Should I Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Should I Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Alot of my clients often ask me whether it is worth it to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Florida. The answer is, absolutely YES! In the state of Florida, there are many different forms of coverage that are required. In fact, drivers are only required to carry at least $10,000 of property damage liability and $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP), also known as “Florida no-fault insurance”. Property damage liability pays for damage a driver causes to other people’s property after a car accident and personal injury protection pays a portion of an individual’s medical bills and lost wages if they are injured in an auto accident.

Florida does not require motorists to carry bodily injury insurance or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Seeing that a vast majority of drivers in South Florida only carry the minimum amount of bodily injury coverage, it is extremely wise to add UM/UIM coverage to your policy. In Florida, motorists are not required to carry bodily injury insurance. In fact, about half of all cars on the road do not carry bodily injury insurance. It would be great if insurance companies simply paid out all of their valid personal injury claims and getting a reasonable car accident settlement was stress-free. Sadly, negotiating a car accident claim with an insurance company can be a stressful and drawn- out process.

If you get in an accident with someone who does not carry bodily injury insurance, and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you will make an already difficult situation even worse. Florida drivers must understand that the statistics are not in their favor when it comes to the likelihood of an at-fault driver in an accident having bodily injury liability coverage. UM coverage is an affordable coverage that should be considered one of the most important coverages under your own policy.

What Are Some of The Advantages of Purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If you purchase UM or UIM coverage, you may be able to take advantage of what is known as “stacking.” Insureds can stack insurance coverage based on the amount of vehicles that are listed under the insurance policy. For example, if you add a $100,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage to your policy and have 2 cars listed on your policy, you can “stack” the policy so that there is really $200,000 in coverage. The idea is that you multiply the amount of coverage by the number of cars covered under the policy. Non-stacked uninsured motorist coverage is different. If you only have this coverage you can only recover benefits if you sustain injury in one of your vehicles but the coverage does not follow you. Additionally, UM/UIM coverage will protect you if you are in an accident with someone that does not have insurance or doesn’t carry enough insurance to cover the expenses from the injuries stemming from the car accident. UM can pay for the following: lost wages from time off work, pain and suffering, present and future medical expenses, death, a portion of medical bills, loss of the future enjoyment of life.

As a personal injury attorney in South Florida, I have had countless experiences in which potential clients and even close friends have advised me that they are unsure whether or not they have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage under their auto insurance policy. Frequently, clients are not even sure when this coverage is applicable to their accident. Under Florida law, you must be offered UM coverage by your auto insurance provider and either accept the coverage or specifically reject it in writing.

Therefore, many people are rejecting UM coverage without understanding what it is and how it can benefit them, in order to minimally reduce their premium payments for auto insurance. In Florida, under most cases, a person injured in an auto accident must first utilize their No-Fault Personal Injury Protection Coverage under their own auto insurance policy, for payment of their medical bills and lost wages. However, this minimal coverage can be exhausted in the emergency room on the day of an accident or early on in the treatment period if injuries are severe. Once the PIP coverage is exhausted, the party who was injured must determine whether the at-fault party responsible for the accident has bodily injury liability coverage to pay for the injuries and damages caused by the accident. Research shows that Florida ranks second in the nation for the number of drivers who are uninsured or underinsured.

In Florida, there is approximately a 1 in 5 chance that the at-fault driver is uninsured. If the at- fault driver does have insurance, more often than not it is minimal coverage resulting in the driver being underinsured. In the event you or your passengers are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another who does not have insurance coverage or is underinsured, Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can cover medical expenses and lost wages not fully paid by your no-fault coverage. Your UM coverage may also cover future medical expenses and wage losses, as well as non- economic damages such as disability, pain and suffering, and the loss of ability to enjoy life.

Suarez & Montero Car Accident Lawyers in Miami

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, you may have a right to seek compensation for your losses. The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with locations in Miami and Broward. A personal injury claim can help obtain funds that cover medical expenses, lost income and other damages. You want a lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and follow through promptly on all assignments.

Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. The car accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero can help those of you who would like to pursue a car accident claim. To discuss how we can assist you, call us or contact us online. We encourage you to learn more about and the successes our attorneys have had on behalf of individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injury in accidents involving vehicles. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case and help you understand your legal options.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.