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Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why You Need It

May 28, 2019 – Michael S. Herman, Jr., Esq.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why You Need It? Jupiter, FL

Think you have “full coverage” on your auto policy?

Think again. Florida law only requires car owners to carry property damage coverage and PIP coverage. Property damage coverage helps to replace or repair other vehicles and private property damaged caused by an insured in a car accident. PIP coverage can be used to pay a portion of medical bills and sometimes lost wages after a car accident. Many times automobile insurance agents will say that you are buying “full coverage” when you are really only buying the minimum coverage required by Florida law. This leaves you without important coverage you need to protect you and your family from negligent Florida drivers.

Other important types of automobile insurance coverage that can be purchased but are not required by Florida law, can include:

  • Collision Coverage – repairs or replaces your own car after a car accident;
  • Comprehensive Coverage – repairs or replaces your own car after non-automobile accident related damage, ie. broken windshield or fallen tree;
  • Bodily Injury Coverage – pays damages to others who are injured in a car accident caused by an insured driver; and
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is arguably the most important type of automobile insurance coverage you can buy for your family. In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your resident relatives when and if injured in a car accident caused by another driver who does not carry adequate bodily injury coverage. Many Floridians are surprised to learn that Florida has no law requiring drivers to carry bodily injury coverage for people they hurt with negligent driving. Often times, negligent drivers who cause accidents in Florida have little to no bodily injury coverage, and as a result innocent, injured people are left without any recovery. For this reason, uninsured motorist coverage can come to the rescue if you purchased it on your policy prior to the accident.

Not purchasing uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy can be a HUGE mistake. Protect yourself and your family by saying yes to uninsured motorist coverage when you buy your policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage can be stacked or unstacked. The first question we ask our auto accident clients is whether they stacked their uninsured motorist coverage.

Why should you stack uninsured motorist coverage on your policy?

1. Have multiple cars on the same policy? Stacked coverage multiplies the limits you selected by the number of cars listed on your policy. That means your $100,000 in coverage becomes $200,000 if you have two cars on the same policy, and so on ($300,000.00 for 3 cars, etc.).

2. Are you an insured on multiple automobile insurance policies for different cars you own? Stacked coverage will protect you if injured by a negligent driver when you driving your other car. Unstacked coverage will not follow you you when injured in a car you insure on a separate automobile insurance policy.

3. Own a motorcycle? Same thing. Your stacked coverage on your car’s policy will protect you if you are injured by another driver’s negligence while on your motorcycle. Unstacked coverage will leave you with nothing.

In Florida, you may only buy as much uninsured motorist coverage as you buy in bodily injury coverage for others. This is good public policy that encourages drivers to protect others first if they wish to protect themselves from negligent drivers with uninsured motorist coverage. While purchasing uninsured motorist coverage will increase your insurance premium, it is the best way to protect you and your family after a car accident.

Your insurance agent is required by law to offer you uninsured motorist coverage if you purchased bodily injury coverage on your policy. You are required to sign an uninsured motorist selection/rejection form stating whether you decline or accept uninsured motorist coverage, along with stating the limits you are selecting and your stacked or unstacked coverage selection. The form is required to have use specific language in specific size type so that it is readily observable. When these rules are not closely followed by automobile insurance companies and their insurance agents, or when they cannot produce a signed form at all, our injury lawyers routinely procure uninsured motorist coverage to protect our clients.

For a free policy review to learn whether or not you have uninsured motorist coverage, or if you were injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, please call the injury lawyers at Britto & Herman now! (561) 835-5555(561) 835-5555

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