Six Reasons to Buy Uninsured Motorist Coverage
April 25, 2023 – Michael S. Herman, Jr., Esq.
As Florida personal injury lawyers, one of the first questions we ask our new car accident clients is whether or not they purchased uninsured motorist coverage on their automobile insurance policy.
In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to your car insurance policy that provides important protection to you and your family in the event you are in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other damages and expenses caused by a car accident that was not your fault.
Here are SIX REASONS why Florida residents should always buy uninsured motorist coverage as an option on your car insurance policy:
1. High Number of Uninsured Motorists: According to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council, Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the country, with an estimated 20.4% of drivers on the road without insurance. In the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist coverage can help protect you from having to pay out-of-pocket for damages and injuries.
2. Hit-and-Run Accidents: In the event of a hit-and-run accident, where the at-fault driver cannot be identified or located, uninsured motorist coverage can provide protection for your injuries and damages.
3. Drivers Without Bodily Injury Coverage: Shockingly, Florida law does not require car owners to purchase bodily injury coverage on their car insurance policies. Florida car owners are generally required by law to purchase only property damage and PIP coverage. This means that throughout Florida, a negligent driver who causes an accident may be 100% compliant with Florida insurance laws, but they have no bodily injury coverage for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses following an accident.
4. Underinsured Drivers: Even if the at-fault driver purchased the optional bodily injury coverage, their auto policy may have low coverage limits that do not provide enough money to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. Uninsured motorist coverage can help make up the difference between what the at-fault driver’s policy covers and the total amount of injuries and damages sustained in the accident.
5. Limited PIP Coverage: Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, PIP coverage is limited and may not cover all of your expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage can provide additional protection if your expenses exceed your PIP coverage.
6. Health Insurance Falls Short: You may think that you do not need uninsured motorist coverage if you have health insurance. Unfortunately, health insurance only covers some of your past medical bills, and your health insurance company often decides which bills it will and will not pay. You may have co-pays or a large deductible to meet before payments are made at all. You may see a doctor that is out-of-network in the course of your care and be responsible for the entire bill. Health insurance does not cover non-treatment related items like lost wages in the past and future, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other damages you experience. Unlike health insurance, uninsured motorist coverage does provide the ability to recover for these common damages following a Florida car accident.
When purchasing uninsured motorist coverage in Florida, it is also important to know that you can stack your uninsured motorist coverage to gain additional benefits. Stacked uninsured motorist coverage multiplies your uninsured motorist coverage limits by the number of vehicles listed on that policy, while unstacked coverage does not. Stacked uninsured motorist coverage also follows you when occupying other vehicles you own but list on a different policy, while unstacked coverage only covers you when occupying vehicles listed on that particular policy.
With the high number of uninsured and underinsured motorists on the road, the potential for accidents with hit-and-run drivers, lack of Florida laws requiring bodily injury coverage, and the limitations of PIP and health insurance coverage, uninsured motorist coverage can provide additional protection and peace of mind for you and your family and help alleviate the financial burden caused by a serious car accident.
Our Jupiter personal injury lawyers have experience navigating the intricacies of uninsured motorist coverage. If you were injured in a Florida car accident and want to learn more about how uninsured motorist coverage may impact your case, contact Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers at (561) 835-5555(561) 835-5555 for a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers.
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