From the desk of Barrie E. Bazarsky, Esq.
In my last blog, I discussed no fault coverage. Here, some other aspects, specifically bodily injury (BI) and how it relates to my favorite coverage, supplemental uninsured/underinsured coverage (SUM) will be explained.
When people buy auto insurance, they usually think of the amount of coverage they will have if they injure someone. The amount of “pain and suffering” coverage the injured party can seek to recover from YOU. That is bodily injury (BI).
In New York, the mandatory minimum BI coverage is $25,000/$50,000. That means any one person you injure can recover up to $25,000 and any number of people from an accident, can together recoup $50,000 in total, with no one person getting more than $25,000.
That amount is minimal. If you own anything, work, or have money you need to have higher coverage. Look at your assets and consider what you need to protect them. I tell my clients, that if they can afford it, they should have at least $100,000/$300,000. If you have equity in your home or other assets and money, you may consider an umbrella. An umbrella is a separate policy or rider which covers all the things you own and that you list, under it. It begins at 1 million dollars and I believe it is usually a good idea to have it. Most insurance carriers will not “write” an umbrella policy unless the underlying auto coverage is at least $250,000/$500,000. They don’t want to have to step in unless they have to!
Make sure, especially if your carriers are different, or if you change or do not use a broker, that you are carrying the policy limits on your car that are necessary for the umbrella. If not, you may wind up “covering the gap”.
You also cannot carry more SUM than the BI coverage you have.
Remember, my consultation is free, you can always contact me with questions.
All information is given pursuant to the laws of the State of New York.