Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida
Don was involved in a serious auto accident. His pelvis was crushed and he had other life-threatening injuries. He thought he’d be fine because he had "bodily injury” coverage on his auto accident policy. He did not have uninsured motorist coverage because he did not understand that he needed it. The at-fault driver in the accident was uninsured and had no personal assets to pursue. Would Don did not realize was that his coverage did not ensure him for his own injuries; it insured him for causing injuries to others. Since he had not purchased this coverage, he was left with devastating injuries, huge medical bills, and the inability to work.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not currently required in Florida. What you need to realize though, is that uninsured motorist coverage covers you if the other driver is not insured or does not have enough insurance to cover a claim. This coverage will protect you far beyond your personal injury protection coverage. It will pay for 100% of medical bills, 100% of wage loss and 100% of your pain and suffering up to the limits of the coverage you purchased.
Medical expenses, property damages, and other damages that result from an auto accident can quickly add up. You may find that the other driver has no insurance, or the driver who was at fault does not have significant coverage to provide you the compensation you deserve.
Because the current Florida law does not require drivers to have liability insurance coverage, it is important to purchase your own uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. It is imperative that you discuss this with your insurance agent to make sure you have it and that you have enough of this coverage to protect you.
The difference between uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist protection can be explained as follows:
- Uninsured motorist coverage is when a negligent driver does not have insurance or sufficient assets to compensate you for the damages caused by your accident. If this has occurred, you may file an uninsured motorist claim under your own insurance policy.
You will only receive the monetary benefits up to the uninsured motorist policy limits without a penalty or an increase of your insurance premiums.
The severity and seriousness of your injuries will be the deciding factor on whether or not your claim warrants a recovery for your uninsured motorist policy limits.
- Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the coverage provided by the other driver’s insurance policy is not enough to compensate you for the full extent of your damages. In that case, you may be able to pursue additional damages under your own underinsured motorist policy.
You are usually only entitled to file an underinsured motorist claim once the negligent party’s insurance coverage has been exhausted.
If you have been involved in an auto accident please call the qualified Sarasota accident injury attorneys at the Mallard Law Firm for a free consultation today. You can reach us at 888-409-3805 and receive answers to your legal questions simply by calling today. Also, fill out a form on our website to receive a free copy of our book What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.