Uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage can provide you with compensation if a driver with no insurance or not enough insurance causes a crash in which you are injured. Although the law does not require that you maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Florida, you will benefit from having this coverage if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver.
You may have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, but that is often insufficient when you have suffered significant injuries. Although you can pursue a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver or another responsible party, if that party has no insurance or carries only minimal levels of liability, there may be inadequate or even no further coverage for your losses beyond your PIP policy.
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How Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Works
When you purchase liability insurance as a driver, your insurance company also will offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage in Florida. This coverage is usually in the same amounts as under your liability insurance policy. If you are in an accident and the other driver is uninsured, has no liability insurance, or the driver is unknown in the case of a hit-and-run accident, this type of insurance can help pay your medical bills and other damages.
Likewise, if you suffer severe injuries in an accident and the at-fault driver has only a minimum level of liability insurance, your medical bills and other losses can easily exceed the available coverage. Without any other insurance coverage, you are unlikely to recover any further damages from the responsible driver beyond those minimum amounts. As a result, you could end up facing thousands of dollars in medical bills and other expenses if you suffer significant injuries.
Florida requires minimum liability insurance coverage that is much lower than many other states, which results in many underinsured drivers. As a result, the risk of being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver is substantial.
Types of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Two different types of uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance generally is available. You can get a split limit policy, which provides for different amounts of insurance coverage depending on whether one person or multiple people are injured in an accident. On the other hand, a single limit policy would provide for a set amount of insurance coverage, no matter how many people were injured in the wreck.
The Role of PIP Insurance in Accidents Involving Injuries
Under Florida Statutes §627.4707, all drivers must maintain personal injury protection (PIP) to cover medical expenses for injuries sustained in an accident. This PIP coverage is available regardless of who is at fault for causing the accident. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), policyholders must maintain a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, as well as $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance.
While PIP coverage is certainly helpful if you are injured in a crash caused by the negligence of others, if you suffer catastrophic injuries, $10,000 is likely insufficient to cover your medical bills. Plus, PIP insurance covers only 80% of all reasonably necessary accident-related medical expenses and lost wages.
Furthermore, you should keep in mind that the PIP insurance does not provide coverage for people other than yourself, your passengers, and others in the same household. This means that even if the other driver causes an accident, you cannot look to the PIP policy of the at-fault driver for coverage.
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Liability Insurance Coverage for the At-Fault Driver
The only possible coverage for your injuries, other than your PIP policy and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, would be if the driver has a bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance policy in effect. State law generally does not require drivers to maintain liability coverage unless the DMV has required it due to poor driving history. Even then, the DMV may only require as little as $10,000 in BIL insurance.
Contact Our Attorneys Today to Learn More About Your Insurance Options
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Florida can be complex. As a result, you may require legal assistance to determine if this type of insurance covers your injuries. You may be eligible for various types of insurance claims to cover your injuries and other losses, as well as legal cases against the responsible parties, if necessary.
Call our personal injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today and get the information about insurance coverage that you need. We can examine your situation and determine what insurance claim and other options are available to you when you are injured in an accident.