The Importance of Uninsured (UM)/Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverage in Florida

Unfortunately, far too often Florida drivers fail to realize the importance of securing uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to help protect themselves from Florida’s dangerous drivers and highways.  By the time they do…they have been in an accident, and it is too late.

Florida law requires that drivers carry a minimum of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and property damage coverage, respectively.  However, there are no requirements that drivers carry bodily injury (BI) liability insurance or uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.  As a result, there are countless motor vehicle accidents in which drivers and passengers sustain serious and permanent bodily injuries due to the negligence of others that do not carry BI insurance coverage or the amount is insufficient for the damages they cause.

When an adverse driver does not carry BI coverage or carries inadequate amounts of BI coverage, carrying UM/UIM coverage protects the injured.  UM/UIM coverage can provide compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, not covered by your no-fault PIP coverage.

Another added benefit of having UM/UIM coverage is that it can provide compensation to you as a bicyclist and/or pedestrian injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.   Furthermore, UM/UIM coverage can provide coverage if you are injured by a phantom motorist or a hit-and-run driver.

There are two types of UM/UIM coverage available in Florida.  Drivers can select either “stacked” or “unstacked” UM/UIM coverage.  Generally, “stacked” UM/UIM coverage increases your available coverage by multiplying your limits by the number of vehicles being insured.  “Unstacked” coverage does not increase the limits of available UM/UIM coverage by the number of vehicles being insured.  Most drivers will weigh the differences in their insurance premiums when determining which type of UM/UIM coverage to select.

As a South Florida motor vehicle accident attorney, I cannot emphasize enough the need for some type of UM/UIM coverage to protect you and your family from other drivers and vehicle owners that choose not to carry BI coverage, or carry insufficient amounts of such insurance coverage.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or are having a problem with your insurance claim, you should immediately contact the personal injury attorneys at Greenberg & Strelitz, P.A. at (561) 361-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

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