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Bagen Law Blog

What is “uninsured motorist’s Coverage”?

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Sep 24, 2013 5:55:00 AM

The last thing a driver wants to do is get involved in an accident, but things can get particularly distressful if the other driver is both at-fault and without adequate insurance coverage or any at all. Such incidents occur every day in Florida and often require the victim to call an auto accident attorney in Gainesville. Drivers within the state are surprisingly still not required to carry any Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, and one must only have minimum Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability coverage to legally drive an automobile in Florida.

The Current State of Florida Drivers and Insurance (or Lack Thereof)

A startling number of Florida drivers hit the road uninsured daily. Recent information from the Insurance Research Council estimates that 1 in 5 drivers get behind the wheel without basic $10,000 state requirements of PIP and PDL coverage, and very few drivers opt for the bodily injury coverage that would protect other parties. This puts you at risk even if you possess adequate auto insurance coverage – or what you might believe to be adequate. These statistics make a strong case for the necessity of all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UMC) in addition to their standard policy limits.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida – Why Drivers Need It

Uninsured motorist coverage becomes a factor in claims involving injuries that occur when the responsible party has only little or no insurance coverage. All insurance agents in Florida must offer this policy, but this supplemental insurance is not mandatory. Injuries can rack up a sizable bill that the minimum legal requirements don’t cover, which is why there is a large demand for an auto accident attorney in Gainesville.

What Uninsured Motorist Coverage Entails

Uninsured motorist coverage, when held in ample amounts, will help pick up the slack of a subpar policy or uninsured at-fault party. Uninsured motorist coverage pays up to a policy’s maximum limits to cover medical and job-related expenses due to the accident after PIP protections are exhausted. This supplemental policy protection includes:

  • Medical Bills
  • Emergency Room Costs
  • Wage Loss
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Rehabilitation

Few Florida drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage to compensate for any injuries they may cause during an accident for which they are at fault; many injured parties are forced to contact an auto accident attorney in Gainesville. At best, one can expect drivers in the state to carry the legal minimums of $10,000 coverage for PIP and PDL. The victim at best can expect to have a good deal of out of pocket expenses if the other party lacks coverage that covers you.

What are Standard Policy Requirements and Insurance Recommendations in Florida?

Let’s discuss exactly what is covered in a traditional policy before going more in-depth about how uninsured motorist can prevent the need for an accident attorney in Gainesville.

  • Personal Injury Protection – Covers medical bills and wage losses regardless of the at-fault party. Minimum requirements of all drivers in the state call for coverage limit of at least $10,000.
  • Property Damage Liability – Pays for damages to property caused by the at-fault party. State mandated limits are also only $10,000.
  • Bodily Injury Liability – Not required by the state, this coverage pays money to injured parties to cover expenses related to accidents for which they are not at fault.

Because most drivers don’t carry bodily injury liability coverage, it is often left up to responsible drivers to protect themselves from potentially huge financial setbacks that may be result from an accident. Investing in affordable UM coverage does just that.

Determining the Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Three questions must be asked when deciding whether uninsured motorist should be a part of one’s auto insurance policy:

  1. Why would I want to carry basic coverage only to protect someone else without also protecting myself with adequate UMC coverage?
  2. Why would I want to have more bodily injury coverage than uninsured motorist when that too, only protects an injured party?
  3. Can I afford to hire an accident attorney Gainesville to protect my interests when involved in a crash with an uninsured motorist and I have injuries?

If drivers truly want to be protected on the road, uninsured motorist policies should be considered one of the most important components of any insurance package. Many drivers have the impression that their policy’s required coverage limits are all that they need to be fully protected in case of an accident, but clearly this assumption isn’t true.

Standard Insurance Policy Options

Money goes quickly during the course of any accident resolution process, and when injuries come into play, the bills only escalate. Insurance professionals nationwide seem to agree about the reasons drivers need to include UM coverage, and most of them agree that insurance should be ‘stacking,’ or equal in limits.

Essentially, if one carries bodily injury coverage of $30,000, their limitations of UM should equal that, or stack right up next to it on a bar graph as a visual. Because good drivers are most likely to be the victims of bad drivers or someone whom is uninsured, some insurance companies will only try to sell you high limits of bodily coverage and PIP. Essentially, many agents work to protect their company, not you.

Minimum coverage as required by law typically cannot fully compensate injured parties in cases of serious physical damage, making uninsured motorist a vital part of any policy. Protect yourself against the need to hire an auto accident attorney in Gainesville, and speak in-depth with an agent about stacking your coverage.

Auto Accident Attorney in Gainesville – Do I Need One?

Florida residents that have been wrongfully injured in any type of vehicular accident on the job or off, need to consider contacting an auto accident attorney in Gainesville to protect their legal rights and to help get you them money they need – and deserve. An experienced Gainesville auto accident attorney can use their experience in the field of claims to help clients recoup soundly without medical and auto insurance company hassles. Steven A Bagen & Associates is experienced in personal injury law and gets results. Call today to schedule your free consultation.


Topics: Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Insurance Company