Leesburg Florida car accident lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, explains uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage must be offered if a car insurance company sells you bodily injury coverage. It is elective not mandatory. If you do not want uninsured motorist insurance, you will have to sign a rejection form. The typical Florida insurance policy defines uninsured motorist or uninsured motor vehicle as:
In exchange for a premium, we will pay damages not exceeding the limits shown on the declaration of insurance, which an insured person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury caused by an accident.
In most policies, an “uninsured motor vehicle” is defined as follows:
- Not insured at the time of the accident
- A hit and run vehicle
- The other vehicle is insured by a bodily injury policy that has limits, which are less than the damages the insured is legally entitled to recover
If you are driving in Florida, you need uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself if:
The at-fault driver has little or no liability insurance (which is likely) and your case is worth more than the amount of insurance the driver had. For an example, if the at-fault driver has $10,000 in coverage and you have $100,000 in UM coverage, you have $90,000 in excess benefits.
Stacked UM is a creature of Florida law that allows you to pay an extra premium to stack your UM benefits depending on the number of vehicles you own. For example, if you own two vehicles and have $100,000 in UM coverage, you will have $200,000 in UM coverage available if needed.
If you drive in Florida, you should make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum coverage a Florida driver should consider is $100,000/$300,000. I cannot tell you how many clients I have encountered over the years who were not able to receive money for their medical bills, lost wages and injuries because the person who hurt them was uninsured and they did not purchase uninsured motorist insurance. AS I always say, insurance has only one purpose and that is to protect the purchaser.
If you have any questions about uninsured motorist coverage or if you would like a free copy of my book, call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.