When you think about auto insurance, the first thing that likely comes to mind is protecting your car. However, there’s a critical aspect of insurance that often gets overlooked: protecting yourself and your passengers from drivers who aren’t adequately insured. Welcome to the world of Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage, which is especially vital in Florida.
What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is an extra layer of protection for you and your loved ones. Here’s how it works:
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
This kicks-in when you’re involved in an accident with another driver who does not have any insurance coverage. Yes, it’s illegal to drive without insurance in Florida, but that doesn’t stop many folks from rolling the dice. According to a 2021 study done by the Insurance Information Institute, 20.4% of drivers in Florida do not have insurance coverage, the 6th highest percentage in the U.S.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
This coverage steps up when you are in a crash with someone whose insurance doesn’t cover all your medical bills or damage. For example, say your medical bills are $50,000 but the other driver’s insurance only covers up to $25,000. UIM will help pay the difference.
Options in Florida
In Florida, you can purchase UM/UIM coverage as a single combined policy, meaning it will cover both scenarios: those without insurance AND those with not enough insurance. Florid also offers “stacked” and Non-stacked” UM/UIM options:
- Stacked Coverage – This allows you to combine or “stack” the limits of each vehicle you won for a higher total coverage amount. For example, if you have two cars, each with $25,000 in coverage, you’d have a total of $50,000 in available coverage if you chose to stack.
- Non-Stacked Coverage – This does NOT combine coverage limits. The coverage for each vehicle remains separate.
Why EVERY Florida Driver Needs UM/UIM Coverage
You might wonder: “Why should I bother with this type of insurance if every driver is required to have insurance by law?” Here’s why:
Not Everyone Follows the Law – Despite the legal requirements, a significant number of drivers in Florida, – as noted above – either have no insurance or inadequate coverage. That’s a risk you don’t want to take.
Protect Your Wallet – If an uninsured/underinsured driver hits you, guess who might be left footing the bill? YOU! Without UM/UIM coverage, you could be left paying out-of-pocket for medical bills, car repairs, and other damages, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Medical Costs Can Skyrocket – Even minor injuries can lead to massive medical bills, If you’re relying solely on another driver’s insurance and they’re underinsured, you might find yourself in a financial bind.
Peace of Mind – Having UM/UIM coverage means you have one less thing to worry about on the road. Accidents are stressful enough without having to fret over how you’ll cover unexpected expenses.
Don’t Depend on the “Other” Driver’s Insurance
It’s tempting to think, “Well, if I’m in an accident, the other driver’s insurance will take care of it.” But what if they can’t or won’t? Here are a few reasons NOT to depend on another driver’s coverage:
- Limited Liability – the other driver’s policy might have minimum liability limits, which can be quickly exhausted with serious injuries or multiple claims.
- Delay in Payout – Even if the other driver is insured, insurance companies often take time to settle claims. If you’re waiting on someone else’s insurance, you might wait longer for compensation.
- Potential for Disputes – In some cases, the other driver’s insurance might dispute the claim, arguing about fault or the extent of injuries. Having you own UM/UIM coverage ensures they you have an advocate in your corner.
While Florida law mandates every driver to have insurance, relying on “the other guy” is a big risk. Don’t leave your health and finances to chance. Investing in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is a smart decision for peace of mind, protection, and the well-being of your family and passengers. Consider it not just another insurance policy, but as a shield of protection against the unpredictable roads of Florida!
Were you injured, or was your property damaged by an Uninsured or Underinsured driver? A car accident can be a devastating experience, so it’s essential to know your rights and what actions you need to take to protect yourself, both physically and legally. The West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at GOLDLAW are here to help!
Call 561-222-2222 to schedule a FREE consultation. GOLDLAW is your car accident firm of choice because:
- We have the financial resources smaller firms, don’t, allowing us t battle the insurance industry.
- We have experienced, board-certified lawyers that handle ONLY personal injury cases.
- We have served the legal needs of the West Palm Beach community for over 20 years. We live here and are locally owned and operated. GOLDLAW truly cares about your well-being!