First appeared in NewsBreak
By Aron Solomon
Supplementary Uninsured Motorist Coverage (SUM) is an additional type of car insurance that can provide extra protection in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
As New York lawyer, Billy Cooper, explained in an interview, while Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) can cover medical expenses and property damage if you are hit by an uninsured driver, SUM can provide additional coverage if the at-fault driver has some insurance, but not enough to cover all of your expenses.
Having the right amount of SUM coverage is important because it can help protect you from financial hardship in the event of an accident. If you are in an accident caused by an underinsured driver, their insurance may not be enough to cover all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Without SUM coverage, you may be left with significant out-of-pocket expenses.
For example, let’s say you are in an accident caused by a driver who has the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state. If your medical bills and other expenses exceed that amount, you may be responsible for paying the difference. However, if you have SUM coverage, it can help cover the additional expenses that the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t cover.
It’s important to note that SUM coverage is not required in all states, and the amount of coverage you need may vary depending on your individual circumstances. Factors like your health insurance coverage, the amount of liability insurance required in your state, and your personal financial situation can all impact how much SUM coverage you need.
When choosing a SUM coverage limit, it’s important to consider your potential expenses in the event of an accident. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and other damages like pain and suffering. You may also want to consider the amount of liability insurance required in your state, as well as the likelihood of being in an accident with an underinsured driver.
In general, it’s a good idea to have enough SUM coverage to protect yourself from financial hardship in the event of an accident. While it may cost more to have higher limits, the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are protected can be well worth the investment.
Cooper points out that people have misconceptions as to the cost of SUM in relation to the total cost of your policy:
“You should always check with your insurance provider when buying a new policy. You’ll be surprised at how much supplementary uninsured motorist coverage you can get for a very reasonable amount on your monthly premium.”
Remember that having the right amount of SUM coverage can help protect you from financial hardship and ensure that you are able to cover your expenses in the event of an accident. When choosing a SUM coverage limit, it’s important to consider your individual circumstances and potential expenses, as well as the amount of liability insurance required in your state.
Cooper offers this final piece of advice:
“Unless you’ve already done your homework and know you have enough SUM, call your insurance company today to discuss this. A good agency will give you a fast and reasonable quote and answer questions you have. If you’re still not sure how SUM works, any lawyer who practices insurance or automobile injury law will be able to help.”
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.