Studies by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) show that approximately 1 in 4 drivers in Florida is uninsured. Florida is one of the states with the highest rate of uninsured drivers. This means that if you are involved in an accident, there’s a good chance the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured. Being uninsured or underinsured means they have no insurance to help you pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or any other damages related to your injury. That is why it’s important that you check your car insurance policy and make sure that you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Florida is a "no-fault" state, and the law requires that all drivers carry at least the minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP). This minimum is $10,000 and is the only insurance that drivers in Florida are required to have along with property damage liability (PD). Your own PIP covers you for your medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault in an accident, but only for a very limited minimum amount minus your deductible. The problem is that if you were seriously injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, chances are your PIP won't be enough to compensate you for your losses. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage is a coverage that possibly allows you to make up for the difference. Hospital bills alone often exceed your PIP. Can you imagine what happens if you receive a bill for even as little as $20,000? What if you got one for $200,000?
You can potentially protect yourself by having uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM will protect you up to the amount of your UM limits if you are seriously injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent driver who did not carry sufficient liability insurance to cover your bodily injury damages. Additionally, UM may cover your bodily injury damages if you are involved in an accident with a negligent hit and run driver who leaves the scene of the crash and is never identified. UM coverage can be used to pay for such damages as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
Having this extra coverage is important because serious injuries can easily result in medical bills and damages adding up to a lot more than you should ever have to pay or owe- particularly when someone negligently hurt you in a crash that you couldn't avoid.
Should I Purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Especially in Florida, all drivers should seriously consider carrying UM coverage as part of their car insurance. The cost of coverage is relatively small when compared to the mountain of damages you could face if you are seriously injured in an auto accident. In Florida, your insurance carrier is required to offer you UM coverage, and if you want to opt-out, you have to do so in writing. If you elect to reject UM coverage, you risk too much! ASK FOR UM!!!!!!!!
Stacked Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You may choose to have "stacked" UM coverage, which means that you can stack your coverage based on how many insured vehicles you have. For example, if you own two vehicles and you have $100,000 in UM coverage on each vehicle, you may be able to recover up to $200,000 if your UM coverage is stacked.
The bottom line is that car accidents are going to happen, and there is usually nothing we can do to prevent that. The smartest way to prepare for an accident is to prepare for the financial fall out that might result from an accident. The best way to do that is to ensure that you have the right car insurance. Do your own research independent of your insurance broker to determine what coverage is right for you.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and have questions about your insurance coverage, you should contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Tison Law Group have decades of experience and can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
the trusted attorneys at Tison Law Group or call us at 813-739-1776 to schedule your free consultation today.