Making a Claim Against Your Florida UM Insurance Policy
Many people may wonder why on Earth they would ever need to make a claim against their own insurance policy if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident in which they are injured or suffer property damage as a result of someone else’s negligence. After all, Florida law requires everyone to carry motor vehicle liability insurance, a minimum of $10,000 in no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is the absolute minimum required in order to operate a motor vehicle on Florida’s roads. However, for many reasons, this is often too little insurance to cover the damages incurred by those injured in most Florida motor vehicle accidents. There also is a more important consideration when it comes to motor vehicle liability insurance in Florida, and that is the number of uninsured drivers on Florida’s roads. This unfortunate phenomenon makes it even more likely a Florida driver injured by someone else’s negligence may need to make a claim against his or her own insurance policy. However, this is only an option if the injured motorist has elected to carry uninsured/underinsured (UM) insurance. Florida UM insurance provides coverage if you are injured or suffer property damage in an accident caused by a driver who either is not insured enough to cover your full damages or does not carry any insurance at all. This is one reason it is so essential to carry UM coverage if you are a Florida motorist.
If the Other Driver is Negligent, Aren’t They Responsible for My Damages?
The simple answer is yes. This seems like a fairly straightforward concept, but the truth is often far from simple. Unfortunately for Florida motorists, Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country. According to research from the Insurance Research Council, 26.7% of Florida motorists were uninsured in 2015, the last year for which complete data is available. This compares with 13% of drivers nationwide. Florida was the state with the highest uninsured motorist rate according to this survey, whereas Maine was the lowest with 4.7%. What this means is that, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida as compared with Maine, your chances are much higher that the driver you are involved in an accident with is not carrying any insurance at all. This leaves you, the injured victim, holding the bag.
Florida UM Insurance: A Worthwhile Investment
This is one reason we recommend all of our clients carry Florida UM insurance. Given where you live and drive, in the state with the highest number of uninsured drivers in the country, it is simply a wise move. Yes, your motor vehicle insurance premiums will be a little bit higher than if you decline UM coverage, but it is a wise investment.
As an example, if you are involved in an accident and you suffer $100,000 in damages, but your PIP benefits only cover $10,000 of that amount, then you are left with a $90,000 shortfall if the other driver is uninsured. This is medical care you may need but not be able to afford, lost wages that you might suffer which you would not be able to make up and other damages that you would simply have no way to recover if you elect not to carry UM coverage as a part of your own insurance policy.
Seek the Assistance of Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.
If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, you should retain an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident in which you were injured to assist you in receiving maximum compensation for your injuries suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. This is true whether or not the other driver has insurance. At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents and other incidents involving personal injuries in Florida. We have represented both those who were involved in accidents where the other driver was insured or where the injured person had to make a claim against his or her own UM coverage. In either scenario, we will use our experience and skills to recover maximum compensation for our clients. If you, a family member or a loved one has been injured in a Florida car accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.