Search Site
Menu
FREE CASE EVALUATION 888-351-9421
Warning: The dirty little secret that your auto insurance company doesn’t want you to know

I want to share a hard lesson learned by one of my clients, Brian, who sustained a career-ending knee injury when his car was hit by a truck. He asked me to share his story with the rest of the 9/11 community to ensure that others learn from his horrible experience with his own insurance company. He wants to make sure that each of you knows about a type of insurance that your own auto insurance company doesn’t want you to ask about: Supplementary Uninsured Motorist Insurance (SUM).

No matter how good a driver you are, you cannot control what other drivers do. You can’t rely on another driver to drive carefully, to refrain from texting, to pull over if he is tired, or to have sufficient liability insurance. The scary fact is that hundreds of thousands of automobile owners drive their cars with little or no liability insurance coverage. What you can control is how much SUM coverage you have on your own auto insurance policy.

Most drivers don’t realize that when you buy automobile insurance, you are buying both auto liability insurance (in case you negligently hit someone else), and you are buying SUM insurance (in case you’re hit by a car with little or no liability coverage). SUM is just as important as liability insurance. If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your own SUM insurance will be available to compensate you for your pain and suffering and lost income.  But, all too often, the insurance companies that advertise that they have the most affordable rates (“15 minutes will save you 15%….” , “you’re in good hands with …….”, “name your price.…”, “ ……is on your side”) don’t tell you that your SUM coverage will be considerably lower than your liability coverage unless you specifically request higher coverage. Most people do not know this until it’s too late— after they are seriously injured by an uninsured driver.

Injured twice: First by a negligent driver and then by your own insurance company

It was heart breaking when Brian found out that his injured knee, despite multiple surgeries, had not healed well enough for the FDNY doctors to let him return to work. He was forced to retire. Brian was unlucky for several reasons.

  • First, at age 42, he sustained a permanent painful and disabling knee injury.
  • Second, he and his family lost the steady and secure income from a well-paying career.
  • Third, since he had less than 20 years on the job and he was injured off-duty, his pension had not vested. Instead of a healthy monthly pension, he receives just a small payment.
  • Fourth, the car that struck him had no liability insurance coverage.  Like most of my firm’s clients, Brian didn’t know anything about SUM coverage, let alone how much coverage he had.
  • Brian’s own insurance carrier misled him. The sad reality is that while Brian had purchased $500,000 of liability insurance, he didn’t realize that his insurance company had sold him just $50,000 of SUM coverage (see his policy’s insurance coverage limits, below).  Because the uninsured driver had no assets, this is all we were able to get for Brian.

That isn’t justice!

Most insurance companies are only too happy to sell you expensive liability insurance.  Because SUM premiums are so inexpensive, insurance companies have no incentive to sell you an equal amount of liability and SUM coverage. Unfortunately, we see this sad story all too often.

In summary: Please call your auto insurance company today and demand that your SUM coverage equal the amount of liability coverage.

  • As a rule, you should have enough liability coverage to compensate a seriously injured person in case you are sued so that he or she will not be tempted to chase after your personal assets (the value of your home is the minimum amount of liability and SUM insurance coverage that you should have).
  • Make sure that you have enough SUM coverage to compensate you for your pain and suffering and future lost income in case you suffer disabling injuries in an accident with an uninsured driver.

If you have any questions about automobile insurance coverage, please feel free to call my office for a free consultation.

Mike Barasch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
Our Attorneys
Testimonials
  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • Barasch & McGarry Personal Injury Websites

    • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation


      There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

      For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

      Register For Compensation

    Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

    Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

    Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

    A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
    Contact Us

    Fill out the form below with any questions or info on how to get your free consultation

    Quick Contact Form