Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers you when the driver that caused the crash does not have any or enough insurance to pay for your injuries.
According to the Insurance Research Council, the State of Florida has the unfortunate honor of being the fifth highest in the country for the number of uninsured motorists on the highway. The best thing to do is to buy uninsured motorist coverage. UM, also known as un-insured or under-insured motorist insurance coverage is a much needed coverage in Florida.
Many insurance agents discourage people from buying UM coverage and tell their customers that UM is not necessary or they can save a little money by not buying this coverage. For the most part UM is not an expensive addition to your policy premium compared to liability coverage or collision coverage, neither of which cover your injury in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The real reason agents discourage buying UM is that it is a very affordable coverage and a great bargain for the client, but not a good deal for the insurance company.
Isn’t my PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) enough?
In Florida the only insurance that is mandatory is Property Damage and PIP (Personal Injury Protection) which covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages after an accident regardless of fault up to $10,000.00. You now have only 14 days to seek initial treatment. If treatment is sought after two weeks, nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Further, policyholders may be eligible for only $2,500.00 in coverage, as opposed to the previous limit of $10,000. Only those with serious injuries are eligible for the higher limit, while those with less severe injuries will receive only up to $2,500.00. Patients will need certification by a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner corroborating that the injury required immediate medical attention.
If you are involved in an accident in which the other driver either has no insurance coverage or is under-insured with regard to bodily injury liability, you may find that there is no coverage for your injury, or insufficient coverage for your injury, other than the minimum PIP coverage as required by law.
If your injury is serious, your medical bills may well exceed $10,000.00, and if you have a serious or permanent injury you may be entitled to payment for those injuries from the driver that caused the accident. In the current economy, many drivers elect the minimum required insurance coverage of PIP and property damage, and do not purchase liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage then takes the place of the bodily injury coverage the at fault driver failed to carry, or adds on to the inadequate or under-insured coverage of the at-fault driver. The injured person can pursue a claim against their UM coverage in the same way that they would have pursued their claim against the un-insured or under-insured driver.
If you don’t understand the language in your insurance policy, you can always call us. It’s better to make sure your questions are answered and that you fully understand your insurance rights.