The Dangers Of Driving Uninsured or Underinsured In Florida

A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council in 2015 found that 26.7 percent of people living in Florida are uninsured motorists. An “uninsured motorist” is a driver that does not carry bodily injury liability coverage or does not have any insurance at all.  If you find yourself in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Florida, there is greater than a one and four chance that the other driver does not carry bodily liability coverage.

Florida law only requires two types of car insurance coverage:  personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL).  All owners and registants of motor vehicles are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage.  Many people elect not to purchase bodily injury coverage (BI) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) because it costs more money. However, the decision to forego these types of coverages can be very risky.

What Happens If The Person Liable For The Crash Doesn’t Have Insurance? 

If the other driver does not carry bodily injury coverage (or is driving illegally without insurance), then the only type of coverage that will compensate you for your damages is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are in a motor vehicle crash with an at-fault driver who does not carry bodily injury liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when you are in a motor vehicle crash with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover your damages.

Who Is Covered With PIP Insurance?

Regardless of who is at fault, Florida No-Fault insurance, also known as PIP, will pay for 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent lost wages up to $10,000. PIP also covers your children, members of your household, and passengers driving without PIP, so long as they do not own a vehicle. If those riding in your vehicle own this type of insurance, they will receive coverage for their injuries under their own policies. PIP coverage also covers injuries for children riding on a bus to school, pedestrians, and bicyclists who are injured by motor vehicles. In order to qualify for PIP benefits in Florida, victims must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident.

What Is Covered With Property Damage Liability (PDL)?

If you or a member of your family is liable for damages to another person’s property or motor vehicle, PDL pays for the damages. When a crash occurs, it’s important to preserve all the evidence from the crash. This includes taking photographs at the scene of the crash and gathering all documentation before meeting with me. 

In the state of Florida, you are only required to carry PIP and PDL if you own a motor vehicle. Many Florida drivers tend to only carry the two types of required insurance, due to the added costs of the additional insurance coverage. While some may think that carrying the minimum insurance constitutes “full coverage”, that is not the case.  

Why You Should Invest In Bodily Injury Liability (BI) 

While not required by law, bodily injury liability coverage could be extremely beneficial to carry as a driver in the state of Florida. Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries or death to others when you or someone driving your car cause a crash involving your automobile. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. Your insurance company pays for injuries caused by you or members of your family who live with you, even if they were driving someone else’s vehicle. It can also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission. This coverage also provides you with legal defense in the event the injured party sues you.

The Importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

Because you cannot control or predict whether the person who causes a crash has bodily injury liability coverage, it is prudent to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  This may be your only source of recovery if you get involved in a crash with another driver who does not have bodily injury coverage or if you get involved in a hit-and-run crash.  

Call Andrew Pickett For Your Personal Injury Needs

Car insurance is absolutely vital in an unexpected time of need, and the benefits of being covered far surpass the cost of PIP, PDL, and even BI and UM. If you become a victim of a motor vehicle crash due to the negligence of another motorist, it is crucial to find a law firm that is experienced enough to navigate the complex insurance laws and has the resources to litigate your claim. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure the law firm you hire has a proven track record of success in trials.  I have extensive knowledge and experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims and can help you move on with your life so that you can recover peacefully, without having to worry about dealing with insurance companies or paperwork. Call me today at (321)-503-4014 to get a free consultation.

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