Planning for the Unpredictable: Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) in Florida
Florida Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Having uninsured motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (abbreviated as UM or UM/UIM) is the number one advice we give to each of our clients. One out of every four drivers in Florida does not carry auto insurance.Many consumers will simply accept what their insurance agents recommend rather than researching the best choices for them and their families. This decision can have disastrous consequences, especially when insurance agents “convince” customers to forgo this critical insurance coverage.If one of those uninsured drivers hits you, you may not be able to recover the full amount of compensation you need for your injuries, lost wages and other damages. Don’t tempt luck. Before you purchase or renew your auto-insurance policy, think twice about what you really need to keep your family safe.
Why Should I Purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured/underinsured coverage protects individuals injured in accidents caused by motorists who do not have – or who have very little – auto insurance, we recommend to have this coverage.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that insurance companies cover their own policyholders in minor accidents. Drivers must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers up to $10,000 of medical bills and related expenses. Yet, what happens if you are seriously injured in a car accident? To recover more than $10,000, you need to bring a claim against the other driver.
This is much easier said than done. Why? In Florida, drivers are not required to purchase the insurance that protects them from liability when they hurt someone else. Those who do purchase bodily-injury (BI) liability coverage often purchase low levels to save on costs. Unfortunately, “saving on costs” can mean that there is not enough insurance to cover an entire injury. If someone who does not have enough insurance injures you, you must rely on his or her pocketbook – or your own – to cover your injury.
Or, you can purchase UM/UIM insurance. UM/UIM pays for damages beyond PIP insurance, including additional healthcare expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you have UM/UIM, you can recover compensation by filing a claim against your own insurer.
How Much UM/UIM Coverage Should I Purchase?
You must purchase bodily-injury liability coverage in order to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The amount of UM/UIM you are able to purchase depends entirely on the amount of BI coverage you have – if you purchase $30,000 in BI coverage, you may only purchase up to $30,000 in UIM/UM coverage.
Insurance liability issues are complex, especially when they involve uninsured and underinsured motorists. You may have to bring multiple claims to recover the full compensation you need to move forward. Whether you were injured in a hit-and-run accident or by a driver who has let his or her insurance policy lapse, seek out a Florida car accident lawyernear you.