What the Possible New Uninsured/Underinsured Law Means to Motorcyclists

Sometime around 2004-2005, while I was a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, I was sent to Albany to lobby for the Association. One of the senators I was assigned to lobby was Senator Seward. After lobbying the issue I was supposed to present, I proposed two of my own ideas to Senator Seward and was later reprimanded by the Association for proposing my own ideas.

Senator Seward asked me to submit my ideas in writing. One of those ideas was recently sponsored by Senator Seward in bill S.7787 and has now passed both houses. If signed by the governor, it will become law and require insurance companies to sell uninsured and underinsured coverage (SUM coverage) equal to the same amount of coverage as your liability coverage unless you indicate that you want less SUM coverage. The insurance company or agent would also be required to tell you what SUM coverage is.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed the law but a watered-down version may yet pass.  Hopefully, a law alerting drivers and motorcyclists of the availability and importance of uninsured/underinsured insurance will pass.

Currently, insurance companies are only required to sell $25,000 uninsured coverage and no underinsured coverage. It can get a little complicated but an example can illustrate what it is and why it’s important. If a car with $25,000 insurance coverage or no insurance coverage runs a red light hitting your motorcycle and you’re left with a serious injury, it can mean the difference between you receiving only $25,000 or the amount of your additional uninsured/underinsured coverage which could be $250,000. Since motorcycle accidents usually cause serious injuries, this law will substantially benefit motorcyclists.

While some motorcyclists may have an initial concern that this is yet another ploy by insurance companies to make more money and cost consumers more, this fear should be put to rest. It is true that insurance companies will make more money (and this is what I emphasized to Senator Seward), but the cost of increasing uninsured and underinsured coverage is very little and vitally important especially to motorcyclists because of the severe injuries often sustained in motorcycle accidents. According to Full Throttle Insurance, the cost of increasing uninsured/underinsured coverage on a motorcycle insurance policy can be as little as $7 per year.

I have previously written many articles advising motorcyclists about the importance of increasing uninsured and underinsured coverage. If this bill becomes law, my articles will be urging motorcyclists not to opt-out of the additional uninsured and underinsured coverage.

I recommend calling an independent motorcycle insurance agent to make sure you get the best advice and the right coverage for your motorcycle. The reason for calling an independent insurance agent instead of buying insurance directly from an insurance company is that you will get valuable advice. When you buy directly from an insurance company you’re only speaking with a salesperson, not an educated insurance agent. If you buy insurance online, you’re not getting any valuable advice. An independent insurance agent will not only provide you with valuable advice at no extra cost but will place you with the insurance company which has the best price for your particular motorcycle and driving history. If you already have motorcycle insurance, you can still call an independent insurance agent today. Do it today, because after a motorcycle accident it’s too late.

If you would like a New York motorcycle accident attorney to review your motorcycle insurance coverage, I will be happy to review it with you for free. Just call 1-800-HURT-911.

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