Minutes ago, the New York Legislature passed the SUM bill [S.7787 (Seward) / A.10784 (Morelle)], a common-sense amendment to the Insurance Law that will protect policy holders and their loved ones against injuries caused by uninsured/underinsured negligent drivers.
Currently, all drivers must carry the mandatory minimum uninsured motorist coverage ($25,000). A driver who chooses to increase their liability insurance coverage can also purchase supplemental uninsured/underinsured (SUM) coverage, increasing protection if they or their family members are seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. However, most drivers are unaware that they have the option to purchase increased SUM coverage at an affordable price.
The SUM bill would protect motorists by requiring that a driver's SUM insurance limit matches his or her liability coverage, unless the driver chooses to decline additional coverage after being informed of the benefits and minimal costs of the added protection.
The bill preserves consumer choice, protects drivers, and will save taxpayers money as fewer accident victims are forced to rely on Medicaid and other public benefits after accidents involving under- or uninsured drivers.
The bill now heads to Governor Cuomo's desk, thanks to the dedicated work of the Auto Committee and NYSTLA members. I would like to personally thank those who have worked so hard with me to get us to this point. We will continue to work to see that this pro-consumer legislation is enacted.