A Complete Guide to Florida Motorist Insurance Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you against those who do not have automobile insurance or their coverage is not enough to cover the full extent of the damages or injuries.
It is an extra protection that is standard (but elective) in most insurance policies. However, many drivers do not understand this coverage or know how much coverage they have (or do not have).
Do I Need UM Coverage if I Have PIP Coverage?
Florida is one of just a few states that uses no fault insurance (PIP Coverage). So, residents may wonder if they still need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The sad truth is that a large number of people do not have insurance even though it is required by all states, excluding New Hampshire.
Roughly 15% of U.S. drivers do not have the required insurance. However, Florida’s uninsured driver population is much larger—19%. That means that one in five Florida drivers do not have automobile insurance.
Your PIP Coverage addresses your personal injuries. It does not cover injuries past a certain amount and it does not cover property damage.
If you want compensation past those restrictions, you will have to work with the other driver’s insurance company.
If the other driver does not work with an insurance company, then a personal injury lawsuit may be your only chance for recovery.
However, if you have UM coverage, then your insurance company will cover a portion of the damages without having to initiate a lawsuit. Nonetheless, this type of coverage is still relatively meager, so you may still need to consider a personal injury lawsuit.
What Does Uninsured/Underinsured insurance cover?
UM coverage is versatile. It can even “travel” with you so that you are still covered even when you are not in your own vehicle.
It will cover the following expenses or injuries:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (not paid by personal injury protection coverage)
- Future medical expenses
- Future wage loss
- Non-economic damages (pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.)
Another benefit is that if you insure more than one vehicle, those policies are added together to increase the total amount of your UM coverage as well (stacking UM coverage).
Getting UM Coverage
Insurance providers in Florida are required to offer UM coverage, but you are not legally required to purchase it. If given the option, some drivers will opt out because they do not understand the many benefits of this type of coverage.
In addition, drivers sometimes do not realize that they can actually increase coverage. Coverage is usually offered at very low amounts, so increasing the amount of coverage is something you should consider as well.
Keep in mind that UM coverage will not apply automatically like the PIP coverage. You still have to prove that the other driver is at fault to receive this coverage.
If you are having trouble getting money from your insurance company or think a personal injury lawsuit might be a good option for you, call the experienced personal injury professionals at Glozer Law today.
We can help you navigate all of the Florida PIP and UM coverage laws. Call 561-300-6900 today.