Do This Before Your Next Road Trip

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About Mary Ann Risavich-Birgeles

Mary Ann studied American History and Political Science at University of Pennsylvania, before moving on to the William and Mary School of Law where she received her law degree with an additional recognition for public service. Mary Ann has previously done work for the New York State Attorney General’s Office in the area of consumer fraud, as well as the Suffolk County Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Women's Bar Association of New York, the American Association of Justice, the New York State Trial Lawyers’ Association, as well as both the Suffolk County and New York State Bar Associations.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY THIS SUMMER BEFORE EVER GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL

Summer is a great time to spend quality time with family and friends.  Nothing is more relaxing than piling your family into the car and taking a road trip. Whether that road trip is a few miles down the road, or hundreds of miles away from home, some of the best memories of childhood are family road trips. However, life is oftentimes unpredictable and in a moment, can take an unexpected twist. If one of these unpredictable life moments occurs on the roadway, are you and your family protected?

The most important automobile insurance one can have, is sadly, too often the insurance coverage one does not have enough of. Supplemental Underinsured /Uninsured Motorists Coverage, otherwise known as S.U.M., is insurance coverage provided by your own auto insurance carrier, and is required in New York State. This coverage offers protection to you and your passengers in the event that the other driver is either uninsured, or their policy limits are not high enough to cover your actual damages. In other words, your policy would make up the difference between the other driver’s policy and your damages, up to your policy limits. Most New York car owners only carry the minimum limit of $25,000 in liability, which means that you only have $25,000 in SUM coverage (you can only buy SUM coverage equal to, but not greater than, your own liability policy).

For example, if you are hit by a motorist who carries the New York State minimum liability coverage of $25,000, but you have a SUM/UM add-on/rider of $200,000, you may recover the additional $175,000 available if your damages call for it, under your SUM/UM add-on/rider. Without the SUM/UM coverage, you will only be able to recover the $25,000, even if your injuries are much more. By adding on a SUM/UM add-on/rider, you are protecting yourself and your loved ones in the event of a catastrophic motor vehicle accident.

I have seen many cases where clients have had catastrophic injuries, who were hit by individuals with the minimum $25,000 policy coverage. Unfortunately, it is too late at that point to protect themselves. By being proactive, you are protecting yourself and your loved ones in the unfortunate event of an accident.

The cost to have this added protection averages between $35.00-$58.00 more per month. As always, it is best to contact your auto insurance companies directly for more information.