Insurance: Is Minimum Coverage Enough?

Western New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Insurance: Is Minimum Coverage Enough?

In New York, drivers must have insurance to register a vehicle and get license plates. And there is a minimum amount of insurance they must carry.

The three types of insurance drivers must have include Personal Injury Protection, liability coverage and supplemental uninsured/underinsurance, and the amount of coverage varies based on the type. But is this enough to cover all the damages you might suffer in a crash?

The minimum may not be enough

The fact is that minimum coverage may not be sufficient in covering all your losses and damages in a crash. It may cover medical bills, most of your lost wages, replacement services and expenses related to death, but insurance will only compensate you up to your policy limits.

While this could be adequate in minor accidents, it could fall quite short in severe crashes.

As an example, consider an incident where an uninsured driver crashes into you. Your car may be totaled, and you may need to spend weeks in the hospital, after which you could experience long-term injuries that prevent you from returning to work.

If you have the minimum coverage, your insurance may only cover up to $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. However, insurance carriers are required to offer supplemental coverage which protects drivers from those situations where they are hit by a car with no coverage or minimal limits. We strongly encourage drivers to carry at least $500,000 in both liability and supplemental underinsurance coverage.

Making up the difference

To ensure you have the financial protection you need in the event of a catastrophic collision, you should discuss higher coverage limits and additional policies with your insurance company. You may be surprised at how little it costs to add those additional protections.

If you have already been in a crash, be cautious about accepting an insurance settlement, as additional steps may be necessary to maximize your financial remedies. In addition, only an experienced personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about insurance coverage can make sure that all possible sources of additional coverage are checked out. We have located additional sources of coverage for numerous clients where it initially appeared that there was only limited coverage available.


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