Accidents can happen to any of us at any moment and can leave you with thousands of dollars in hospital expenses as well as lost wages and lower quality of life. While the accident may have been unavoidable, you can minimize the hardships by having uninsured motorist coverage.
In Florida, drivers are only required to carry a small amount of Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) insurance. This coverage, which can be as little as $10,000.00, is meant to cover injuries to other people- not you! Therefore, if you are hit by a Florida driver and you learn they were covered by insurance, it may still only be that little amount of BIL. In other words, even if you win your personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver, the amount may be too little to cover your medical expenses not to mention other damages.
To make matters worse, many Florida drivers do not comply with the minimum amount of BIL. There are numerous uninsured drivers driving the Florida roads. If you get hit by any of these drivers, you are left to bear most of the burden of the accident.
Why you need uninsured motorist coverage
As a Florida driver, you can accept or decline uninsured motorist (UM) coverage; however, your auto insurance company is under obligation to offer you the UM coverage. Therefore, when you are hit by an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient insurance coverage, your insurance company can step in if you are covered by UM insurance.
In the event of an accident, your insurance carrier can take charge of your expenses when the negligent driver is unable to take care of your losses and bills. Even when the driver is unknown, as in the cases of hit and run, the UM coverage will come into play.
UM coverage can also be your salvation in Florida when the no-fault coverage is insufficient in covering your accident expenses and damages. Florida is a no-fault state, thus the normal insurance coverage is supposed to cover the victim’s medical expenses and other losses in minor accidents. However, in major accidents with serious injuries, the no-fault coverage may not be enough to cover all expenses, so UM coverage can come to your rescue.
How much UM coverage do you need?
There are various policies available to drivers, like stacked coverage, which allows the insurer to combine coverage limits using a single policy for various vehicles. Note that you must buy BIL before you can buy the UM coverage. Your BIL affects the amount of UM you can purchase. For example, if you buy BIL coverage of $10,000.00, you may only be able to purchase UM coverage of $10,000.00. So we recommend that you purchase a higher amount of BIL so you can have access to a higher amount of UM coverage.
You should note that UM coverage will not cover damage to your vehicles. In some cases, your insurance company may get tricky about paying up. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you work it out with them.