Florida Auto Insurance and UM Coverage
All car owners should carry Florida auto insurance. PIP coverage is a must. Still, owners and drivers should understand PIP and even MedPay is not enough. Many Florida and out-of-state drivers don’t have liability insurance coverage. If they do have liability coverage, it often is not enough to pay for all your damages.
For example, one night in a hospital usually costs more than $50,000. If you have $10,000 PIP coverage and the driver has $15,000 liability coverage, that means you still need $25,000 to pay for the hospital visit. Plus, a $50,000 hospital visits means you are entitled to additional damages for pain and suffering.
Why UM/UIM is a good Florida auto insurance remedy
Unlike most states, Florida drivers are not required to have any liability insurance. Even when they do buy liability insurance, it’s often just a small amount of coverage. A Florida auto insurance policy, also called a UM/UIM policy, pays your damages provided:
- The other driver was at fault for the accident and your injuries
- The other driver did not have insurance or didn’t have enough insurance
- You have UM/UIM insurance.
- You can only be paid up to the UM/UIM policy limits – minus what’s covered by other policies
Experienced Florida auto insurance lawyers recommend that owners buy as much UM/UIM as they can reasonably afford. If you don’t have enough UM/UIM insurance, you may not get the medical care you need. A lack of income can mean having to sell your home. Worrying about bills only adds to the stress of good recovery. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or broken bones; your pain could last a lifetime. You may need to see neurosurgeons, physical therapists, psychologists, and other doctors. All these visits require a lot of money. All these visits indicate your life may never be the same
Uninsured and underinsured Florida auto insurance helps you know that you can focus on your recovery – if someone else caused your pain.
How UM/UIM works
Normally, if you own a car, you buy PIP insurance. Your agent should offer UM/UIM coverage. Typically, the amount of uninsured coverage is the same amount as the uninsured coverage.
Generally, an experienced car accident lawyer works to determine who is at fault. The police who investigate the accident will ask to see what types of insurance, including liability insurance, each person has. The lawyer will also ask the other driver through discovery or through his lawyer about the available Florida auto insurance.
If it is clear that the responsible driver didn’t have insurance (or not enough), then you file a claim against your own UM/UIM carrier. Your UM/UIM carrier may pay your claim directly if fault is clear. The amount of the payment depends on a good attorney. The attorney will value your case by examining your medical prognosis, lost wages, likely medical bills, and your future health needs. The lawyer will also value your pain and suffering. Ideally,you and the UM/UIM carrier reach a settlement. If fault is not clear or you don’t reach a settlement with your UM/UIM carrier, then you may need to bring a claim against the person who hit you.