As I've touched upon previously here, there is a common misconception among Florida drivers that they have "full coverage" with respect to their auto insurance when the reality is that they have actually purchased a policy that falls far short of offering the benefits they think they've purchased.
Under Florida law, if you own a motor vehicle with four or more wheels, you must carry $10,000.00 of personal injury protection. You may have a deductible of up to $1000.00 for PIP coverage and $500 for property damage liability. That's what the law requires and that's what you've purchased, so you're "fully covered" with respect to auto insurance if you've been injured in a auto accident in Ft. Lauderdale or anywhere else in Florida, right?
Not exactly. Allow me to explain and, in doing so, present you, the reader, with a scenario:
You hop in your car to run some errands one sunny day. You stop at a red light. You wait for the signal to change, and when it turns green, you proceed at a cautious and reasonable rate. Out of nowhere, however, a late model vehicle speeds into the intersection and T-bones your car causing great property damage to your vehicle and sending you in an ambulance to the hospital with serious injury. Due to the circumstances, you want to make a injury claim on the insurance of the driver who is responsible for causing the auto accident and your injuries. Sounds pretty reasonable so far, right?
Subsequently, your auto accident lawyer in Broward County (or anywhere in Florida) advises you that the responsible driver in the above scenario carried no Bodily Injury (BI) Insurance and thus, has no insurance to compensate you for your injuries, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering. But no worries, right? You have "full coverage." You should be fine.
WRONG. DEAD WRONG. The only manner in which you or your loved one will receive compensation in the above scenario (even though you were not at-fault!) is if you were smart enough to purchase Uninsured Motorist Protection (UM Insurance) when you purchased your auto insurance policy.
Do you carry UM/UIM coverage on your policy? Do your loved ones carry UM/UIM insurance coverage?
A savvy Florida motorist understands that just because an individual is behind the wheel of a car and is responsible for causing an auto accident and injury does not mean that the individual responsible for causing the auto accident will have the necessary insurance or sufficient insurance coverage to pay you or a loved one when their auto negligence causes serious and permanent injury. The bottom line is you have to protect yourself. This is not all that uncommon a scenario.
UM/UIM coverage is NOT REQUIRED IN FLORIDA. This means that if you are seriously injured by an uninsured/underinsured driver and have not had the foresight and good sense to purchase UM/UIM benefits as discussed above, you or your loved ones could be completely out of luck. UM/UIM coverage is even more important considering the thousands of unlicensed and thus, uninsured, motorists on Florida roadways.
Stop and think about this. If you elect not to carry UM/UIM insurance protection on your auto policy, if you are injured by a driver with no insurance or insufficient insurance, you will receive no compensation for your injury, no matter how catastrophic. UM/UIM coverage is essential to protect you and your family.
Why is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage so important?
UM/UIM pays you if you, your passengers, or family members are in an auto accident with someone who is "at-fault" and either does not carry any bodily injury coverage, does not carry sufficient bodily injury coverage. This applies whether you are in your car, riding in someone else's car or are struck by a car as a pedestrian. UM/UIM also applies in hit-and-run situations or in a "phantom" vehicle accident. UM/UIM coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages (beyond PIP coverage), bodily injury, sickness, disease or death resulting from an auto accident.
Are you certain that you understand what benefits your auto policy carries and what benefits it does not? If you are uncertain, give the South Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Joseph Bosco a call today to help you sort through your questions and give you clarity and peace of mind about your auto policy. A consultation is always free. Calling us today will make you glad you did in the event you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
In our opinion, all Florida drivers should seriously consider carrying both BI and UM/UIM benefits in order to protect themselves and their families (and other motorists) in the event they are injured and have their lives turned upside down by an uninsured motorist. Our office represents individuals seriously injured in accidents. We advocate purchasing UM/UIM coverage because our Auto Accident Lawyers in South Florida are sick and tired of seeing catastrophically injured clients left hanging out to dry for no reason other than they wanted to save a few bucks a month by not purchasing UM/UIM coverage. Trust me folks, the risk is not worth it. I've seen it happen to too many clients. You can always reach us at 844-380-HURT. At the Law Offices of Joseph Bosco, we are always on your side!