Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Really Necessary in Florida?
Studies by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) show that one in every eight drivers in the United States who is involved in an auto accident is either underinsured or not insured at all. Not surprisingly, Florida is one of the states in the nation with the highest uninsured driving population boasting almost 24 percent of its drivers having no liability auto insurance.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, or know someone who has, and the other party is underinsured or uninsured, contact an aggressive auto accident attorney right away to learn about your rights under the law.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Explained
Florida law requires that all drivers of automobiles carry at least the minimum requirement of personal injury protection (PIP), and while it is a “no-fault” state there are many instances in which a collision results in damages that these benefits simply do not cover. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can fill this financial gap.
There are two kinds of uninsured and underinsured motorist liability coverage – bodily injury and property damage. Both are designed to protect the policyholder financially from drivers who have minimal or no coverage. While some states require some form of this coverage, Florida makes this optional.
Simply put, uninsured motorist coverage protects a policyholder who is in an auto accident with an at-fault driver who does not carry liability insurance whatsoever. Conversely, underinsured motorist coverage steps in when a person is in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover property damages or medical expenses.
If you are in an auto accident, uninsured motorist insurance coverage can help to pay for lost wages of policyholders, authorized drivers and passengers as well as medical expenses when the party who caused the accident is uninsured. Likewise, underinsured coverage works in the same manner except that this coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver’s limits on his or her liability policy are insufficient to cover the victim’s post-accident expenses. Both uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage helps to pay for expenses related to car repairs when the at-fault driver’s policy does not have enough of the required property damage coverage or, alternatively, if he or she is uninsured.
While not required, Florida law mandates that insurance companies selling auto insurance in the state must offer uninsured or underinsured coverage. A policyholder may reject this coverage. Should a policyholder choose to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and multiple vehicles are on the policy, the same limit must be elected for each vehicle. Moreover, the limits chosen for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage cannot be more than the limits of the policy’s bodily injury liability coverage.
Auto Accident Help
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an auto accident, the financial and emotional burden of medical bills, loss of income as well as pain and suffering should not be enhanced trying to navigate the legal complexities of personal injury law. Instead, your focus should be on recovering and the policies in place should compensate you for damages incurred. The legal professionals at our office work hard to ensure their clients get the best recovery. Do not settle for less; you deserve aggressive representation. Our firm has been servicing clients in Hillsborough County, the greater Tampa area and the state of Florida with years of experience.
From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.