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What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
Driving in Florida can be a constant struggle. With the traffic, distractions, and amount of uninsured people on the roadways, car accidents happen all the time. However, even though a driver may be “at fault” in the accident, that does not mean that they have insurance to cover your injuries.
Why is UM important?
Florida is considered a “no fault” state and requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, but not necessarily bodily injury insurance. This means that liability may be taken on by the insurance company and the person who injured you may be able to protect themselves, but not have any money to cover your injuries. Due to this problem, many people in Florida carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).
Florida statute 627.727 allows injured drivers to carry their own insurance to protect themselves from drivers who do not have the insurance to cover the injured drivers damages. In Florida, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage was created to mirror the automobile liability coverage on the policy. Florida’s public policy is that every insured driver can recover for damages they would have been afforded if the motorist who was at fault carried a bodily injury liability policy. Here is an example:
Mary is driving on a roadway and decides to adjust the radio. Traffic is stopped ahead and Jim is stopped at the red light. Mary is distracted and by the time she looks up, she rear ends Jim’s car and both cars are damaged. Jim is injured in the accident, and has medical bills that he incurs. Mary has insurance, but her insurance covers property damage and her personal injury protection, not the bodily injury of another. Jim’s treatment costs money, and there is no money to get reimbursed from Mary’s insurance coverage. However, Jim looks at his own insurance and sees that he is protected through his UM coverage. This means that Jim is now able to go through his own insurance to get reimbursed for the medical bills and pain and suffering he underwent through the length of his treatment after the accident.
What does it do for me?
By having uninsured/underinsured (UM) coverage, you help to protect yourself from drivers on the road who are not carrying insurance. Insurance companies must have a written rejection that someone does not want UM coverage, otherwise, they may have to pay out what the bodily injury coverage would be. This means that if your insurance policy has bodily injury coverage, you have the ability to have UM coverage up until that amount as well. Having the UM coverage allows you to recover future medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages like a permanent disability of pain and suffering. Your personal injury protection coverage and health insurance pay for the present bills, but during the course of treatment, the future medical expenses will need to be paid through any coverage, which includes UM coverage.
What should I do?
If you have additional questions about an accident you were in and injuries you suffered as a result, contact Rhino Lawyers. We will explore all options of the accident, including all insurance areas to make sure you are getting the help you deserve. Give us a call at 844-RHINO-77 for a free consultation. Take Charge of your Rights.