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Uninsured Motorist Coverage Questions

1. In Florida, what is the minimum amount of insurance I must have?

In Florida, the minimum amount of insurance required is personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage (PD). PIP coverage pays for your medical bills and lost wages Even if you were at fault. PIP is why Florida is considered a no-fault state. PIP will only cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to a total of $10,000. PD will cover the auto damage you caused to the other person’s vehicle. PD does not pay for your own auto damage if you were at fault. PIP coverage is the only coverage that applies regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

There is no other requirement in Florida to start driving a car legally. That is why it is recommended to purchase Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage (UM).

2. What is Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Coverage (UM)?

UM coverage compensates you for injuries sustained in an auto accident where the at-fault driver is either uninsured (they have no insurance at all) or under-insured (they do not carry enough insurance to cover all of your damages). Most drivers in Florida are under-insured since they only have the minimum coverage required to legally drive in Florida. UM is optional coverage that can be purchased within your car insurance policy. UM insurance coverage protects you, your family and anyone else who was injured while in your vehicle. UM applies only when you were not at fault for the accident.

3. What types of damages will UM insurance cover?

UM coverage will pay for damages such as:

It is important to know that UM coverage will not pay for your vehicle. It is recommended that you purchase separate collision coverage to ensure your vehicle is taken care of in the event of an accident.

4. Why is UM coverage important in Florida?

 Carrying Uninsured Motorist Insurance is especially important in Florida, as there is nearly 24% of drivers reported not carrying any type of auto insurance back in 2012. In fact, Florida is the 5th state in the United States to have the highest number of uninsured drivers on the road. Even of the 66% of Florida residents who do carry some type of coverage, a staggering 49% of those drivers have liability limits of $25,000 per person or lower. If you are injured in an auto accident by an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured, you may not receive adequate compensation to cover all your damages. If you hold UM coverage though, you can be properly compensated for all injuries incurred. (SOURCE?)

 5. I have medical insurance. Why should I buy UM on my car insurance policy?

As noted before, medical bills are only one of the many things that UM coverage will cover should you be injured in an accident through no fault of your own. UM coverage will pay for damages such as disability and lost wages, pain and suffering, wheelchairs or other necessary medical devices, future lost enjoyment of life, and more.

6. What UM coverage limits are available?

In the state of Florida, you can either choose to reject UM coverage altogether, or you can choose a limit of insurance. However, you may not select an Uninsured Motorist limit that is higher than the bodily injury liability limits you carry. Generally, you can select various limits up to $1,000,000. If you want UM limits higher than $1,000,000, you can purchase up to an additional $1 million of uninsured motorist coverage through a personal umbrella policy. Typically, Uninsured Motorist coverage limits are shown with two numerical figures (for example, $50,000/$100,000). For this example, the first figure listed (in this case, $50,000) represents the maximum dollar amount that any one person can collect from the policy. The second number (in this case, $100,000) is the maximum dollar amount available for all people injured in the accident, no matter the number of people who were hurt during the accident.

7. Are insurance companies required to offer UM and UIM?

In Florida, agencies who sell insurance must legally offer UM and UIM coverage. However, the policyholder is not obligated to actually purchase this insurance. It is extremely common for an insurance policy to offer UM/UIM coverage; however, insurance agents encourages policyholders to turn it down for a lower monthly premium.

8. What’s the difference between stacked and non-stacked uninsured motorist (UM) coverage?

 Non-stacked and stacked Uninsured Motorist coverage are the two types of UM coverage that exist. Here are some notable differences between the two:

 Stacked UM Coverage in Florida

 Non-stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida:

9. How much auto insurance coverage do I need?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of how much insurance coverage you need. The question is how much you need to feel comfortable knowing that anytime you or a family member gets into a car that they will be covered.

(Al, I don’t know about this section or my rewrite. The thing is, any and all auto policies indemnify the policyholder from any lawsuit arising from the accident, regardless of fault. It is only when the person suing wants to go after the defendant personally due to not enough coverage. Even when this happens, UM coverage will not pay the costs of defending you.)

10. Is it smart to select a higher deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage?

The answer to this question will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the personal and financial circumstances of the individual seeking insurance.

Attorney Robert Fenstersheib

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