Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), also often called underinsurance motorist, is part of an insurance plan that protects you when someone with no insurance or too little insurance causes you injury. Whenever an auto accident occurs, the at-fault driver is personally liable for the damages he or she has caused. Sometimes that driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for the damages. (Does your car need a tow? Check our our helpful Tow Truck Guide)
If you are the injured party in that type of unfortunate situation, you have to sue them and get a judgment. If you have UM coverage, your insurance company pays you and then maybe it sues them – but you don’t have to worry about it. For example:If someone hits your car and causes $2,000 in damage, that driver’s property damage.
Liability policy would pay you for the cost of that repair. However, if that driver has no insurance, or the damage is $12,000 and the driver carries only the policy limits of $10,000, in which case they are underinsured, then you would have to sue the driver for the difference. Because that driver may take a long time to pay you, or never do so, it is good plan to have UM coverage. Before determining what coverage is best for you, it is helpful to understand what everyone you share the road with is carrying, or perhaps not carrying.
Before you can register your vehicle and legally drive within the state, Florida law says you must carry minimum amounts of insurance – and for good reason. Even a relatively minor accident could cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, medical bills and legal fees. So, the state requires two types of coverage and sets the minimum amount for each at $10,000:
Property Damage Liability (PDL) – covers the costs to repair property damaged by you or anyone else covered under your policy, and
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – covers the costs of injuries (medical bills and lost wages) that you or your passengers/family members sustained from an accident, even if it was your own fault. It is like a mini-medical policy and can extend to injuries you suffer as a pedestrian or on a bike as well.
You might be thinking this sounds reasonable – $20,000 is a lot of money. It should be more than enough to fix a few dents and cover a couple X-rays. And if you get seriously injured your health insurance would cover an extended stay at the hospital.
When Basic Insurance Is Not Enough
In reality, only in the best–case scenario will having the basic amounts of insurance cover you – where you back into another vehicle causing minor damage with your bumper. But in many situations, basic insurance may not help. Again, PDL only covers damage to other people’s property, so it isn’t going to help repair your car when an uninsured driver hits you, and it isn’t going to help repair your car when you are at fault. To ensure coverage for damage to your own vehicle you need to get a collision policy.
To ensure coverage for possible bodily injuries you should consider adding UM to your policy. Insurance companies have a reputation for not always acting in good faith, and that’s not just when they are denying a claim. It is also in their interest to set up clients with coverage that maximizes premiums and minimizes payouts. Attorneys can be fast and effective in getting insurance companies to cooperate, whether it as an issue with uninsured motorist coverage or a refusal to pay benefits, it can be very helpful to have conscientious legal counsel assist you.
If you or a loved one were involved in an uninsured motorist accident in Florida, do not hesitate to seek the help and counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer. We are dedicated to helping injury victims hold negligent parties legally responsible and get the compensation that they need for damages associated with an accident. To make an informed decision about your pedestrian accident, it’s important to be fully aware of your rights and options. Contact us and we will help you immediately.
The Call Is Free and No Attorney’s Fee Unless We Get You Money
We never charge a fee for a consultation. Also, you pay nothing upfront when we represent you. Since we work on contingency basis, you only pay if you get money. This allows you to focus on treatment and recovery from your accident, while we focus on what we do best. You can call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.