In Florida, like many states in our country, only a minimal amount of bodily injury insurance is required to register your automobile. Car insurance is usually divided into different categories; bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, medical insurance coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage. There are other kinds of insurance as well which supplement these such as medical payment coverage, towing & storage insurance, rental car coverage and excess or supplemental insurance. The truth is most people do not carry enough bodily injury liability insurance to cover the harm they do. This means that the average driver, especially in Florida, has only $10,000 available if they cause an accident and injure or kill someone. $10,000 will not even pay for one day of a hospital stay for a person with severe injuries.
That’s why uninsured motorist coverage was created. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage means that your own insurance company will pay you when the person who causes an accident does not have enough insurance to pay for the damage you have sustained. For instance, if a crash takes place and the person at-fault causes you to suffer a fractured leg or other debilitating injury, their insurance company is responsible for payment of your damages under the bodily injury portion of the policy. What happens if the bodily injury coverage is only $10,000? Your damages are certainly worth well in excess of this amount. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the injured person looks to their own insurance company to make up the difference in the value of the claim. Uninsured motorist insurance is a way to protect yourself from the limited insurance most people drive with. Uninsured motorist coverage also pays when the other person has no insurance.
Many people allow their insurance to lapse. Unfortunately, folks will pay for insurance in order to get their car registered and then allow their monthly premium to go unpaid rendering them uninsured. If that uninsured motorist causes an accident, who is going to pay for the damage? Certainly, the uninsured motorist is personally responsible but good luck collecting. Suing an individual who is financially unable to even pay their insurance premiums will likely be a waste of time and money. That is where uninsured motorist insurance comes in to cover your losses following an accident.
A separate premium is charged for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Florida, it is automatically included in your policy of insurance unless a specific rejection is made. In fact, the state of Florida recognizes that uninsured motorist coverage is so important that they mandate a specific form of rejection which must be signed and acknowledged by the insured before a rejection may be deemed valid. I advise all of my clients: purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can financially handle. Remember, the vast majority of motorists carry the minimal insurance coverage at best. Most accident lawyers have horror stories representing clients with serious injuries or tragic losses caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists. Protect yourself and your family by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy.