Do You Know What Your Auto Insurance Covers?

Most People Are Pretty Uninformed About Their Auto Insurance Coverage

The first form of insurance coverage you should know about after suffering injury in a car accident is your No-Fault insurance coverage, also known as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. It is required of all New York drivers, but most people only carry the minimum $50,000 limit. This could run out quickly if your injury is serious, so it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible about other available coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle damages and other damages.

You also have the option to purchase additional insurance to better cover initial medical expenses and lost wages exceeding minimum No-Fault coverage following a serious accident. These options are "additional personal injury protection" (APIP) and "optional basic economic loss" (OBEL). Premiums for additional coverage are usually minimal.

If you have a case for a serious injury claim beyond your No-Fault coverage, we may be able to help you access third-party bodily injury liability coverage through the other driver's insurance policy. The state requires the following minimum coverage of all drivers:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury resulting in one death
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of two or more people
  • $100,000 for bodily injury resulting in two or more deaths
  • $10,000 for property damage liability

A serious accident can exceed these minimum coverage levels quickly. Therefore, it is important to consider additional coverage options.

Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM/SUM) Coverage

All drivers in New York are also required to carry uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage as part of their insurance policy, but this provides the same minimum coverage as the mandatory bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. UIM coverage only comes into play if the at-fault party does not have insurance.

Purchasing additional SUM coverage is often not very expensive, and can cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in injury costs and property damage if the at-fault driver has very minimal coverage, or if you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Most drivers have purchased SUM coverage as part of their auto insurance policies, but may have forgotten about it.

What If You Don't Own A Car? What If You Are Injured As A Passenger?

If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger, you have options:

  1. The No-Fault and SUM coverage of the car you were riding in could help to cover your losses and damages.
  2. The No-Fault and SUM coverage of your own car, even though it was not involved in the crash, could be accessible.
  3. You could obtain coverage from No-Fault or SUM of any other driver's policy in your household.
  4. You may be able to gain uninsured motorist protection from the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).

Speak with one of our lawyers at Kammholz Law PLLC, in Rochester today about your unique injury situation. We want to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve, and we will handle all insurance matters and communication on your behalf. Please call us today at 585-687-4425 or send us an email for prompt response and a free consultation with an attorney.