Glossary: Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

William Mattar Glossary
Posted: September 2, 2022

Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

Supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage may be helpful in situations where someone’s injuries are more serious than the amount of available bodily injury liability insurance coverage carried by the at-fault motorist. In other words, SUM coverage may be available to provide additional bodily injury coverage for a motor vehicle accident victim if the liable party does not have enough auto insurance coverage to pay for the resulting injuries.  

Generally speaking, under New York State law, the minimum amount of liability insurance that motorists are required to carry is $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. If a motorist with minimum coverage causes a serious injury to another person on the road, that may not be sufficient coverage to fully compensate the injured person.   

For example, if the damages of the injured person is valued at $80,000, but that person does not carry SUM insurance, the most the injured person would be able to receive is the underlying $25,000 policy.  Because the injured person did not carry SUM insurance, he or she may not be fully compensated.  

If, however, the injured person carried a SUM policy in the amount of $100,000, that person would potentially be able to recover from the SUM carrier the difference between the $25,000 policy and the value of the pain and suffering.  In this scenario, the difference would be $55,000 ($80,000 – $25,000 = $55,000).   

An experienced attorney can identify all potentially applicable insurance coverages to ensure that someone injured on New York roads receives maximum compensation. This could entail claims against the at-fault motorist and other potentially liable parties, as well as claims against the injured motorist’s own insurance company.  

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