Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Much of our firm's practice is devoted to representing those who are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. All too often we discover that the at-fault party does not have adequate insurance to cover our client's damages. This is generally coupled with the fact that the negligent driver has no real assets which can be seized in order to satisfy a judgment which exceeds the low insurance policy limits. The results of insufficient insurance can be tragic as the injured person may have significant medical expenses and lost wages.

Most people do not realize that Florida law does not require an owner of a motor vehicle to purchase bodily injury coverage (BI). The only mandatory coverage is $10,000 in property damage liability and $10,000 in personal injury protection.

There is one easy way to avoid this terrible situation. Purchase adequate insurance which includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM). UM is insurance that provides coverage in the event your damages exceed the at-fault party's BI coverage. For example, if the negligent driver has $10,000 in coverage and your medical expenses and lost wages exceed $10,000, then you would need UM coverage. In order to have UM, you must purchase BI coverage. You are allowed to secure UM coverage in amounts equal to your BI coverage. The law allows you to purchase stacked UM coverage based on the number of motor vehicles under your policy. For example, if you have $100,000 in BI coverage and own three vehicles under the same policy, you may stack the vehicles so that you have $300,000 of UM available to you and your family in the event that you are injured or killed as a result of an inadequately insured driver. This may enable you to pay for your medical treatment and recover lost wages so you can avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure of your home.

How much BI and UM is enough? That is a personal question and one which depends on many factors such as your assets and whether you have sufficient health insurance coverage. Also keep in mind that you may recover pain and suffering damages from your UM coverage - something you can't do from your health insurance. Our firm counsels our clients to meet with a reputable insurance agent and to purchase as much coverage as they can afford.