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Katter Law Firm NYC Personal Injury Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is Supplemental Underinsured Motorist Insurance Necessary?

{4:05 minutes to read} Having supplemental underinsurance coverage adds another layer of protection in the event you are injured by someone who has less-than-adequate coverage.

In New York State, the minimum insurance that a driver must carry is $25,000. In the unfortunate event someone is injured in a car accident by a driver who only carries the minimum amount of insurance, whether or not reasonable compensation for those injuries exceeds $25,000, they will not be able to recover any more than the amount from the other driver’s insurance company.

An additional layer of insurance protection called Supplemental Underinsurance is also available for car owners. It provides additional coverage in the event that the damages resulting from a car accident exceed the offending driver’s insurance coverage. It needs to be purchased when you buy your primary car insurance. This coverage triggers when a person is involved in an accident with someone who only has the minimum coverage - coverage that is inadequate to compensate for the injuries the other driver sustains.

Case Study:

A red car, with minimum car insurance, runs a red light and hits a blue car. The red car is at fault, and the collision broke both of the blue car driver’s legs. He’s disabled from his job for a year, requires therapy, and needs a cane to walk. Obviously, the red car’s $25,000 coverage is not adequate to compensate the injured driver, but that is all that is available from the careless driver, and all that the blue car’s driver can recover.

That could be the end of the road for the blue car’s driver. Unless, he had purchased supplemental underinsured coverage (for example, in the amount of $300,000). Then he could file a claim with his own insurance company, under the supplemental underinsured portion of his coverage, and demand the $300,000 supplemental underinsured coverage to pay for his permanent injury, his ongoing medical bills and lost wages. If his insurance company refuses to pay him on that claim, the law requires a neutral party to determine whether he should be paid.

Too often, car insurance policy holders find out they have insufficient coverage after being severely injured in a car accident by irresponsible and underinsured drivers. If you have questions about supplemental underinsured motorist coverage and how it might help to protect you, call Katter Law Firm at 212-809-4293. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Ron Katter
Katter Law Firm
Phone: 844-WAS-HURT
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293


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