item is car insurance. The State of New York requires most vehicle owners carry a minimum of $25,000 insurance coverage for bodily injury. Taxis and car service vehicles are required to carry $100,000. In other words, if you get into a car accident and you injure someone, your auto insurance will cover up to $25,000 for that person’s bodily pain and suffering. The medical expenses are covered separately under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provisions of the policy. You know this as “no-fault” insurance. A separate provision covers property damage. The minimum required property damage coverage in New York is $10,000.
Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is protection related to injuries received as a result of an uninsured, negligent driver. An uninsured driver does not have any insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage is protection related to injuries received from an accident where the other driver is at fault. However, the other driver has coverage limits too low to cover your bodily injury pain and suffering. Underinsured drivers purchase only the minimum coverage required by law.
If you sustain a serious injury by a driver with low coverage limits, the available insurance benefit may not cover your total pain and suffering. Therefore, you would rely on your own underinsured motorist coverage to cover the difference. Coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers is known as UM / UIM or SUM coverage. The higher your coverage, the more protection you will have in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Auto insurance for consumers generally is available in the following denominations for bodily injury coverage:
- $25,000 per person | $50,000 per accident
- $50,000 per person | $100,000 per accident
- $100,000 per person | $300,000 per accident
- $250,000 per person | $300,000 per accident
The first number is the most insurance will pay for a bodily injury claim to any one person injured for any single incident. The second number is the most insurance will pay in total for any single accident, regardless of the number of claimants for that accident.
Commercial vehicles generally have higher coverage.
Although the minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury seems like a lot of coverage, it’s really not. Serious injury claims can add up to hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of dollars. Moreover, you may be personally liable if your insurance does not cover the costs of injuries and damages to a car accident victim. You need proper coverage. Otherwise, an accident can cost you more in the long run. You could even possibly lose your home. This is why it is important that you review and discuss with your insurance agent or broker your current policy. Make sure you have sufficient coverage for your individual needs. The more insurance coverage you have, the more you are personally protected if you are involved in a serious accident.