What is Florida Uninsured or Under-insured Motorist Coverage?

Florida residents may purchase different types of insurance in order to adequately protect themselves and their families.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM) can be purchased and it is an important additional insurance to supplement PIP and to ensure there is sufficient coverage available if you or a family member are injured in an accident. The purpose of UM coverage is to ensure that you have “FULL” coverage when you or a family member are injured and

  • an at-fault motorist has insufficient liability insurance, or
  • in a hit-and-run accident or other situation where the at-fault driver cannot be identified.

While $10,000.00 of Personal Injury Protection coverage, aka ‘PIP coverage’ is mandatory in Florida, UM coverage is voluntary. In most instances, the importance and meaning of UM coverage has not been explained by insurance companies. Most people do not understand how important it is to elect to purchase UM coverage, especially in the state of Florida because Bodily Injury coverage is NOT mandatory. What that means is if you are it by an at fault driver and they have not purchased Bodily Injury coverage or the amount of their coverage is insufficient to compensate you for your medical bills and pain and suffering, you and your family will have no recourse if you have not purchased UM coverage under your own automobile policy. The insurance companies do not clearly explain that without electing to purchase Medpay or UM coverage, once an insured’s medical bills exceed this $10,000.00 there is no more money available to cover these expenses, unless the insured has elected to purchase Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist coverage.

The most common scenario is for UM to pay the insured for injuries sustained as a result of a negligent driver, also known as the ‘at fault drive’ when that person either does not have any Bodily Injury/”BI” insurance coverage, or does not have enough BI coverage.

Basically, if the at-fault driver has no liability coverage, your Uninsured Motorist policy will pay compensation. If the at-fault driver has insufficient liability insurance to cover your injuries resulting from an accident, your Under-insured Motorist will provide coverage. Collectively, both types are referred to as UM.

Attorneys, Little-Hunt and Hemmert are here to help you and your family in your time of need and will personally review your insurance policy, FREE of charge to make sure you have the full coverage you need to protect you and your family.

Call HLH Law Group today (230) 232-5050 to speak directly with an attorney about your rights.

 

WHO is covered by UM Coverage:

In addition to the policy holder, standard UM policies generally cover the spouse and any relatives who live with the policyholder. UM coverage also typically extends to passengers of the automobile at the time of the accident.

UM insurance follows the insured individuals, not the car. This means UM covers all insureds whether they are riding in your car, riding in another person’s car or are pedestrians or riding a bicycle and are hit by a car. UM also covers insureds in a hit-and run accident.

 

WHAT Does UM Cover?

UM Insurance pays for medical bills, income loss, (beyond what PIP covered), pain and suffering, bodily injury, sickness, disease or death resulting from a motor vehicle accident that you and/or your passengers and family members sustain.

Each UM policy pays up to the policy amount purchased. Because so many Floridians drive with only the minimum PIP coverage, purchasing sufficient UM insurance is the only way to be ensured that you and your loved ones truly have “full” auto insurance coverage.

All insurance companies are required to offer UM insurance coverage to consumers, as part of their product line. Florida drivers are required to sign a statement declining UM coverage to show they elected not to include UM coverage in their policy.

 

WHEN does UM coverage apply?

If the at-fault driver does not have BI coverage or an insufficient amount of BI coverage to fully compensate the person injured in the car accident, UM coverage kicks in.

Especially in the state of Florida, UM coverage is needed more than you may think because Bodily Injury coverage is not mandatory. This means that if the at fault driver did not purchase Bodily Injury Coverage, if you have not purchased UM coverage under your own policy and the other driver has no bodily injury insurance, no matter how badly you are injured, you will not be able to recover anything from the insurance carrier other than the PIP coverage for medical expenses and lost wages — this included no pain and suffering, emotional damages, loss of quality of life and other non-economic damages.

In that scenario, while you have the right to bring a judgment against the at-fault driver for damages you have suffered due to their negligence, there are no guarantees that you will ever collect any actual money because in this instance your only recourse is to go after the responsible party’s personal assets. In many instances, if the at fault driver did not have bodily injury coverage, he or she do not have any monetary assets to collect on a judgment.

 

HOW can a Florida Uninsured Motorist Lawyer like HLH Law Group Help you or your family member when injured in an accident?

If you were in a car crash with a driver who did not have proper insurance coverage or is underinsured, you may be concerned with how you are going to pay for your medical bills, your pain and suffering and much more. Call HLH Law Group today and speak to one an attorney directly to answer your questions. (239) 232-5050.

Even when you have uninsured / underinsured coverage, many times your insurance company may not easily settle your claim. Your insurance company may try to unfairly deny or limit the amount you are compensated. The attorneys at HLH Law Group are fully equipt to handle these unfair tactics and will not back down.

HLH Law Group will investigate every option and fight to ensure you receive a fair and reasonable settlement. If the insurance companies act in bad faith, HLH Law Group will not hesitate to file a Bad Faith Claim against the insurance company, if necessary.

Contact HLH Law Group today to learn about all your options. The attorneys at HLH Law Group represent victims and their families in Naples and the surrounding areas.

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